I think every parent has a dream for their child. They envision successful adults doing sports, earning doctorates or following in the family business.
I myself am no different. I have a dream for my children. It’s not a lofty goal. I just merely don’t want my children to be annoying.
I became aware of a potential annoying habit my children were partaking in, early on in their development.
It is the asking of food at other people’s homes.
Granted, the requests for food and drink usually take place at their Grandma’s house, it still drives me nuts. I could have just fed my kids a seven course meal filled with protein and carbohydrates and they will still feign hunger and starvation as soon as they see Grandma.
I realize Grandma’s kitchen is usually filled with delicious, fresh baked goods but I still think it is rude to ask for said treats.
I am much more subtle with my approach. I lift the lids, sniff, ogle adoringly and drool. This tactic is much more appropriate.
I sat my children down one day before our departure to Grandma’s house and said, “Do not ask for food at Grandma’s house. If she offers something, that is fine. But DO NOT ask for ANYTHING!”
The minute we arrived at Grandma’s house, my then, 4 year old son, Bency, jumped out of the van, ran up to Grandma and said, “Will you be offering us any treats today? We are not allowed to ask for anything but if you offer it, then it is okay!” I shook my head in disgust as Grandma went to retrieve some freshly made Rice Krispie bars.
The second annoying habit I am trying to curtail is tattling.
My daily life is a constant barrage of complaints and the regaling of horrible offenses that my two older children have committed.
Most of these inappropriate behaviors have to deal with name-calling, tongues being stuck out and the hogging of a certain color marker.
My 5 year old, Bency, recently came to my side to inform me that my 7 year old, Iris had said he smelled like pig food.
I sent Iris to her room to “think about her actions and come up with 5 nice things to say about her brother.“ Iris had not been confined to her room 2 minutes before Bency was back at my side asking that I release her from her jail sentence because he actually didn’t mind being referred to as the stench of pig food and just really wanted to play with Iris and finish their game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos.
I also have a sneaky suspicion that Bency is a tattletale in Kindergarten. He has come home a couple of times saying that he has told his teacher about a certain boy who was swinging on the handrail and not standing on his number in line.
I told Bency that these actions were not worth telling the teacher about. If she deems these “credible” offenses she will surely notice and take action.
So, I have taken a new stance in our household. It’s called “No More Tattling.” I no longer want to hear if someone has called anyone an unpleasant name, stuck out their tongue or not limited themselves on a certain color of marker.
The day after making this declaration and after already making several reminders on the “No Tattling Law” I put into effect; Bency came to me after I heard an argument brewing in the basement concerning the choice of cartoon that was put on.
He nonchalantly said, “Hey Mom, I was wondering if Iris happened to mention that I was the worst brother in the world?
I said, “No, she didn’t tell me this and you better not be tattling.”
Bency rubbed his chin, shook his head, scrunched his eyes and in a matter of fact tone replied, “Oh gosh, no way Mom. I’m definitely not tattling. I just wasn’t sure if I heard her correctly and was just wondering if you heard that I was the worst brother in the world?”
Perhaps I have set my desires too high for my children. Perhaps my dream of raising people who are not annoying is just too much to ask for. Perhaps it’s time to lower my standards and just try to achieve raising a couple of kids who grow up to obtain their PhD’s and are only slightly annoying.
Oh my, Bency sure has an interesting way to try to get around things! And so polite about it! 😀 My children are the same way-the minute we get to someone else’s house, or church, they have to ask for food. We never feed them you know. 😉
Doesn’t he though?? If nothing else he’s clever! I know my mom gave me the same lecture as a kid about not asking for food and now she’s telling me, “Oh Melissa, it’s no big deal!” Hmmph!
Haha, I love these stories! You have a great approach to handling your kids. They sound adorable!
Thank you!! I don’t know if I have a great approach or not…I’m sure striking out a LOT!!! LOL!!!
At my house the youngest ask, the older ones can reach the snacks on the counter top, and their parents may open cupboards, refrig or freezer while asking if there’s something to eat! Somehow when it comes to feigned or real hunger, my house becomes their house!
haha!!! You must have the “good stuff” at your house!!!
You could get a tattle phone. Put up an old cord phone on the wall and tell them it goes to Santa’s voicemail. When they need to tattle, they whisper into the phone and Santa’s elves will review it and decide if it is really naughty or not. 😉
Great idea!! I may have to get a couple to keep up with all the complaints!!
My two don’t so much tattle on each other, as they try to boss each other around. In her best mommy voice, little A. told her brother this morning, “L.! Don’t sit like that, or you’ll fall, and then you’ll have to go to the hop-si-tal!” Just ten minutes later, L. was “lecturing” his sister on why she shouldn’t be bossy. I asked him if he realized he was being just as bossy in return by attempting to lecture her. They both kept eating. Always an adventure. And I think the food thing is universal. Other people’s food and toys are always more interesting and enjoyable–even if we have the same things at home. Have a wonderful week! –Alison
Oh that’s funny Alison! My daughter is bossy and my son usually takes it and can be very complacent to her commands most times! It’s interesting watching the roles and how they play off of each other. Amusing and frustrating all at the same time! I’m glad to know more children are scrounging for food at other people’s houses and not just my own!!! LOL!! Thank you!
