Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No negotiations!

Every parent can certainly agree with me that bringing up a child is nothing like ABC. Some people sail through parenthood more easily than others, while some others are tested almost throughout. Of course there are also the in-betweens. That's probably where I am.
Parents often sit down comparing notes and sharing anecdotes of their growing up children. New mothers share their anxiety over engorged bosoms, sleepless nights, wailing bald heads and the simple debate of to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. It soon develops through a series of milestones: first tooth (and how much it hurts nursing Mums - Ow!!)/step/word/birthday to first day at kindy/school. As they grow older, the challenge is more mentally exhausting than physical - how do I make him sleep in his own bed, should I let her have it, or just the more obvious, how do I say NO to him without feeling guilty and him rebelling?

As a single parent, I find that one of the most trying things I have had to deal with is when I have to say NO to the children. You really feel like a baddy when you're almost forever responding NO to their questions or requests (especially when you're the only adult they ask permission from). In the past, I had wriggled myself out of sticky situations by occasionally directing the children to their dad, Go ask Abah...

Believe it or not, the children are often testing us by seeing how flexible and easily persuaded we are. Surely, it's all in the How to bring up your child handbook, and even on TV - Stoppard, Thomas, Supernanny, Nanny 911, etc. The rule of the thumb is to be firm and to remain consistent. Easier said than done.

Hence, the slogan that goes in the house nowadays is as the title goes: NO NEGOTIATIONS!

If mummy says we're coming home at 3pm, that's what we're going to do - nobody negotiates for an extra 5-10 minutes.

If mummy says we're sleeping over at a friend's for 1 night, that's what we're going to do - nobody negotiates for an extra night.


If mummy says they can play their X-box on weekends on school holidays only, that's what they're going to abide to - nobody should ask on a weekday.

It isn't easy but I think we're getting there. Once the rule is established and everyone respects it, I believe everyone will be happier and less stressful (moi! moi!).

Before this, we went through the concept of appreciating time; that there was time for each activity. When it was time to play, then everyone should go all out and enjoy themselves (without needing to negotiate for extra time later!). When it was time to eat, everyone eats without any interruptions (no TV, movie, and those never-ending yakety yaks). When it was reading moment, everyone gets a hardcopy of some reading material to indulge in.

These sort of slogans will InsyaAllah help me with my daily responsibilities. So watch out kids, with Mama there are just No negotiations!!

16 comments:

somuffins said...

Salam. This is so very true "As they grow older, the challenge is more mentally exhausting than physical".

Oldstock said...

Salam D,

In my house, the `Go ask Abah' is the dreaded response my kids would not want to hear from their mom. And my wife uses this to good effect, especially when the kids want to ask for something of value.

And when my kids come to me, I would ask them back, `Give me five reasons why you want it?' Actually, it doesn't matter to me what those 5 reasons are. I just want to train them to think and how to put value on things.

I wish you the best with your No Negotiations rule. Hope it works out.

Naz said...

D,
Tell me about it! Sometimes they would try the *so and so have it, why can't i have it too*, *so and so were allowed by the parents to do this and that, why can't i get to do those things too* etc etc etc.
I no longer use the *because I say so* because it sounds too oommph-less (!) and pointless. So now I resort to a short explanation and that was it..take it or leave it. no looooonnnng pujuk pujuk, trying to make sense (during which time they too would try to make us see sense and let them do what they wanted to do in the first place). As you said, firm and consistent.it is easier said than done but once we get the hang of it, i believe we're on our way :)

D said...

somuffins,
hope it won't drive me mental!

oldstock,
5 reasons? I sometimes let them give me only 3. Yes, reasoning we must, eh? Tapi penat la... They actually know the answer but just want to test the limits. :(


naz,
*giggle* "because I say so!" - this I never really tried but funnily there was a time when the youngest one asked but I just sighed and kept silent after a battery of "whys?", and the sis said, "no, because Mama says so!" LOL.

Kak Elle said...

D its hard rite?but ha ve to be firm too:)

Ummi365 said...

It's tough to say NO. and to remain consistent with our decision. some days hati i lembut i bagi, some days hati i keras, i tak bagi.. urghhh.... that is when they tell me, ohh hari tu abang boleh, hari tu kakak boleh.. arghhh kena batang hidung sendiri kan.. hehehe

Raden Galoh said...

My boys know I'm the hardest to please one in the house and they always use their daddy to be the mid-man but now the situation changed, the daddy doesn't like the role so he would just utter go ask Mommy if the boys have some funny ideas on their own... hehehe

I'm pretty strict too with TV and games... sleeping time must be at 10pm on weekdays, I banned(retracted its subscription) cartoon network from the cable TV because one of them woke up in the mid of the nite and switched on the program.

One has to remind the other, so if one makes a mistake, both kena penalty... kejam tak tu sis?

I believe we have sincere intention and we want good things for them... it's hard but we have to do it... nama pun tanggungjawab ye tak?

littlemuffins said...

D,

Betul betul.. once we have laid out the rules.. NO NEGOTIATIONS!!

My hsbnd always says to the kids..
"tak tau.. tanya mummy.. mummy will decide everything.. "

grr... mummy la yg kena decide most of the time!

Ms B said...

Eh, come to think of it, when I'm tired being questioned, I use "because i say so" too. *grins*

There is always guilt that comes along whenever we try to make our stand. Never easy but we (both parent and children) learn to compromise.

mamasita said...

hahaha
Kids are adorable..they never give up. Don't forget to try " we'll see".
When I said that to my children long ago..they said that means "no".

Anonymous said...

Whoahahahahahaha....Yo Mrs D - YOUR RULE RAWKS!!! Lurve the spunky attitude

Cheers/marina

n.i. said...

I agree!!! hehehe coz mama will always be the BOSS!!!! hehehe

btw, answering ur Q, u.c. belongs to me & my sis hehehe

KC said...

my fave words when my doters cant get what they want is - "because i said so..." muahahaha!

Anonymous said...

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中醫減重
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中醫減重
中醫減重
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
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Anonymous said...

中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
中醫減重
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿
花蓮民宿

Juli Herman said...

k D, nice..i like this!