Most days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I just hope and pray that we're not screwing up our kids in some way. Hubby and I take a more "old school" approach to parenting. We don't follow any books. We mostly try to remember what our parents did with us and go with that. Our families were very similar in parenting style and lifestyle, which makes it easier to be cohesive in our parenting. We feel like our parents were great parents with expectations, limits, and rules - if we can parent our children as well as they did us, then maybe we'll be on the right path.
So, what are the expectations right now in our house?
1. You sleep through the night. If our children wake up at during the night, we check on them to make sure they are ok, but there's no getting in our bed. There's no rocking them back to sleep. There's no mid-night snacks. But, if they aren't sick, it's back to sleep you go. And it works. They never wake up at night unless something is wrong.
2. Bedtime is bedtime and naptime is naptime. It's when we say it is and it's not open to debate. Little Man is allowed to "read" in bed, but he usually doesn't last long before he's out like a light.
3. You eat what's served for dinner or you don't eat at all. This does not yet apply to Baby Girl, she's only 7 months old and we're still introducing foods. But since the time that Little Man began eating "people" food for dinner, he's eaten what we eat. Result? He eats everything. He loves fruits and veggies. He tries new things. He's not a picky eater. He has gone to bed without eating much on occasion, but he has yet to starve to death and he will usually eat that meal the next time around.
4. If you get down from the table you're finished eating. There is no coming and going, playing and eating at the same time.
5. You DO NOT color/write on anything but paper. Not the table, not the floor, not the walls, not your sister. This lesson was learned yesterday. Little Man wrote on the wall. He spent some time in time-out and had to "help" clean it off the wall. This "rule" was added yesterday.
6. No standing on the furniture. No climbing on the back of the couches. No going on Brady's bed. This is for Brady's sake. He needs his own space. Right now our living room furniture is crappy, but someday we will replace it with nicer stuff and I want my children to already know how to respect things.
That's about it right now. It's going to be interesting to see how things develop as our children get older. We are trying very hard to be consistent. It can be so difficult when we're busy with Baby Girl or making dinner to stop what we're doing to show Little Man that he can't get away with things (i.e. This is his favorite time to test the limits - climb on things, get into things he shouldn't.) But we're trying and we know we're not perfect. We just hope our children will grow up to be respectful, considerate, independent adults. And we know we're going to need lots of help along the way! :)