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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Positive Parenting? What Comes Out of Your Mouth?

It's always shocking to hear any stern disciplinary words coming from the mouth of my tenderhearted daughter, especially since they are usually connected to a string of words that just left my lips. If you ever wonder how your parenting style sounds, hide in the bushes and give a listen to how your little ones talk to their own kids. It might surprise you.

Last night I walked around the perimeter of the house to close the gate to the chicken coop. This corner of the house is closest to Senia Mae's bedroom and even though our home is made of sturdy brick, it is hardly soundproof. I overheard her reprimanding her cat, Tulip.

I could hear Senia Mae grunting, "Tulip, NOW!" in a seriously irritated voice. Even though I usually save that particular threat as the fourth and final warning, I realized then that I was going to have to be a little more aware of any uncensored words that escaped my mouth. Who knew that my parenting was going to be the primary model for her role playing. AARG! Back in the house I noticed her looking at herself in the bathroom mirror.

"How'd you get that red spot above your eye?" I asked

"Tulip scratched me," she said.

"Why did she scratch you?"

"Well I was trying to get her tucked into bed and she was growling at me."

"So then I put her in time out," Senia Mae said, "And she scratched me."

"Hmmm," I said. "I think when cats growl that means they don't want to be touched anymore."

"But Mama, she WASN'T listening!" Senia Mae pivoted around and pranced out of the bathroom knowing full well that not listening always has negative repercussions.

I sat there for a moment trying to come up with an appropriate response... but none came. Maybe I'll just take this one back to the drawing board and think about it overnight. Hopefully after a thorough rest I can reformat my parenting skills so my child's innocent cat doesn't suffer the consequences!


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