Parenting is equal parts ball-tearingly frustrating and gut-wrenchingly exhilarating.
You know that already; it can take your breath away and have you questioning all that you hold dear in the space of 10 minutes.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the topic – I readily admit that on occasion my kids eat cereal for dinner and wear bathers for undies – and yet I get asked about parenting at least once a day.
For a while I was just spewing back gags and trying desperately to avoid any sort of meaningful interaction on the topic. I felt that I was in no way qualified to be passing out nuggets of wisdom.
Surely that should be left to people who grow veggies, study childhood development and own tupperware. Then a couple of days ago I took part in a forum of sorts and I was asked in all serious about my values as a parent.
MOTHER OF PEARL! I had nothing but the usual jokes, so I paused and pondered. What did I think was important when it came to raising small people?
The following list is what I came up with, I’m not saying that my way is the best way it’s just my way.
1. Tell your kid when they stuff up.
Real life example: “Odette, putting my mobile phone in the microwave was a bonehead thing to do. Can you please tell me why you felt that was okay because I am here to tell you – it so wasn’t.”
2. Tell your kid it is okay to stuff up.
Real life example: “I accept you were trying to do a scientific experiment to ascertain if phones melt – I love that you were interested in finding out the truth. Having a crack at stuff it great, just ask me first because: giant electrical fire.”
3. Speak to them how you want them to speak to you.
Note: I have really had to work on this one, mainly because “sarcastic bitch” is my default setting. If your kids are being rude little arsehats, it may be time to look at how you relate to them. I did and since then, things have taken on a much gentler tone in my house.