What I teach (and would teach) my kids, based on the following age groups:
- Don’t sleep any time you decide – sleep starts after 8pm, nap once before that. Go to bed, close your eyes and don’t wake up until mom&dad are rested and ready for another insane day. (Yeah, that’s like asking a toddler to cook coq au vin, change his sister’s diaper and have a cigarette after he’s done).
- Don’t hide in the cupboard, it’s not funny.
- Don’t put anything around your neck – especially, don’t wrap it around your neck! What’s with kids always putting things around their necks? For that matter, don’t put things around your sister’s neck, either.
- Don’t eat the cat food! Why is it so hard to make you eat yours, but for the cat food you’re first to go and attack?
- Don’t lick or chew on your shoes.
- Don’t put anything in your mouth that mom or dad, or another sane human being hasn’t given you,!
- Especially, don’t eat (the list may require binding): soil, cigarette buds, pebbles, paper, worms, snails, leaves (why don’t you ever eat your greens when they’re cooked for you?), plastic, toys, books, the TV remote, the AC remote, any other remote, telephone, or gadget, anything small and found on the floor in someone’s house, in your own house – or worse – on the street.
- Don’t ever drink the water from the water spout – my son almost did that. It rained heavily and while I was carrying my daughter, my son – strutting along all cheery, registered the wonderful phenomenon of rainwater gushing out of a water spout. Quick as a cricket, he bent to reach it with his mouth, ready to have a gulp, to which I hollered like someone was pulling my nails – he was stopped on time!
- Don’t eat your boogie mans. Or, as my son would say, your “moogie bans”.
- Don’t bargain with your parents. They won’t give in to tricks like, crying, wining, rolling on the floor, hitting, throwing, shouting, sulking, hiding. It’s still up to them to decide if you’ll have a sweet, if you’ll sleep in their bed, if you can stay up late on your birthday, if you can go out to the park, if you can have that toy. They’ll decide for whatever their silly reasons, and not because of your tantrums. Those who give in on toddler tantrums are chickens!
- Don’t spit your food – it’s never funny. Mess for mommy is never funny!
- If you don’t want to swallow whatever it is you’re chewing, don’t spit it in your water glass – that’s so gross! And I can still see you.
- Don’t play with the bread – you have your toys to play with. Don’t play with anything that’s to eat. Just eat it or leave the table.
- Don’t come crawling in mom’s and dad’s bedroom. You’ll be reminded of that on your first real date!
- Stay still! Can you, for one minute???Just sit still without wiggling in your seat, climbing on your chair or on the table, hanging on your chair, throwing things. Stuffing things in your nose or in your sister’s nose; plastering the wall with food, checking what’s under your food. Just sit. Sit still on the chair for one minute!
For the parents of 0 to 3 year-olds?
BREATHE! Keep going.
“don’t” list for those, is next, right?
Well, I’ll have to catch up on that in a few years :)). But you’re welcome to give me your don’t lists!