So, How’s That Working Out for You?


On this blog I talk a lot about my bad parenting strategies and experiences, those things I’ve tried with the toddlers that seemed like a good idea at the time but didn’t work out like expected.

The results of my bad parenting techniques become embarrassingly obvious when we’re around parents that are the age parents should be when they have young children like I do and you compare my kids behavior to theirs. And it becomes even more embarrassing when it’s your own family!

My grown kids have always maintained that grandparents are not good parents. Whether or not that’s true (read this blog and find out), I maintain that I’m one of the best grandparents around. As a grandparent my job is to tell my grandchildren “Yes” and it’s their parents’ job to tell them “No.” And, I’m extremely good at my job!

“I feared from your fondness of him, that he would be too much humored, and perhaps spoiled.”

–Benjamin Franklin in a letter to wife, Deborah, about grandson Benny

Obviously, the “Yes” technique can create some disciplinary difficulties when a sensational grandparent starts raising grandchildren as a parent. You can see why some of my parenting strategies or plans for the kids don’t work out as they should.

So, let me tell you about two recent experiences I’ve had involving some of Kaleb and Kenzie’s aunts and uncles and cousins that didn’t go exactly as I planned (I hate it when my kids are right).

Here’s the first experience that may not have worked out as planned, but you can decide for yourself:

We recently made a trip to visit our family in another state because I wanted the toddlers to meet and get to know some of our extended family. One evening we went out to eat at a restaurant with my nephew and niece and their families.

Now, this nephew and his wife are the parents of four boys and this niece and her husband are the parents of three girls? Yes, seven young children between them! So they certainly know something about parenting.

I was hesitant about taking the toddlers to a busy restaurant because they aren’t that good about staying in their seats. But my niece and nephew seemed fine with the idea and since they were taking more children than I was, then I hoped the toddlers would just blend in.

“So, how did that work out for you?” you ask.

All their children sat at a table and the adults sat at an adjacent table. And their children stayed sat down and ate their dinner for the whole time we were there.

Not so with Kaleb and Kenzie. We had to seat one on one side of the adult table between two adults and one on the other side between two adults because they couldn’t stay in their seats.

Since you asked, I suppose it didn’t work out so well. But now, at least, I have a baseline for comparison and can definitely confirm that mine are the worst behaved children in the family!

And here’s the second experience that didn’t work exactly as planned, but see what you think:

I recently tried a new parenting strategy with Kaleb. He loves whistles. He loves whistles so much he thinks about whistles and talks about whistles all the time.

So, I purchased a whistle for Kaleb with the idea that it could be used as a reward and punishment tool to recognize his good and bad behavior. Let him blow it if he has good behavior at school and then take it away if he has bad behavior.

Please let me finish my story before you start rolling on the floor with laughter at such a stupid idea!

But go ahead and ask it, “So, how’s that working out for you?”

Obviously, the whistle-blowing was so obnoxious that it offset any positive disciplinary effects I could leverage from the use of the whistle.


But, I found that after awhile I grew used to hearing the whistle-blowing. Or I just tuned it out, or something like that. Because one weekend Uncle Kyle and his two children (the toddler’s cousins and my grandchildren) came to visit and almost instantly the whistle-blowing drove him berserk.

He finally took the whistle away from Kaleb and apparently hid it somewhere because I haven’t been able to find it nor has Kaleb.

I suppose I could call him and ask where it is hidden.

Since you asked, it’s actually working out pretty well for me.

Now I don’t have to hear that constant whistling and I can blame the whistle’s disappearance on Uncle Kyle! 

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