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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What's good for the goose... good for the gander. Really?

Yes - to an with almost everything in life (except obeying God) - it depends.

Let me start with one that happens too often. Those three words we usually "demand" from children - "Please" and "Thank you." With how much time and diligence we take to teach our children these good manners, I cannot understand why we think our children do not deserve to hear the same words directed at them. Do you realize that what children experience in their daily lives is the best example and it embeds or even engraves whatever we are trying to teach them in their minds and lives?

The point is if it is good (& rightly so) for children to learn to and actually use the words "Please" and "Thank you," it's also good for adults to do the same. Personally, I learned to say "Please" and "Thank you" because of how often my mother said the same to me...they got hardwired in my vocabulary - till today.

Another example that comes to mind is cleaning up. We, especially mothers, spend a lot of time cleaning up after others. We clean up after our family, friends and even strangers - it's almost like a reflex activity. I find it funny that when you go to your children's schools they are allowed to play with whatever they want to that's in the class and required to put things away when they are done. So why can't that rule apply at home? I'll tell you why... When we announce play time is over, we start picking up the toys so our children move on and leave us to clean up. Afterall, why do the work if someone is already doing it?

Besides the sign on your left, I really like this one too...that's a great one to have when you have teenagers. Why should one person do the work of 2 or more people? I've heard people complain about doing a job for 2 people and being paid one person's salary - now that's another topic altogether. The point is, if you clean up after yourself, your children should also be taught to do the same. And we need to be consistent in that expectation. In fact, they grow older they should be taught to clean up after us too...roles reversal:-)

Another example that comes to mind - which was what inspired me to write on this topic is Vacation. Shortly after they started their summer vacation, one morning my youngest child asked me if I was going to work. When I answered in the affirmative, my oldest child said, "That's not fair." "What's nor fair?" I asked. Their semi synchronized response amused me - "You should be on vacation like we are." So I had to explain that adults don't have 2-month vacations like they do, so they better enjoy it...I went on to tell them I'd be on vacation later - sometime during their vacation. Later on, I pondered: "Is what is good for the goose also and/or really good for the gander?" Again, I'll say: I guess not always but when it comes to having vacation, we all need some time to rest - and for parents, it's great if that can coincide with when your children are home too. You may not be able to afford 2 months off but even 2 weeks of quality time as a family is without a doubt good for the "goose" and "gander." Take time to take time off...

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