Dogs, Babies. They’re All The Same.

by Cookie

I’m not sure that this is going to qualify as a HOTTF post.  Maybe we can just give me a break because each day that I gestate, my IQ drops 2-3% lower.

But I read a lot of parenting articles.  Not because I really follow a lot of other people’s advice, but because I’m curious about how everyone else survives the shitty moments.  How the rest of you decide on rules and boundaries and discipline.  I like to watch on the sidelines and make mental notes about how not to raise an asshole.

And as I read and observe, I am starting to come to the same conclusion over and over again.

We are making life way too fucking complicated.

I have an uncle who always raised dogs.  And the dogs tended to be obedient and good-natured and well trained.  So I asked him one day what his secret was to raising such easygoing, pleasant pets.  And his answer was really simple.

Just spend time with them.

And you know what?  I think he is absolutely right.  And I think it applies to our children as well.

I mean really, what is the biggest difference between this generation and a couple of generations ago?  Time.  Family dynamic.  Supervision.  Imaginative play.  Free play.

Now, in our busy lives, we are always looking for “30 minute meal ideas”, or instructions on how to raise a kind or compassionate child.

Here’s a 30 minute meal idea:  Defrost chicken.  Add sauce.  Bbq said chicken.  Toss salad.  Cut bread.

Seriously.  Do we need an entire article describing to people how to keep life simple?  They key to keeping it simple is to stop thinking/worrying/wandering helplessly about while your kids are in the video game abyss and just make it simple.  Right?  Or am I being entirely too optimistic?

I am guilty of allowing my child to watch too much tv, I think.  I’m not sure exactly what to do about it.  I wonder if there is a plan somewhere to help me wean my child off of the tv and teach them to be happy playing outside or colouring.

Or I could just turn the fucking thing off and pay attention to her.  Take her for a walk.  Or to the park.

So anyway.  I think I will raise my children the way I raise my dogs:

1.  I am in charge.  Non-negotiable.

2. I will spend lots of time with them.  Just hanging out.  Making myself available.  Making them feel supported and secure.

3.  I will say no and correct them.  Sometimes they won’t like it.

4.  They will eat what I feed them, whether it is from the 30 minute list of things kids will eat or not.

5.  I will keep it simple, so they always know what is expected.

What do you think?   Do we go too far to get this parenting thing right?  Or is it necessary in this age?

Can we just make rules that need to be followed and consequences that are given out when these rules are broken?  Can we spend a little less time in the car chauffeuring our children to spend time with other people and allow them to just be kids a while longer?  Can happiness come from simplicity?

I sure hope so.