So, remember how we went over the “Top 5 Ways to be a Wild Mommy”?
After I wrote that, I soon realized there was a LOT MORE information there than I originally thought. The BLOG became fairly lengthy and I never REALLY got around to explaining the WILD side of Wild Mommy, either! I also realized that once a week, well, just really wasn’t enough! Honestly, with so much to say in just my FIRST BLOG, I thought to myself “Why not more like Monday, Wednesday, Friday?”. So, well, here I am, with another little gem, (Not quite so lengthy this time, either!)
So, the first thing I’ll do is remind everyone of the Top 5 list:
#1- Affection is the best Affirmation(Submitted by my beautiful daughter)
#2- Stay COOL
#3- Take time to LISTEN
#4- DO NOT spare the rod
#5- Set up the Framework for Friendship
These 5 Mommy attributes are a great foundation for ANY parent! I have seen, in my relationship with my daughter, that these 5 things CAN greatly improve:
a) your relationship,
b) your child’s behavior,
c) you and your family’s stress levels
d) you and your family’s future!
So, implement those ideas, and you become a MOMMY. But what I consider the “Wild Side” is the addition of other behaviors that separate you from the “norm”.
Now, there are many smaller attributes to being a WILD mommy. Some of my PERSONAL ones include: having tattoos, having a tongue ring, listening to popular music, being fashionable, encouraging Boo (my girl) to sing, dance and act silly and doing those things MYSELF! But I realize, some of you, may not include all of those things! That’s why I say the definition of Wild Mommy is personal. But the idea is that you have those little attributes that throw out the old-school idea of becoming a mother being similar to becoming a NUN! lol But, there are also some attributes, more like my previous “Top 5” that, again, break the mold! So, I’d now like to discuss those. BUT, I am definitely more aware of length now, so I will be breaking it down into a FEW medium BLOGS instead of one super huge blog!
Here is the list of the
TOP 5 ways to be WILD:
#5- Don’t cap intelligence
#4- Honesty IS the best policy
#3- Stay true to YOU
#2- Keep yourself WILD
#1- Encourage a WILD child
So, we’ll start with #5 and work our way down to #1 over the next few BLOGS. and again, since I realize I have so much more to say about being a Wild Mommy, I intend on BLOGGING every Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of the aforementioned “once a week”!
Okay, so let’s begin with our # 5 way to be WILD:
#5- Don’t Cap Intelligence
At first glance, this seems like a fairly OBVIOUS “good idea”! And I would think most of you are sitting there going “Well, DUH!”. But I am almost DOUBLY certain you have all DONE this very thing. I know I did it. All the time, with other children and even my OWN in the beginning. It comes in the form of “I will tell you when you’re older”. Now, I want to begin by saying, of COURSE there are some pieces of information, simply not suited for certain ages. Particularly those of a sexual nature. BUT, there is a lot of information that isn’t unsuitable, rather, we believe it is too COMPLEX for our little ones. I believe this begins at a YOUNG age. I’m talking NEWBORN! Something I did with Boo, that I believe has made her so intelligent, is that I explained EVERYTHING. Not only would I narrate my actions when she watched me perform a task, but even before she could talk, when she was disciplined she also received very SIMPLE explanations. Now, I had several people argue with me over this ideology. The main argument in explaining things to toddlers or younger is that they simply “Don’t Understand what You’re saying”. And while some of the words you may use might be new to your child, most of them will be words he/she has encountered before. By using these words, over and over, we actually TEACH the DEFINITION! And, by introducing NEW words, we EXPAND their VOCABULARY. You could ask anyone who knows my Boo, for a 4 year old, her vocabulary is fairly extensive. Not only does she have a decent command of grammar and syntax, but she uses many words and phrases that you wouldn’t expect a 4 year old to know. All because I made sure to explain EVERYTHING and talk to her with as much respect to her growing mind as possible. The fact is, when your baby is stringing together garbled speech, inside their MIND is a much more complex idea! They just can’t get it out! So, just because they cannot SAY IT BACK, doesn’t mean they don’t UNDERSTAND! Heck, I can go one step further, even if you’d like to argue that there is no way they understand all of the meaning, let me point out that we talk and explain things like “bad boy” to our DOGS! And Dogs, who we know have no true concept of ENGLISH LANGUAGE, actually LEARN the explanations! It has been proven time and time again, that they LEARN that a particular set of sounds strung together, mean a particular set of actions/feelings from their master. If a DOG can learn this, are you telling me your CHILD cannot? So, no, they might not understand at first, but they will learn. Also, much like dogs, children are EXTREMELY good at understanding TONE. And that will also help them to learn the definitions of words.
