Look, I know saying no can be real hard (trust me!) and anyone who's had to explain to a 2 year-old that, no, "real live" ponies do not sleep in big girl beds, would probably agree.[cringe]
Then, my kids started getting older and, well, I seemed to have forgotten what it was like...making them happy, I mean.
"But, So-and-So goes to Disney every summer!"
From something as simple as buying clothes and video games, to being invited to elaborate birthday parties and watching our neighbors take out small loans, just so that their kids can have that dream wedding...er...I mean, sweet sixteen?
In my experience, walking that fine line between cheap and frugal, for quite a few years now, overindulgence isn't the problem.
"You NEVER let me do...go...get...anything I want!!!"
It's the guilt that beats down my parenting mojo, every time!
I have the extreme pleasure of being the 1st stop on the TLC Book Tour for March 2010, featuring Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me, by Donna Corwin.
So, who's in charge at your house?
In our house, I'm the good cop and my husband, Garth [not his real name] is the one who is all, like, "Not a chance!"
Truth be told, I am NOT a big fan of "how-to" or "how-not-to" books, unless it's cookbook and, even then, if a recipe has more than 5 steps, I'm all out, or take the kids to my mom's house for dinner.
Same goes for my parenting, I guess. I tend to focus on my own childhood experiences (the good, the bad and the Holy Hannah Montana, what were you thinking, after all, I was only a child?) in nearly every aspect of raising my kids.
Having said that (out loud) it's sometimes very difficult for me NOT to indulge my children in a little self-involved behavior, or (coming from a household where my parents worked all the time, just to make ends meet) raising a large family, isn't it perhaps understandable to think (to myself) "Did I give enough?"
So, I sat down with Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me, fully expecting the author, Donna Corwin (psssst, she's the very trendy looking laydy with the cute shoes, over there, on the left) to tell me exactly what I've been doing wrong, all these years.
Then, I whipped out my highlighter.
"We tend to parent much like our parents and their parents before them."
Uh-oh, here we go.
"We either embrace or reject these negative effects."
Oh, wait, I see where the author is going -- still, I'm afraid, because, these days, no matter what I do, I will, undoubtedly, end up feeling like a bad parent, anyway.
"If there are unhealthy interactions and poor bonding, this can carry over from one generation to the next."
Aaaand, that is the sad truth of it -- then, I continued reading and, you know what, maybe I'm not as bad as I thought.
"It is important to break from negative patterns of conditional behavior from your own childhood."
Okay, great, but how do you separate the inner-child from the parent? Here's a quick outline that resonated with me:
- Don't be too hard on yourself - you are trying to become a better parent.
- Define what you want to change - For instance, I want to stop being critical of my child every time he gets a grade lower than an A.
- Let things go - Do not focus on every negative aspect of your behavior or your child's.
- Don't be defensive - Your child may annoy you to get your attention. You are the adult. find out what she really wants.
- Be aware of your actions - Chart how many times a day you display positive and negative behavior toward your child.
FINAL VERDICT: So, who is this book really about, raising a child, or a parent? Both, I think. Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me is not only about reversing entitlement attitudes, but it shows parents (like me) that it's never too late to break bad habits, or unhealthy patterns. It also provides self-evaluation tools to help organize parenting priorioties, in teaching our children to be responsible and respectful adults and, in turn, maybe it will happen to us parents, too. Which, makes Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me an invaluable resource for both new moms and dads, as well as the seasoned parent, who's still learning, like me.
Take a look at the TLC Tour Schedule to read what other book reviewers have to say about Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me.
The publisher has kindly offered to send two (2) of our readers a copy of Give Me, Get Me, Buy Me to keep in your parenting library/arsenal, as well.
Because, we roll like that.
U.S. and Canada Only, Please.
FIND IT HERE: Amazon.com (associate link)
GET IT HERE: To enter, leave a comment below, like, a parenting challenge you are facing [for me, it's feeling as if I'm giving each of my kids enough of my attention!] along with a valid email address on this post by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 9th and you're automatically entered to win. Two (2) winners will be picked (via random.org) and announced via email and posted on My Prizey Giveaways Page!
'CAWSE WE LOVE TO SHARE & SOME EXTRA CHANCES TO WIN, TOO:
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Good luck and wake me up when, you know, ALL the snow melts!
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[No payment, or other consideration, besides a copy of the book for review and a chance to share with my readers, was received for this post]