I have read A LOT of parenting books. A LOT. "Duct Tape Parenting" by Vicki Hoefle is one of my favorites. I recommend it, I refer to it, heck I even give it as gifts. It's practical and funny, just like Vicki and guess what?! She's coming to DC!
I share with you two anecdotes to wet your whistle. . . .
A room full of parents were asking Vicki about kids cleaning their rooms. You know, groaning about how the children don't put their stuff away and the parent is paralyzed with indecision about how to handle it. Direct(ish) from Vicki Hoefle's mouth she up and says, "It's your crap, you bought it, you clean it up, you put it in the little bins." WHAT?! It was a shocking moment of clarity! Virtually ALL of the stuff in their rooms is ours. It's OUR crap. We bought it. We gave it to them. Do you guys need a minute to digest this? Let it sink in? We do not have to categorize, label and containerize all that junk. We just don't. We can give it away, throw it away, sell it on e-bay. This is going to mean something different to all of you. I know, I know, confusing, stressful. I ask you to simply try it on, look in the mirror, spin around. How does it feel to NOT be beholden to all the junk in their room? Does it make your derriere look cuter? Is it flattering? Is it too powerful for little ole' nice you?
Vicki recounted her families morning routine and how she handed over ownership to her children. At one point during the years long process (yes, it does take years for a human to learn how to get ready and out of the house on time and prepared -- some grown-ups are still working on it!) her kids asked her to take her coffee and stay in her room so she wouldn't be tempted to comment, give advice, share a nifty tip. Say WHAT?! Here's what I got out of this anecdote -- I can be a slightly bossy, loving, a teeny bit controlling and filled with good ideas Mom AND I can practice this kind of parenting. I don't have to have a personality transplant to try any of these techniques.
I hope to hear more fun and useful anecdotes AND to see you there on November 20th. Let's get ready to learn and laugh.