One of the phrases, most commonly heard by parents is the old “Because I said so”. I have always had a problem with this.The fact is, as parents, it’s our job to teach our children MORALS. So, by using that phrase you are defaulting to control and submission instead of encouraging their brains to make MORALS. Don’t get me wrong, your child SHOULD respect you enough that because you said so is a good enough reason to STOP their behavior, but for you as a parent, it’s not a good enough explanation! Really explain to them exactly WHY what they did was WRONG. Not only will it increase their vocabulary and encourage them to THINK, but in the end you get a child who understands why they shouldn’t repeat the action due to LOGIC instead of fear! It will also build their ability to perceive which actions COULD merit the same response. Now, this creates intelligence in “Don’t do this” situations, but it creates something even GREATER in “hurting others” situations. I discovered, in raising Boo, that as I took the time to explain why what she did HURT myself or another, she became a deeper, more thoughtful and compassionate little person! And one thing I have learned to include is an example of the wrong they did, done to them. Then you ask them “And how would YOU feel?”. It gets them thinking, but with their HEARTS. Creating a kid that actually CARES about the people surrounding him/her.
The last addition to Capping Intelligence is a quote I like to use
“When she’s old enough to ask, she’s old enough to know”
I implement this into my parenting ALL THE TIME! And I have received a lot of MIXED reviews on my method! Some people, cannot let go of the “Age Restrictions” we have put on information. Well, I happen to think that is somewhat crazy! Now, there are certain topics which I avoid with Boo, but it’s easy to avoid them now because she cannot articulate more detailed questions. However, my 4 year old has already asked me how she was made. The short answer was my choice, By your Daddy C and me. Then I went on to explain genetics. How you get half of your daddy’s traits and half of your mommy’s traits, pointing out the ones she had from each of her parents! See, I didn’t have to discuss sex, because she has no concept of it. But she does have a concept of EXISTING, and wanted to know how that came about. However, when she does reach the age, where she can articulate the appropriate question of MECHANICS, I fully intend on telling her. Because in my opinion, if she’s old enough to ask ME, she is old enough to ask someone else. And I’d rather her information come from me, since I am the one in charge of her safe-keeping and MORALITY building! Sounds like a great concept, right? But, inevitably the argument will come that this method simply makes children grow up too fast. No. Simple as that, it WILL NOT. In no way does intelligence lead to maturity. I am CERTAIN, everyone out there knows at least ONE smart, but socially immature person. There is your irrefutable proof. Social maturing comes from EXPERIENCE, not knowledge. Now, perhaps you will increase the advance of maturity by giving your child knowledge, but it will not take away from their childhood experiences. The only way you can “grow your child up” too fast, is by forcing them to use their knowledge to change their experiences. An intelligent kid, left alone, might do more educational activities, but they won’t completely neglect playing tag, hide and go seek and doing other normal social “kid” activities. However, it can encourage relationships with other intelligent children, encourage depth to childhood relationships and deepen appreciation and enjoyment for all activities. It’s up to you, as a parent, to maintain that balance! Don’t PUSH your kid to do something of a higher maturity! If they encounter it on their own, and decide to be involved, that’s their CHOICE! But otherwise, let them be kids, just SMART kids! lol
So that’s it for Capping Intelligence! I hope this will encourage everyone to teach their kid something NEW and INTELLIGENT! Taking the time out to teach your child EVERYTHING, may seem like a daunting task, but as you do it, it becomes a normal thing. Each one of your child’s questions becomes a learning experience, instead of just an answer! And you will be amazed at how much your child will, in turn, WANT to learn about the world around them. You’ll also have many chances to really SEE your child as the person they are becoming. And, trust me, it is super neat, to hear your child’s opinion on intelligent subjects!
For instance, it absolutely amazed me when my daughter wanted to know what “gay” meant. And, at first, I wondered if I should even go there. But, she had picked up on the topic of “Gay Marriage” and she didn’t understand what that meant. So I explained that when I man loves a man or a woman loves a woman that is gay, or homosexual. When a man or woman loves the opposite, it is straight. Then she asked “So, gay people can’t get married?”. I was shocked. I had never actually said that to her, she had picked it up from the news! (little satellite ears) So, I answered her, “No, they are not”. And what was her response?
“That’s not fair mommy, if you love someone you should get married! That’s what you do!”.
I personally, agree with her, though I respect (AND UNDERSTAND) those who do not. But what really amazed me is that she came up with her OWN OPINION. Never had I actually discussed the right/wrong of gay marriage. Never had I really discussed homosexuality at all! She was curious about a word: Gay. Her curiosity sparked her intelligence, so she asked me. Her intelligence led her to more knowledge, so she began thinking. That thinking led her to a MORAL. A moral I am very proud to say that she has!
That’s what I want everyone to see with ALL of this.
That AMAZING, chain reaction that happens, when you Do not Cap your child’s Intelligence!
Well, THANKS for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps, learned some too!
Join me TOMORROW, as we look at #4- Honesty is the best Policy. Tied into our previous list’s #5, Framework for Friendship, we take a look at this attribute that we all want our children to have and yet we do things to teach them the opposite!
Until next time,
Wild Mommy MC