Friday, May 24, 2013

{Friendship Friday } different strokes for different folks

My kids are at an age where they're questioning things a lot.

When they were little, they didn't have the verbal skills to do so but those eyes said it all.

I remember when we'd be out and see other kids who were walking around with dummies. They'd give me The Look as if to say, "how come they're allowed to have their dummies during the day but we can't?"

Now they outright ask me why other kids are allowed lots of sweets, etc.

My ex-boss once told me her son said the same thing to her (but loud in front of other people - fortunately random people, not friends), "Mommy (they say Mommy, not Mummy), why do those mothers allow their kids to have so many sweets?"

She said she about died of embarrassment but she's quick with responses so was able to recover in time.

My standard response is... "in our family, we ______". For the sweets, "in our family, we only allow sweets as a treat now and again" and I refer them to the food triangle with the verrrrry tippy top of the triangle for "non-nutritional food".

Connor's said to me in Clicks before, "when we're big, can we have as many sweets as we like?" and I've replied, "you CAN but Daddy and I hope you'll make better choices than that" :)

and the ladies in the queue smile to themselves.


I get the same questions at church about why other kids are walking on chairs and so on (confession - this is one of my pet peeves and I absolutely don't allow it)...

I've seen when we're around my friends' kids how those kids' eyes get big when they hear me remind my two of our family rules. I have lots of rules about eating and how they eat.

And actually, that paid off a few weeks back because an elderly couple in the restaurant leaned over and told me how well-mannered and pleasant my kids are!

My tip - as we're driving wherever, I say, "now babies, when we get to the restaurant, what kind of behaviour do we expect?"

And they tell me everything - bums on chairs, eating nicely, no tantrums, listen nicely.

What are some of your rules that your friends don't have?
How have you explained them to your kids?

PS I have nothing planned for the weekend except a date with D. I do want to drive past a tree I've been drooling over.... to get some pics of the leaves, and of my feet in the leaves.

Here's how I know I'm crazy: last week I actually considered pulling over, tossing the bag of leaves in my car and driving away so I could toss the leaves in my garden and take MILLIONS of gorgeous autumn pics!

What are your weekend plans?


  1. Bwahahaha!!! Anything for a great photo...I love it!!!

    You probably know I have my standard line, "Different people have different rules, and that's OK for them." The girls know very well what that means. I'll sometimes continue with a reminder about what *our* rules are in a given situation.

    I was just having this conversation with a blog friend a couple of days ago. Going out to eat with other kids, in particular, can be a bit scary to me. KNOCK ON WOOD, our girls are so well-behaved...I want to be so careful not to open them to too many bad influences! ;) So far - KNOCK ON WOOD again - they've held their own in restaurants, even when their friends are sometimes doing things the girls aren't allowed to do.

    With food, we talk about that a little differently. I have told them many times how Mommy and Daddy work very closely with Dr. F (their paed), and we also study a lot of information ourselves. We know what's good for our bodies and their bodies, and that's what we are teaching them. "Other people may not have the same information we do, and they may make different choices. We know what's best for our bodies, though, and that's what we follow." In the case of fast food...or sugar...or fried foods...whatever...I think there is a "right" and "wrong". Of course we talk about moderation, especially with sweets, but I want the girls to understand it's not just a matter of "different rules", but that we are making certain choices because they are better for us.

    It's happened a couple of times recently, when the girls had some kind of extra-sweet snack at some point. Baby A has said - completely out of the blue - "I won't have any more sweets today, because I've already had enough." That's my girl!!!

  2. My weekend plans = study supervision and testing and a birthday party tonight.

    For the most part, our friends have similar rules to us so it hasn't been a problem except very occasionally. I am an avoider at times like this. IF there are huge differences then I just make sure that our kids never mix. I have a friend who likes to give her kid a glass of wine with each meal. He's Joshua's age. Well. My friend and I now socialise. He hasn't seen the boy for a very long time.

  3. We are studying! We did have a soccer match and a party today but now we are home and studying (well kids are on a break now).

    I can't think of one rule now that sticks out - I am too preoccupied with my gaggle of geese to notice much around me most of the time!

  4. Lesley1:03 am

    I have rules around food as well. One of them is not eating lots of snacks between meals. I really think small children only have small tummies and if they are given food before meals they are not going to want to eat dinner. This has worked really well for us - all the children LOVE food and eat all the meals they are given - no problem. (I also do not cook separate food for the children, we all eat the same). However, some of my Irish friends think this is very 'harsh' - their kids are always eating between meals. If they offer my child something he will look at me to see if it is ok with me - i can tell they think I'm a meanie. Often i will let him have something, but then they offer him something ELSE! Then i have to say 'no, he's had enough, thank you' - funnily enough none of my children have questioned our approach to food.
    I also have strong rules about dating, that my friends would probably think are totally archaic (and the oldest two know them)- you have that to look forward to Marcia : ) xx

  5. Hey there! We have MANY of the same rules (except the whole sugar thing...I deprived as a child and I am trying a different technique on my kids to see if by not making it a "treat" if it help eliminate the over indulgence of it??? I'll keep you posted...LOL!)Many of my friends and I share the same parenting expectations and for those that don't they know that when they are at my home, MY rules apply to all kids...I guess they like me enough 'cuz they still keep coming over...LOL!

  6. This hasn't really come up for us that much...guess I'm on the lenient side of the scale. ;-)

  7. for the most part i think that we're around other kids/families with very similar rules. there are times, however, that some kid is acting up and one of my kids will say to me: "we don't jump on couches, right mommy?" and i'll say, "that's right, but we can only control ourselves, we don't control that person." i have started trying to make a lot of their choices more internal lately: "i know you'll make the right choice" and walking away. usually it works and the kid will pick up/go potty/eat/whathaveyou without any excess drama.

    you never know. i just try to be consistent. and, of course, safety is non-negotiable :)

  8. What's really great is our big family friends have a lot of the same rules as we have. It was really difficult when the family was visiting in March as their rules are so very different. It took a good 2 weeks to get ours to grasp they have to eat their meals before treats are in stall at all.

    What is really cool too is that A's BFF parents seem to have the same value set too so we have not had too many issues. The boys really do not have friends they see without us so its still ok.

    But it's simple- we have OUR rules which we discuss the reasons for, and they remain the rules.

  9. Cat tells me you have lovely little ones and they have impecable I would say your house rules are working. I love the last photos of Connor's hands.

  10. I'm pretty strict about certain behaviors- I expect everyone to sit at the table and eat, etc- so that way when we're out in public they don't think to do anything else. Dessert is a treat here.

    But then there's other stuff I'm pretty lenient about as well. If my kids are noisy, I can easily tune it out, and I think that's just from having so many kids doing things at once. I have certain family members that can't deal with the noise and will scold them when to me they're just playing.

  11. Sweets are a treat in our family too. They get more from their grandparents than us. Manners are very important (please, thank you, may I be excused). I need to get them to eat with a fork and spoon more.


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