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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
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At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

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« Here I am! Here! | Main | Just trying to be hip to the vernacular, is all. »
Saturday
Nov172007

And knowing is half the battle

Scott and I sometimes… grapple verbally with Henry, and usually these fights—excuse me, I mean enlightening encounters—revolve around the following problems:

1. He will not comply with our demands no matter how many times we issue them;

2. He will demand something of us and keep demanding, no matter how long we try to fend him off.

Wrap your minds around those for a minute, and then marvel at how two adults can rationalize being correct on both issues. And yet we can! Because we are raging hypocrites, you see. And we think it's okay as long as we know that we are.

Reader Comments (18)

Ok, I know giving unsolicited advice is a bit of a parental faux pas, BUT... have you read How To Talk So Children Will Listen, and Listen so Children Will Talk? It's got a great chapter on fostering cooperation in the child, it might help with problem #1.
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarcy
I'm impressed at your mental stamina. If I were in your shoes, I'd probably be looking up Swiss boarding schools at this point. Let the neutral Swiss deal with your polarized child! :-P Just kidding. I know you'd never ship off your son. Is it too early to start threatening the lump of coal on Christmas morning?
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Marcy, oh sure, I read that. So I *know* what to do, I just don't actually do it.
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteralice
Enjoy the hypocrisy now because when he's a teenager he will have totally caught on and won't let it go without pointing it out to you. You will then find yourself using the phrase "Because I said so" and "I'm still your parent" I hate it when they're right.



November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNancy King
This just shows Henry's strength of mind and general intelligence! It will all work out!
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl
I agree with Maui Girl. When I'm in the heat of the problem I curse their tenacity. Later, I'm grateful they're not doormats and that they'll grow up to be fiesty. Compliant is boring, don't you think?
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicki
I am a nanny, and have just started using the phrase "Because I asked you to" with the oldest child I care for. Because, you know, that's SOOOOOOO different from "Because I said so."
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
I agree with Maui Girl. When I'm in the heat of the moment I curse their tenacity. But later I'm grateful that they're not doormats. I want them to be fiesty adults - compliant is so boring, don't you think?
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterNicki
This is like the spanking so they don't hit thing. Makes little sense but works.
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersuperblondgirl
I am not a parent but I AM the 29 year old sister of a 14 year old girl...so if I remember correctly (as far as parent-child or young adult sister-child relations are concerned), your demands are probably waaaay more rational than his. Who cares about the hypocrisy. Yay hypocrisy!!! I support you!!
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBria
Eh, you're the parent. I don't see a contradiction. :) I have a feeling that John Rosemond would be of use here. Conveniently enough, the quote of the day on his website says this for Nov 18th:

"If, because your parents said it a lot when you were a child, you can't bring yourself to say "because I said so," try "because decisions of this sort can only be made by grown-ups" or "because I am the parent, you are the child." Same difference."

Cool, eh? Go, finslippy!
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarie
It's both fascinating and horrifying to realize that everything they know, we have taught them.

I am not comfortable with that amount of power.

Have you read any of Mary Sheedy Kucinka's books yet? I think it's time.
November 17, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjozet at Halushki
You have to be a raging hypocrite to be a parent.
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAll Adither
Well, it gets better after they move out on their own ;)
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo
I don't think there's anything wrong with being a hypocrite as long as you admit it. Kinda like with double standards, as long as you admit it's a double standard, most people won't really argue back too much on the matter.
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLori
My kind of hypocrisy, to be sure!
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterpatois
Did you make the G.I. Joe reference intentionally? I use the "...and knowing is half the battle" line quite a bit and am dismayed by how few people get me. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with two younger brothers. I also impressed my son by knowing all the names of the Turtles.

And I'm glad there are other hypocrites out there - I feel so much less alone now!
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCheri
My son has learned that if he asks me for anything 24 times, I will eventually either give up (I know, I know) or send him to his room. He's usually willing to take the chance on the punishment because, hey, there's trains in there.
November 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSue

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