- I push politeness. I do my best, but I forget sometimes. I use Please and Thank you with my husband and children. I do my best to explain that we need manners. As far as I can tell, we have done pretty well on this front. I still have the "climbing on the furniture" issue… Sigh
- we encourage television. I know, we are horrible modern parents, right? But…but…both Jay and I learned a great deal from TV. We both watched shows that are now on discovery channel. We both retained factoids from shows like this. We would watch these and go to the library and learn more. The girls will watch a show and then play act it. I like to see this kind of imagination. Take an idea and expand on it. We discuss what we watch on TV. My most often repeated phrase during TV is "nope, we aren’t buying that". Sure, they get exposure to toys that they would otherwise not see, but I can’t prevent them from seeing the world forever. So let them see it now, with the explanations of what manipulation is.
- We sadly encourage free thought. I say sadly because it means that we get into minor power struggles. Teaching respect while teaching independence and standing for what you mean is a tough line to toe. But we are doing it. I want my girls to have the balls to stand up and say "This is wrong. I will not allow this to happen" while doing it with respect. This is so hard. Some days I just want them to listen and do what I ask….
- Lack of cleaning gene. I failed to get the cleaning gene. I failed to pass this on to my children. Last night, Soleil lost it when I pulled back her sheets… Why? Because she had made her bed! And she didn’t want to have to make it again (as in EVER) sigh… Luna’s room is just as bad
- toys? Ha! I try to eliminate some, but I don’t go as crazy as I could. We have 2 leap pad books and will have 2 leapsters in the house. The girls love these toys, as much as they love books. We don’t go crazy with educational toys, but we also don’t discourage them. I originally thought I would do without plastic toys, but I found that you can have a healthy mix.
- I was surprised to discover we don’t punish much. The two biggest things that we use are removal of TV privileges and quiet time. We will ask the offender to go to their room and calm down so we can talk. Not letting TV be watched is a huge issue for the girls. We don’t use time outs (we limit what we do use), we encourage discussion, we don’t hit.
- In the same vein, I encourage the girls to work it out. A common phrase in my house is "So? Why are you telling me what she did? Go tell her how you feel!" I make them discuss their feelings with each other. I refuse to be a referee. If I wanted to be a ref, I would sharpen my skates and apply to the local league.
- I believe strongly in the "try out and find the answer" parenting. As long as it isn’t going to hurt anyone, I allow for experimentation. So far, so good. We have the most interesting dinner discussions. And we have a great deal of "..and if this breaks, who’s fault is it?"
- Everything is fair game for discussion. Imagine the day that Jay went to Elie Wiesel’s talk. They now know that Wiesel spent time in a "camp" for Jews that was created by a man who was not nice. A man who wanted to run the world his way. A man who hated Jews just because they were Jewish. I am not going to explain Auschwitz with them today. But they have a right to learn about the evils of the world.
I think that sums up the space parenting…