17 July 2008

Who will make a better parent?

Damian, David's nephew from Oregon, is in town to install a new roof and floor for us. He brought his two boys, Gage (6) and Kiefer (5) along and they are staying with us for 2-3 weeks. They arrived yesterday afternoon, and both David and I have had some personal time with the boys ...

Gage: I am hungry.
Aunt Rita: What would you like to eat? Would you like a hotdog?
Damian: Aunt Rita, they are always hungry. You feed them dinner or lunch, and 5 minutes later, they will be hungry because they can say it.
Aunt Rita: I have brownies and ice-cream?
Gage: Ohhh ... I want brownies and ice-cream.
(Aunt Rita serves brownies with ice-cream in the yard. Less than 3 minutes, both brought their hardly touched plates to the sink.)
Gage & Kiefer: We cannot finish the brownies & ice-cream.

Kiefer: I want to play a game. Can you play a game with me?
Aunt Rita (opens up chest of games & puzzles): I can't play with you now but you can play any of these, one at a time. Play one and put it back before you open another game.
Kiefer: But I want you to play with me.
Aunt Rita: I'm sorry I can't, Kiefer. I have to cook dinner.
Kiefer: Can you play with me after you cook dinner?
Aunt Rita: OK, after we eat dinner.

(Every 10-15 minutes or so ...)
Kiefer: Can you play a game with me now?
Aunt Rita: No, I said after dinner.
Kiefer: When are we eating dinner? I am hungry.

After dinner, they were engrossed with some cartoon show on a new-to-me TV channel - NIK which we never watch. Phew!

Later that night, Gage & Kiefer who were put to bed, decided that they didn't want to sleep yet and got up to play. David who was getting ready for our bed, heard them and went downstairs ...

Uncle David: Guys, we need to talk.
(Gage & Kiefer sat down.)
Uncle David: OK, here's the deal. This is my house, not your dad's house and not your grandpa's house. When you are in my house you follow my rules. OK?
(Gage & Kiefer nod their heads.)
Uncle David: Rule #1 is when it is bedtime and you are tucked into bed, you sleep. You do not get up to play. You sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you can play. We can do fun things, go to the park, play games, cook stuff to eat and all the good stuff. The fun things are not for bed time. You sleep when it is bedtime. Do we have an agreement?
Gage & Kiefer (nod their heads again and get under the covers): Goodnight, Uncle David.

Both were asleep by the time David got back upstairs. I am thinking having big blue round eyes and 300+ lbs of beef has its advantages!

37 comments:

HI said...

Bravo!! *clap* *clap*

David most certainly will be a good parent.

Salt & Turmeric said...

hahaha. mesti kecut perut diorang dgn david. im sure they kno theyv aunty rita wrapped ard their fingers!

eh apa yg 300lb beef?

Yatie_T said...

lol. Go David! Atleast there's one in the family that they'll listen (Uncle David). Next time bila Gage and Kiefer tak dengar kata, Damian bolehlah mintak tolong Uncle David to talk to them. :)

Nightwing said...

Good stuff!!!

Way to go Uncle David..:)

Sometimes have to be stern with kids.

Other wise they will be pushing the line.

Pi Bani said...

Was it the man-to-man talk that did it or was it the 300+lbs of beef like you said? ;)

Anonymous said...

Wow Rita, i'm impressed with the way your hubby disciplined the kids. Baby sits two active boys are never easy, mentally & physically can drain you up.

Kath

dawn said...

The boys know who's the big boss in the house. I am sure it's David's voice and like you said, his 300lb of beef that got the boys' attention.

Ms eNVy said...

I don't know about who'd be a better parent :) everyone is different and handle things differently .. anyways I'm always a softie but can be stern in some ways :) .. as for my hubby .. he goes with David 'my house .. my rules' line :) But I know my nieces and nephew love him just the same :)

Akmal said...

Hello,
That was a good move. Jangan bagi muka sangat dengan budak-budak. Talking about discipline and all, they should be taught earlier :)

Beachlover said...

it's not you're not a good parent but we woman have the tenancy of motherhood=soft heart especially the boys are a guests,don't feel right to penalize them.I know how you feel.Mishu was naughty when we were in my mom's home,I ask my mom to spank her but my mom said "no...no" coz later she will said "ah mah spank me and she not good,I won't wanna to go to her house anymore"!!!!!I understand my mom wanna to leave her a good impression and she don't feel right to do so especially we don't go back so often..I think you're going to be very busy,cooking,cleaning and taking care 2 active boys.it's not easy to handle a 4 and a 5 years old...Just look at my Mishu!!lol!!

louis said...

Hi Rita,

You got right to the heart of what makes for effective discipline, whether it's disciplining two kids or a country, in your narration of David's talk with the boys. He laid down just a few, reasonable, clear cut rules, made sure they were understood, and once agreed upon, sent the clear message that there would be no further negotiation.

Whether David had blue eyes or no eyes and whether he was of imposing stature or a small lady ( I figure you were talking tongue-in-cheek anyway when you speculated on the effect of his physical appearance :) ), the result would have been the same.

Kudos to David.

