Mom Sense

Parenting 101

The only degrees I claim for this page are:  M.O.M and EXP (experience).

If you want to be a good parent, find parents around you who are doing a good job of parenting.  Then ask them how they make it work.  Or ask some grandparents who did it right with their kids.  They can give you some good insights on this parenting thing.

I had a friend who asked me once what I’d do differently if I could do it all over again.  Hmmmmm . . . . now that’s something to think about.

I did think about it – and here are some things I learned over the years.  I’m sharing them, not because we always did it right, but because if we had followed these principles more diligently, we’d have done a better job.  I hope these building blocks will help you, too.

Keep checking back.  I’ll be adding to this page.


Building Blocks of Parenting


Number 1

1.  Be a parent first.  Every parent wants to be liked by his/her child, but being popular is not the goal.  Be a parent first.

2.  Choose discipline, consequences, and rewards because you’re the parent,  not the friend. Be a parent first.

3.  No matter what, I will always be the parent.  My “discipline” needs to reflect that.  Don’t let your kids make you feel guilty for being the parent and not the friend when it is time to deal out consequences.  Be a parent first.


Number 21.  I can be my child’s friend – second.  Sometimes I’m their friend, and sometimes I’m not.

2.  Being a friend connects me with my child – but should not detract from my parenting.  Making memories is fun and important, and we did that a lot.  Friends make memories.

3.  Yet – whether it’s deciding on a gift, a visit to a friend’s house, cell phone usage or an activity, we need to choose because of principle and not because of popularity.

4.  Ask yourself:  why am I saying (yes, no) to this request?



Number 3

1.  There are 3 Ds that need to be defeated.  These 3Ds are: dishonesty, disobedience, and disrespect.

2.  I wish I would have sorted through these earlier.  Once I figured out that, if the infraction wasn’t one of these three, then it wasn’t a hill to die on, life was easier in our house.  I think if we win the battles on the 3 Ds, we will win the war.

3.  The sooner you start, the better.  Waiting only makes it harder on yourself and your kids.  If your child is old enough to be dishonest, be disobedient or show disrespect, then he is old enough to experience consequences.  Period.  Plus,  your kids will be prepared for life – whether it’s regarding relationships or responsibilities.

 ABC cropped 2


When you’re frustrated with disciplining and consequences, when you’re not sure the method you’ve chosen is working, or when you wonder if there’s a better way or a consequence that will better get their attention, here are some ABCs for consideration.

aaaaa 2Ask yourself:  Is this a hill worth dying on? If it is, then do battle until you’ve won.  If it’s not, then call a truce. Maybe you’ll need to admit to your child that this isn’t working and you’ll come up with another plan. Sometimes calling a time-out until you can figure out what to do will provide grace and save face (for both of you). A few times I gave grace and we started over with a clean slate.  I used that opportunity to explain what grace is. Obviously, he learned what grace felt like because he was experiencing it right then! Claiming the hills you’ll die on helps keep you focused in the right direction. Giving in when it’s not a I’ll die on this hill makes life easier. Plus, it’s a win-win for everyone.




BBBBB 2Be sure to make the punishment fit the crime.  Before dealing threats and consequences, figure out a consequence that fits the crime.  Match ‘em up. I surely failed at this those first years! If your child keeps turning on DVDs  without permission,  time-out or a spanking* won’t send the message like turning the DVD off for a day. Of course, it’s easier to put a kid in time out or give a spanking than to listen to him complain the rest of the day.  He shouldn’t complain, but you can nix that complaining by adding a day onto the consequence. You can be sure the next time she thinks about putting in a DVD without permission, she’ll remember what happened the last time.   It’s true that sometimes a child will repeat the infraction just to see if you remember or if you will really follow through.  Don’t disappoint him.  Remember: you’re the parent.



ccccc 2Comradery and Communication:  Working alongside a child when he’s young is better than sending him to do a job by himself i.e. raking leaves, dusting and vacuuming a room, washing dishes after a meal. It gives time for chatting and communication. You get the job done together and you connect with your child. It’s a time when being your child’s friend is a positive thing. Hanging up clothes on the clothes line was one of my favorite ways to nab a kid for some one-on-one time.  Working side-by-side brought secrets to light better than trying to get a child to tell me over a glass of iced tea what was troubling him. Together, we sorted life’s problems, one load at a time.  Plus, working alongside your child gives you an opportunity to model cheerfulness in a daunting task as well as showing him how to get a job done so that it’s done well.  This is one time when “show, don’t tell” is important.


 *Oh.  You’re wondering about spankings?  We’ll talk about that later. Stay tuned.