No matter how I try, I can't seem to get around all the legal issues, the custom comprehension of each child and the financial expense the full implementation would cost. There is a solution though; it's just not entirely practical: ** if you have multiple children, have a life outside of parenting and if you are a spouse to someone, read disclaimer below.
Not to leave you in despair, I will share my solution, free of charge. The program I have established is what we call a "Good Parental Sidekick" system (or GPS). This system requires an experienced and capable adult (ie., the parent) with the child at all times. This practice must be performed until the child's brain is activated to a level of experience where you can trust them when you say, "be good" and you know their comprehension of that command meets every aspect of the criteria in which you as the parent extend it to.
It would make "normal" parenting (anything other than GPS parenting) so much easier if you could just say, "If it moves, don't eat it; If it's hot, don't touch it; If it's Mommy's, don't break it; If you don't know, ask Dad; If it hurt you once; leave it alone." But you can't. They always find ways to get around it. That's why I designed the GPS system.
If you wonder if this plan is right for you, let me give you an example using the simple command, "be nice to your sister" and you can decide if the following scenarios fit a description in your own home.
First, I will admit that saying "be nice to your sister" usually leaves so many loop holes for a brother, it's not even worth saying it. We have actually declined using this command in our home just because of the situations, elements and scenarios it does not apply to in real life.
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to convince her to give you all her toys as long as you say, "I'll give you a surprise."
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to ride your bike really fast right next to where she's sitting although we all know you would never intentionally hit her.
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to hit her babies instead of her.
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to sit on her head just because you want to. I mean, it's not like you'd intentionally try to be mean while you sit there.
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to make her cry by saying, "Gimme" even though neither one of you has anything the other wants. We all know that "Gimme" is the "Make Sister Cry" button that is activated when brother looks at her and simply says, "Gimme."
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you as the brother to convince her to let you take care of all her babies, her dolls, her kitchen, her dollhouse while she just follows you around, aimlessly.
"Be nice to your sister" could allow you to slam the door really fast because you didn't want the dog to get in... even though the dog was across the yard and your sister was right at your heels.
"Be nice to your sister" ..... I could go on and on but I think I've made my point.
Following are some excerpts from several days of researching kids in a particular home. The parent involved in the following examples would've greatly appreciated the GPS system.
(Please note: Children under a certain age should be advised to discontinue reading. The following information is CLASSIFIED so as to not cause further damage to other parents.)
- I know I've never said this before but never put your finger through a small lego window; it might get stuck.
- Yeah, just like it is on your finger right now.
- This is the reason why you shouldn't put your finger in small items that can "stuck" your finger.
- If it's the cat's water, don't drink it.
- Don't spray Windex at your brother's face.
- Never throw a rock the size of a grapefruit at your brother's head.
- Actually, never throw rocks at anything.
- If you got a handful of slivers from the fence yesterday, why would you touch the fence today?
- Don't throw dirt over the fence.
- I know you're not throwing it at people; don't throw it 'over the fence' either.
- Can't you tell the open dishwasher is blocking the back door?
- Do you comprehend that closing the dishwasher would allow you to open the back door?
- If the dishwasher is open, don't try to go outside.
- Stay buckled in your car seat.
- That also means keep your arms in the straps.
- Don't smell the jar of pepper!
- Smelling pepper is an owie.
- (Okay. Fine. Then smell it.)
- I told you: smelling pepper doesn't feel good.
- If it hurt to smell the pepper once, why are you doing it again?
- Of course it's going to hurt the second time.
- Let me smell your nose: yep, I smell pepper in there.
- Now you know that smelling pepper is an owie.
- I know I said you could pee by that tree but only if you couldn't get to the bathroom.
- Just because you don't like that food doesn't mean you can spit it out on the floor.
- Would you like it if she took your toys all the time?
- Um, no... you actually would not like that.
- And if you did happen to like it (strange kid you are), that doesn't mean she likes it when you take her toys.
- Only boys pee outside.
- If she's cries when you do that to her, that means it's hurting her.
- And when it's hurting her, that means you should stop doing whatever you're doing.
- Never use a staple gun on your closet door again. Never.
- See how that staple gun made all those marks on your door?
- Only use that staple gun where Daddy says you can.
- If he never says, "Landon, you can hit your door with that staple gun," then don't hit your door until he tells you he can.
- Actually, only hit the grass..... no, the basement floo..... no, the old piece of wood Daddy gave you.
- Yeah, only hit the wood Daddy gives you to hit.
- If you can't find that wood, then just look at your staple gun; don't hit anything with it.
*** Disclaimer: Regretfully, our field expert cannot assure the public that no children or animals were harmed mentally, physically or in anyway during the assessments of our studies. All individuals in question are healthy survivors and hopefully better off through trial and error that comes with experience. Contact your local Parents if there is cause for concern.
Not to admit the mental strain upon my cranium that has occured from the rigors of motherhood, you can tell you've been hanging around toddlers too much when you unintentionally say this when your child is dropping something... "Careful! You're going to 'fall' it!"