“Pig food!” now that is an expression I won’t forget in a hurry.
I have never heard of anyone referred to smelling like pig food either. I plan on saving it for an appropriate time to use myself someday!!! LOL!!
These kind of comments are the reasons why kids are the best form of entertainment to us adults, especially if they are unaware we are listening. Your children are a fine example of this gift. Thank you!
Kids tattle. It’s a right of passage. Especially for siblings.
My daughter’s first grade teacher had a great sign in her room: Are You Tattling to Help or to Hurt?
Every time a kid came up to her she would point out the sign and ask them which category their tattling fell into. It didn’t take them long to “get” that Mrs. P. only wanted to know important things, like if Ryan was setting Susie’s hair on fire.
Okay, I really like that sign. I think I will need to post one in every room of the house! Also, when I was explaining to Bency about tattling I told him if a kid whips out a pocket knife and demands his child-safe scissors it is totally okay to tell the teacher…I will also mention the setting hair on fire too, to really drive the point home!!
They are not annoying, they are creative problem solvers! It may seem obnoxious now, but these are the leaders of tomorrow – I promise! And I just love the skillful way that your boy found to tell on his sister. Very clever.
LOL!!! Thank you for a shedding a positive light on this!!! I knew I was looking at it all wrong!!! LOL!! I’m going to hold you to this promise and if they don’t fulfill leadership positions by the year 2035…I’m tracking you down!!! LOL!!! Thanks for brightening my day!
He is too smart! What a clever way to get around the no tattling rule! Love it! (my kids are horrible about tattling too. it’s just a gift, I suppose.)
I don’t even know how a 5 year old brain can think like that…way too sneaky!! I’m scared what his “teenager” brain will be able to come up with!!! LOL!!!
mine are just the same! they always ask for snacks at anyones house! mind you so do most of the kids who come visit us! if you can’t get away with it when your a kid when can you? it must be the cute smiles!
I remember my mom giving me the same lecture about not asking for food. I followed it! Even when I was sure I would collapse of hunger I would have never thought to ask for food in fear that my mom would find out!!! Why aren’t kids scared anymore??!!! LOL!!!
i dunno! our parents must have been much stricter, yet strangely they let our kids off, how fair is that!
I think I’ll institutionalize the “No tattling rule” in my house. Though it probably wouldn’t last more than 10 minutes. Like you, my son and daughter are always in a tug-of-war over who did what to whom. At the end of the day, if they can withstand being told they “smell like pig food” then you know it’s just brotherly-sisterly love. Everyone has their own love language, right? 🙂
Oh yes, I decided I was taking it wayyyy too seriously!! You smell like pig food is just another way of saying “you’re a pretty cool kid!”
Hahahaha – too funny! I think the expectation of only slightly annoying and with PhDs is a fine goal. Personally I would be happy if my kids ended up with only one of the two (PhDs are so overrated anyway, right?) 😉
Oh yes!!! To be honest, slightly annoying and some form of income is totally okay with me! I hate to have too high of expectations and then be disappointed. If you set your standards low you can usually set yourself up for delight!!! LOL!!!
I real-life LOL-ed at this one! I totally agree with both your original goal, and the more realistic one of creating doctors that are only slightly annoying!!
Thanks for laughing!! I don’t know what to expect when it was only last year my daughter said she wanted to be a sheep when she grew up. I don’t care as long as they are polite, kind and not too annoying!!! LOL!
Funny and cute! I’ve just discovered your blog and I always smile when reading your stories. They so remind me of situations with my own children!
Oh thank you so much for reading!! I absolutely love my kids…they provide so many smiles and laughter!! I’m so happy you enjoyed!!!
No your approach should be adopted by every mum. MANNERS are never wasted. It is annoying if you see or have young ones visit and they don’t have any guidelines set down by their parents…or worse the parents just sit and smile at little Johnny who found a crayon and starts to mural across the lounge room wall. So keep doing what you are doing…they will love you for it in the end…trust me. 🙂
Oh trust me..I’m not giving up yet!!! If my child ever went to someone’s house and started drawing a mural on their wall…that would be the last time they ever saw a crayon!!! LOL!!!
Too funny. I love the way Bency’s mind works and “You smell like pig food.”? Yeah – that’s classic. What creative children you have!
My only parenting goal is to not have to pay for their therapy later…. 😉
Oh, that IS a magnificent goal…I’m crossing my fingers!!!! LOL!!!