Our Walk, continued…

Hey Everybody! So, Does everyone remember #5?

“Don’t Cap Intelligence”- Don’t assume your child cannot understand, just continue to make teaching moments out of every moment!

So, now we can continue on to 

#4- “Honesty IS the best policy”.

Now, in my last BLOG, I said that we would be discussing a trait we all want our children to have and yet we do things to teach them the opposite. Well, as you probably figured out, that trait is HONESTY! Now, before we discuss honesty, I want to discuss lying. Particularly the 3 types of lies.

1. Out right Lie- When asked a question, you lie

2. Made up Lie- You create a lie, without question

3. Silent Lie- You lie by action or omission

I don’t know many people that ARE NOT guilty of at least ONE type of lie in their life, if not ALL 3! Myself included! Almost all of us are guilty of all 3 during childhood. and many of us are guilty during teenage years and up! And, I hate to say it, but just about ALL parents are guilty of lying to their children in ONE of the three ways…Yes, even me. But I have, since realizing the damaging results caused by this, tried very hard to change my ways with my daughter. Believe me, it is hard sometimes. But, seeing the positive results of honesty in our relationship, has begun to make it easier. And it’s become contagious with Daddy, too!

So, there are SOME lies we tell our children, just about all of us, that EVERYONE accepts. Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Santa, etc. And though I protested my whole life about not teaching my OWN child these lies, I have a daughter who believe in them all! Why, some might ask. Because she has cousins. and Mammaw. And Grandmom. And the list goes on and on. Well, I just caved! And, I got to experience Santa with Bailey. Which also meant facing my fear of Santa (yes, you are reading correctly, FEAR of SANTA). And, it was pretty awesome. So, I have changed my mind on THESE particular lies. IF you CAN get around them, try it, I’d love to hear from anyone choosing that! If you can’t or don’t want to, don’t feel bad! The discoveries of these lies have taken on such a “right of passage” in our society, with so many children experiencing it, I suppose children might be missing out if they DON’T experience it. (Hm, hadn’t ever really thought about it that way before now! See, I’m growing too!)

So, we’ll move on to the first type of lie

#1- Out right Lie

There are some parents who do this. Plain and simple. They lie to their kids to either avoid a tough subject or avoid a long talk. Folks, I hate to say it, but I think this is PLAIN WRONG. There are ways to avoid tough subjects, but at some point you need to discuss those tough issues anyways! And, don’t lie to avoid long talks, if you don’t have TIME, simply discuss it LATER. (MOMMY TIP: Get a journal and write down ANY idea you can’t discuss RIGHT THEN. Makes your kid feel super important, and makes for great memorabilia!) But the outright lying most parents are guilty of is lying to OTHER PEOPLE in FRONT of your child. I’m not going to say that you should stop lying. I’d be a MAJOR hypocrite. But, what I learned, was to try not to do it in FRONT of my daughter. Cutting down on her exposure to lies that, inevitably, you will make. (lol) Obviously, the best thing, would be to NOT lie, ever, not even FIB… but that’s an order even I can’t fill, as Wild Mommy, so I cannot TELL you guys that! But I can encourage it! So, let’s all try not to LIE at all! Crazy Concept, I know! (lol)

Anyways! On to the next one:

#2- Made-up Lies

Obviously, the idea of fabricating a lie for your child is ridiculous. Any parent who does this (other than the aforementioned common holiday characters) would be considered a bad parent. Right? WRONG! Parents do this all the time. And honestly, it drives me crazy. Stories about monsters getting children for not sleeping or misbehaving DRIVE ME CRAZY! I just can’t help it! I in no way want my child to learn to behave out of fear, I want her to learn to behave out of respect and LOGIC! Stay in your bed at night, why, because a monster will get you if you don’t? NO! Because it is bedtime, I am your parent and these are the rules. I won’t even act like I know some big relationship with a negative affect. I don’t. I just simply do not like this way of parenting. I think it’s a pointless lie. Which could perpetuate an assortment of problems in your relationship or NONE.

BUT, the real issue I want to address is:

Creating lies WITHIN your child.

