Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Little Motherly Advice

To Beans, my 9-year-old daughter:

“I’m afraid you’re just going to have to memorize the 12 times tables. There’s not a little trick to figuring them out. I’ll help you with the flashcards.”

To Bug, my 14-year-old son:

“You can’t control anyone else’s behavior, just your own. If Loula Belle doesn’t want to hear about your golf game, you just need to say, ‘Okay.’ And walk away. Saying, ‘Of course you don’t. You never want to talk with me,’ won’t make her more likely to listen the next time. If you want to get along better with her, you just have to focus on what you can control, and NOT talk about her behavior. That’s my job. ”

To Loula Belle, my 12-year-old daughter:

“I’ve been watching, and I’ve noticed that when you’re around your friends or cousins, you’re a lot nicer; more cheerful and talkative. But when you’re just around our family, you’re actually quite snobbish. You know what ‘snobbish’ means, right? Well, it’s not okay to treat us like you’re better than us. The fastest way to improve behavior is to change your . . . (Lou says, ‘attitude.’) That’s right. You need to stop thinking of your family members as annoying and start thinking about the qualities that make them unique; what kinds of nice things they do for you. Then you’ll automatically start treating us nicer. Oh, and by the way, I’ll be watching over the next couple of days, and if I don’t see an improvement, you’ll be grounded from hanging out with friends.”


Flashlight Girl said...

Isn't being the mother fun? Well, sort of. Just for the record, I have very similar conversations with a 12 yr old gal that lives at my house. Her family (read brothers) is beyond annoying and her mother is way too motherly. Rats for her. You sound like you know what you are do though. Good job!

Science Teacher Mommy said...

You are way nice. After five years of tutoring math I think I'm going to make my kids memorize them up to the 15's. :)

Allie's Antics said...

You sound very calm and understanding. Usually our conversations are a little more "high-pitched" for added emphasis. Good for you! And, I am loyal to Hyde Park. Simply because they have shade!!

Heidi A. said...

Loula Belle must be doing better because the friends played very well together today. Mine was much more pleasant as well. They spent hrs. building box houses complete with furniture and accent pieces. These were all for their 'littlest pet shop' characters who then wed. It was cute and..... nice that friends got along so well.
It must be a parenting thing as we all seem to have some of the same issues and ....for some reason, it always looks easier for everyone else. :)