Friday, August 29, 2008

Front Seat Parenting

So, I'm driving along, singing to the music while the kids chit-chat in the back seats. Someone takes something away from Lydia (or doesn't, but does something to irritate her in some manner) and she starts wailing. I make sure it wasn't intentional, which it wasn't, and attempt to calm Lydia down from the front seat. It's ineffective. I tell her in a firm voice that she needs to be quiet. She keeps wailing. She knows I'm in the front seat and she's in the back seat. She's smart. I have to pull over. But there's nowhere to pull over for awhile, so we all have to listen to her wail until there's a place to stop.

About 6 months ago, I was questioning why Lydia was whined so much. I was so consistent! I never gave her what she wanted when she whined! I always told her: "You don't get what you want when you whine. You get what you want by asking nicely." So what's the deal with this whiney brat? Then I realized that her siblings were giving her what she wanted whenever she whined. AHAH! So, I need to train the siblings to do what I'm doing! Duh!

So, the other day when we were in the car and Lydia started wailing, I said: "Lydia, why are you throwing a fit?"
She replied in a lower tone wail, "My book is on the floor."
Immediately, Chloe and Maya bent to pick up the book. I practically screamed: "Don't pick it up!" Then calmly said, "Don't give it to her until she can ask nicely."
Front seat parenting is hard!

I'm curious: How do you handle front seat parenting?


Rachel Marie said...

This is terrible, but true- sometimes when I just can't do anything about the fighting and whining etc I turn the music up really loud to drown them out!! Of course, it doesn't actually solve anything.

MommaofMany said...

Good analogy! I have some of that sibling training to do, too. My three-year-old is getting a bit whiny and beginning to test the tantrum waters. His brother, especially, often soothes him by getting him what he wants. His older sisters are great about not allowing fits to accomplish anything.

I have a fifteen passenger van. I can't usually hear most of what happens back there. Most of the time there are no problems, so i haven't really dealt with it.

Nealy said...

At least you can front-seat parent with the kids in seatbelts. You and Jamie were all over the car, climbing over the front seat, riding on the armrest to give you a better vantage point, taking naps in the rear window deck - you know, before SUVs. I'm surprised you survived. But at least every now and then, you'd get close enough that I could whack you. HA! Your parenting skills are SO much better than mine. If you had been my coach, you'd have had a better childhood {sigh}.

musicmommy3 said...

Speak softly and carry a looong switch. lol

dkt said...

Whenever our kids are naughty we have them put their hands on their heads and keep them there for Xamount of stop lights (too bad if we are caught in traffic :-) It's quite effective because they don't like it, yet it gets their hands away from bothering siblings.
(btw, my husband got the idea from watching cops. Hmmm...LOL!)

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