PARENTING TIP II:
Learned from the book
As you already know Brian and I were foster parents and adopted children during that time in our life. Because of this, we attended monthly parenting classes for years. The knowledge learned from those classes, and the many books we were required to read, came in quite handy. The knowledge is still being used today in our home.
One of the interesting parenting tips we've kept in our parenting practice is our Rights and Privileges list. I get quite a few comments about the list by parents and children alike, because we have it posted on our refrigerator. It can be seen at all times as it is not just held in place by a magnet, it is taped to the fridge. :-)
"THE LIST" came about when our children were whining about not having this and not being able to do that thing or this thing. Yadda yadda...
They were in a perpetual state of entitlement for a while and I was just plain fed up with it.
I thank God that I was reading a book that answered my need for help. In the book I saw a list entitled
"RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES."
As I read it I realized that not only were my children over privileged, I too had become accustomed to overindulgence. I typed up a list of our own, taught a class to our children and the list became a permanent fixture in our home. It goes like this...
PRIVACY WHILE DRESSING, GOING POTTY AND BATHING
A SAFE AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
COLOR AND DECOR OF BEDROOM
BRAND, STYLE COLOR OF CLOTHES
WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE YOU EAT
SEEING DOCTOR ALONE
BRACES OR CONTACTS
PRIVACY WHILE DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN DRESSING OR BATHING
A PLACE TO BRING FRIENDS
YARD TO PLAY IN
USE OF BIKES
RIDING AROUND BLOCK
AIR CONDITIONING OR FAN
TIME WITH ANY INDIVIDUAL
CHOICES (CHANNELS, COLORS, FOODS, CLOTHES)
KIND OF MUSIC
Shocking? Does it make you think too? Yep, me too!
Some of the privileges took me by surprise in the book. I assumed that time with family members was a right but truly that is a privilege, as people do not HAVE to spend time with us whenever we want them to.
I was amazed at all the things I gave to our boys without them having to do chores or participate in our family in any real way. They had a sweet ride for a little while.
They were shocked to learn that some children do not have a yard because some live in apartments or even huts with their family. When I told them that Brian and I could turn the backyard into a hot tub, hammock swinging oasis for ourselves their attitudes changed mighty fast about mowing the lawn and picking up toys.
We talked about the fact that some children do not ever go to a movie theater or ride in a plane or boat.
Their eyes were actually watering as I showed them pictures of children in other countries and in our country standing by their homes. I told them about me; Growing up in a trailer for much of my life and that I never even realized I was poor because I had wonderful, loving parents. They perked up after that. :-)
Vinze: "You didn't have a real house!?"
Me: "The trailer was my house."
Vinze: "That's not a house!"
I had to crack up. He looked at me like I was from Mars.
That was a class worth having and the list is a daily reminder of how much we all have. It did work wonders with their attitude and the way they think about other children; Although, I think it may be time for a refresher as they've again let the yard go to toys but at least I know where to turn in order to curb the situation.
We all just plain and simply have enough.