We’ve all seen this. And it ranges from parents not creating TRUTH within their children to parents creating LIES withing their children. Parents all over the world are responsible for the upbringing of DECENT people. It is our job to create the best little THEM we can, before we send them off to face the world. So why are so many parents sending their kids off with BROKEN spirits and NO SENSE of SELF WORTH? Like I said, it ranges from lack of truth building to actual LIE building. It can come in many forms, one of which is PUSHING your child to do BETTER. There is a difference between PUSHING and ENCOURAGING. Children who feel constantly PUSHED to do BETTER, may develop a sense of “never being good enough”. I’m not saying you do not encourage your kid to do better, but you have to praise them for what they HAVE done, as well as allow them to “have done their best”. Another form it comes in is different for boys and girls. For boys, it is “Boys Don’t Cry” for girls it is “Girl Power”. There are not 2 greater lies, we tell our children, than these. So many boys are brought up feeling that any emotional response from them is WEAKNESS. And so many girls are brought up feeling femininity and loving a man is WEAKNESS. These two concepts are so deeply woven in our society, that we don’t even see them anymore. We need to break these molds. I think if we could, communication between sexes would open. Because all the “girl power” is making the “boys don’t cry” worse, which in turn makes the boys tougher on the girls so the girls “girl power” up! It’s a vicious sexist cycle that we begin teaching them in childhood! And, it needs to stop, really.

Lastly, we have the parents that pick on their children’s physical or mental attributes. If you, as a parent, have ever made fun of your child for any of their physical or mental attributes (i.e. short, skinny, fat, shy, loud mouth, stupid, etc.) you have planted a LIE WITHIN YOUR CHILD that will FOLLOW them for the rest of their LIFE! The most damaging thing a parent can do is point out and scrutinize a child’s characteristics. Every child should enter life feeling as self-confident as possible. If you plant any seed about their character, it will grow as they grow, affecting EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of WHO THEY ARE! So you have to choose the right seeds! Encourage you child to be original, to be simply THEM! I tell my daughter, just about every day, that she is beautiful. My boyfriend, her “Daddy”, tells her the same. (He also tells me everyday as well, for more info on that: wildwifey.wordpress.com) I want her to hear “You are beautiful, nice, sweet, kind, worthy, etc” as many times as she can throughout the time she is in my care. Then I plan on telling her at least ONE of those every time I communicate with her throughout her adult life. Another thing I think parents sometimes neglect to say OFTEN is “I am Proud of YOU”. Too many kids are sent off either a) NEVER hearing it or b) NOT hearing it ENOUGH.

and LASTLY, (drumroll, please)

#3- Silent Lies

This is the big one folks, the one that probably most of us are guilty of, including, again, myself. These are the lies we don’t TELL, but SHOW. One example of “silent lies” is saying that you NEVER do something or that you ALWAYS do something. Perhaps even using it to “set an example” for your child. Then turning around and doing or not doing that very thing. This can also kind of cover the “Do as I say, not as I do”. In a way, it’s a lie, too.

But my biggest example is a silent lie that sometimes ventures into the out right and made-up lie. When you are upset, angry or stressed, do you tell your child why?

It is sad for me to see it, but I see it all the time. Mothers and Fathers who do not share their feelings with their children.  And I think it is a terrible waste.

The argument is, of course, made that parents shouldn’t burden their children. But the fact is, whether an explanation is given, a child can VERY MUCH tell that there is a problem. Even INFANTS can tell when their parents are stressed. This, I actually DO know fact about! (lol) Children are GREATLY affected by the moods, attitudes, actions and interactions of their care-givers! By not talking to them ABOUT the REASON for these issues, all we do is create an even MORE stressful environment. Where the child KNOWS something is wrong, but cannot reach ANY level of resolve. Are there perhaps some issues too mature for your child at whatever age they currently sit? SURE! But there are also LEVELS of explanation that can be given to alleviate some stress without creating an “awkward” or “too mature” situation. And the thing is, your child is not the only one that will benefit. You will too! Not only will you see an increase in the amount of information your child will want to share with you, But you also get the amazing insight of your child on these different issues. And, you won’t believe how CLEARLY children can see situations. Sometimes, the advice they give can be better than any you have ever considered because they see the world so SIMPLY. Not to mention, we all know that by sharing you strengthen and deepen relationships. And who wouldn’t want that for themselves and their child? And, down the road, your child will be more open to the world and the people in it. Their relationships will deepen because they will be able to share and be share with in return.

There are many personality traits we would like for our children to have when they are grown. Humor, Generosity, Compassion, etc. But the one trait no child should be without is honesty. Honesty is a big part of the foundation for any decent human-being. And yet it’s so easy to teach our kids the exact opposite. But, we have to keep trying to show them the honesty, so that they can grow up being honest, good people.

So, let’s review the 3 types of lies:

1. Out right Lie- When asked a question, you lie

2. Made up Lie- You create a lie, without question

3. Silent Lie- You lie by action or omission

It’s a long, tough, hard road parents. And largely in part to the fact that it means WE have to change! (lol) But, I think we can do it!

Join me MONDAY, as we continue our “Walk on the Wild Side“… a closer look at being a better Mommy! We will pick up with #3- Stay true to YOU, where we will discuss how important it is to not lose sight of who you are, when becoming a Mommy!

Until Next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

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A walk on the WILD SIDE!

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

and,

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

@wildmommymc

wildmommymc@yahoo.com