Monday, January 5, 2009

Parenting Books: You win.

I've always thought that parenting books were kind of obvious.  Especially the ones that say things like "don't reward bad behavior".  I feel like calling the author and saying, "Really. You spent how long writing a book to tell people like me 'don't reward bad behavior'?  I'm not a Nanny 911 case, I'm just trying to get my daughter to stop telling people she is going to throw them in the garbage.  I read your book and I get 'don't reward bad behavior'.  As if I had time to waste.  Thank You."

Today I realized the ugly truth.  Being around my daughter when she is happy, kind, and well-behaved is like a moment in heaven.  I would do anything to make it continue forever.  When she is so sweet I don't want to give her a treat or watch TV or any of the other standby "rewards" because I just want to sit with her doing whatever it is she is doing and enjoy the golden blissful moment of perfection as it unfolds.  Sitting with her, being loved, adored, and included in play is the best thing in the world.  It is a reward for me.

When gloomy behavior visits, I really would do anything to make it stop.  I would buy her a pony or a happy meal or anything in else in the world to make her happy again.  And I'm not the only one - have you ever heard that song "Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird?"  

So, obvious-advice-parenting-book, you win.  Now I understand that "not rewarding bad behavior" is much harder than it sounds.


Nils Swanson said...

Melanie, I understand! It's interesting how a child can bring out needs in a parent... I guess that is one of the reasons why I learned so much about myself and God through my kids. Hang in there, you guys are doing a good job of being parents!

Durr Family said...

That is so true!

Angela said...

Just catching up on your blog...I think Isaiah and Abi may have picked up "I'm going to throw you in the garbage" at the same place! He says it at times too~ Sounds like you are having a great time!
Angela Zavala