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Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Super Nanny 911

Super Nanny and Nanny 911 Give me a break. What ever happened to common sense and having a backbone?
Many years ago when my youngest, Brian, was 3 or 4 years old I picked him up from nursery school and we went to the local Pizza Hut for lunch. We had placed our order with the waitress and as we were waiting for our food, two boys that were maybe a year or so older than him were running around the salad bar, out of sight of their moms. As if that wasn’t enough, one of them took the large serving spoon and took a mouthful of something and put the spoon back! Brian’s eyes said it all. He looked at them like they were crazy. I said to him, “What would happen if you acted like that?”
He said, “We’d leave.” (I thought to myself, you bet you’re a$$ we’d leave.) I said, “Yup, that’s what we’d do.” I then went over to the manager to tell him what had transpired. He removed the tray of food and spoke to the moms. I would have been mortified. It didn’t seem to really bother them. Shame on them. They lost their teachable moment, but then I don’t think they’d known one if they saw it.

Another time, maybe one or both of the boys were with me, anyway we were at the small local food market. We had only gone down a couple of aisles and I only had a few items when one of them started to act up. (They weren’t ones to have temper tantrums.) I don’t remember what it was about but they weren’t calming down. I steered my basket to the checkout by the door, told the checkout girl, I’m sorry but I have to leave, and we were out of there. I think my silence all the way home said it all. You only have to do that once. Yeah, I didn’t get the shopping done, and I scrounged something together for dinner, but you can bet it never happened again.

When Brian was in nursery school he’d often have play dates with classmates. I always emphasized when he went to someone’s house that it was important that he be well behaved and thank the mom for having him over. When I would pick him up, invariably, the mom would tell me it was so nice to have Brian over and that he was welcomed to come back anytime. An incident that really drove the point home was when Brain had a classmate come over to our house. As the kid was jumping up and down on the sofa, I calmly, yet firmly said to him, “In this house we don’t jump on sofas.” He “got” it.

The point to all this is, is….kids will live up to (or down to) your expectations of them. Be firm. Stick to your guns. If you do this in the beginning, it will be much easier in the end.
(...and no, my boys weren't perfect when they were little, but for the most part they were well-behaved because they knew what was expected of them in any given situation. Also, just because David is Special Needs that is not an excuse for him to misbehave.)

Copyright © 2005 Deborah Sharp Loeb


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this page isn't specifically "church-y", but my first thought when I read "kids will live up (or down) to your expectations was "Yep, so will congregations!"

9:44 AM  

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