Have fun with your nephews. I have just returned from spending two days and a night with my eight year old granddaughter, living as university undergrads on the Western Washington University campus, attending classes together, etc at Grandparents' U, along with 45 other such pairs of grandparents and grandkids.. so this issue of intergenerational relationships is still vivid for me :) Will write about in in my blog.

Pak Idrus said...

Rita, what the kids do is natural if there are no rules to follow. It is the parents that should set the rules and then see that it is followed. Kids learn from their parent, their siblings, their peer group and if they divert from the set rules they should be told so and be strict on them. It should start for an early age.

Another aspect that one must understand that all those guidance must be made with Love. There is a Malay saying that say 'It is better for the child to cry now then the parent later' . Parenting is not an easy job, it is a professional one and must be done with tack and lots or Love.

Have a nice day.

Shirley said...

That's it..... Qeeran ( 7 )and Daqlan ( 5 ) will be sent to Uncle David when the next holidays comes!...LOL...

mº¿ºsh, brecht & nora said...

hahaha bravo for David! that was super cooL lah Rita. Kids at that age can easily bully an adult, its good that David was abit stern with them. I wish u tons of luck for the coming weeks Rita, do tell us your experience ok ; )

winniethepooh said...

both :) we always need an 'angel' and a 'devil' one soft, one hard :)

Kathie said...

Kids can certainly be a handful some times. David did a good job. Thanks for visiting my blog, Rita.
Blessings from Costa Rica

Zawi said...

Rita,
Try to be firm like David and let us see if you have any effect on them. If you don't then you better put on some weight.

Rita Ho said...

Thank you ALL for chiming in on our baby-sitting efforts! The boys left on Tuesday hopefully with fond memories of us. LOL!

On to your comments ....

Rita Ho said...

Hi Hooi Imm ... David's method worked only on two occasions! I think the boys did not understand his use of the word "privileges". Haha!

Rita Ho said...

Farina ... dah tahu apa beef tu?? LOL!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Yatie ... First couple of days, they memang dengar but after that only brownies, gum, popcorn and ice-cream could communicate to them effectively! David kata selaki experience cukup for his lifetime. LOL!

Rita Ho said...

Hi Nightwing ... I totally agree with you. Kids the world over are the same and the discipline has to be long haul from day one. :)

When are you starting your experience? :)

Rita Ho said...

Hey Pi ... It has been proven that beef is the winner. LOL!

Rita Ho said...

Hi Kath ... I was quite stressed out after two weeks and the boys were also ready to be go back to their normal environment and routine. It didn't help that I lack baby-sitting experience, plus the house was in total disarray and my own schedule was neither here nor there. Even Lola was not her usual self!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Dawn ... In the end, we all had our bossing moments including the boys and they probably had the longest tenure!

Rita Ho said...

Hi Norma ... Yes, parenting is a very personal approach with so many varying factors. My mom and siblings were quite impressed that the boys and I survived two weeks together!

Are you in CA for the wedding? I saw your FB status earlier today. If yes, have great fun and enjoy your visit!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Akmal ... muka suami and mine entah hilang or jatuh berapa kali these past two weeks in more ways that one! You will make a great parent. :)

Rita Ho said...

Hi Lesley ... You are spot on the distinction between parenthood babysitting. :)

Being an only child (so far - :)) I think Mishu is an angel. Gert told me she is very independent and able to amuse herself most of the time. You are blessed.

Rita Ho said...

Hi Louis ... Your viewpoint on effective discipline is well-worded. I would add that it is an indefinite and continuous process requiring a long list of human traits on both disciplinarian and subject.

Your campus experience with your granddaughter sounds really interesting. I have not heard of such programs and will drop by HOPSCOTCH to read about your experience.

Talk again soon.

Rita Ho said...

Welcome home, Pak Idrus! I had planned to call and chat during your last week in Boston but things were so kelam-kabut at my end, I forgot!

Being a successful parent and grandparent, your advice on parental guidance is invaluable. I won't be a parent in this lifetime but know my readers will benefit. :)

I hope you are enjoying good weather and great food in KL.

Rita Ho said...

Jee ... David says they better be prepared to wash chairs in cold freezing weather! LOL!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Mush ... The luck you send came in quite handy on several occasions when I ran out of goodies and treats to bribe the boys. LOL!

Rita Ho said...

Hi Winnie ... Thank you for visiting my blog. I went by yours and the latest entry was on Jan 1st. Am I at the right one?

I look forward to getting to know you at our blogs and FB. :)

Rita Ho said...

Kathie ... Hi! It is always a pleasure to visit your blog and read your views on so many different topics.

Warm wishes from the Pacific NW!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Zawi ... You made me laugh because I did loose a few pounds but not because I wasn't good at baby-sitting. Doctor's orders! LOL!

It has been a while since we touched base anywhere. My bad. Let me get my house back in order and I will knock on LAISI's door. :)

Mat Salo said...

Rita: Seems like you had a whale of a time these last few weeks, what with Pak Idrus being in your neck 'o woods... but what astounded me, did you do a makeover?. The photos sure are flattering... You look great!

Rita Ho said...

Thank you, MS! I did do a makeover but on the house saja. The greatness you see is Pak Idrus's photography skills. Serious. :)