Candid Chatter

Just Say It

The Spanking July 28, 2009

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 6:33 am
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“Spare the rod, spoil the child”


Kate Gosselin spanking daughter via Google images

Recently, I was able to voice my opinion on this subject. Spanking the children. The conversation wasn’t really about whether or not it is right or wrong. A person I know made a statement of disgust over a couple of women who were bragging about the types of physical disciplines they used on their children. They tried to back it up with Scripture. Man, I hate it when that happens. I almost didn’t join the discussion, but I get really ticked off when less than educated people try to use Scripture to back up their stupidity and poor judgment.

Solomon does write about disciplining children in Proverbs. There may be other places in the OT which talk about child-rearing too. I don’t recall where though.

However, using a “rod” to beat your children with because it’s in the Bible is disgusting to me. Following that logic, then I suppose it’s ok to make 700 virgins your concubines too, right? I mean, it’s in the Bible stupid. Duh! And, when we fast we should wear sackcloth and cover ourselves with ashes.

I’m just getting started. But, before I continue, let me say this. If you hit your kids with your fists or an object, I believe you need help. That, my dear reader, is abuse. If you twist their arms, jerk them, shake them, slap them, poke them so hard a bruise appears… you are being abusive. I do not condone that and I never will.

Now, having said all of that, I do not believe there is anything wrong with spanking a child when done correctly. Am I perfect? Unfortunately, no. I have made some mistakes in disciplining my lovelies. Fortunately, they have been very few and my conviction was immediate and my confession as immediate as possible. My apologies have been accepted because my kids were kinder and more loving than they should have been… because I was wrong.

I am not an expert. But, I have strong beliefs that a loving, nurturing, and joyful home is important for everyone in the family. We all have bad days. Some days kids behave very well. Some days I need a couple glasses of wine before bed. The same goes for them. Not the wine. But, the mood swings. We’re imperfect humans. I try to remain aware of this and give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I absolutely will not tolerate defiance or blatant disrespect.

When I spank my kids I swat once on the buttocks with an open hand. Before I spank, I give plenty of warning and opportunities for them to make the right choices. Spanking is a last resort. I might threaten to spank and count to three, however, I rarely have to follow through with it. When I do have to spank, I do not enjoy it. I feel it is a necessity for proper discipline and control in the home. It sends my message in a hurry and I can count on one hand when one of my children has continued their improper behavior beyond the spanking. In those rare cases, I have repeated the steps to another spanking — warn, give opportunity to make the right choice, count to three, spank. It is their choice. Behave and submit to my authority, or be punished.

I also do not threaten to do anything to my kids that I don’t FULLY intend to follow through on. I don’t tell them I’ll break their arm or rip out their hair or any of that verbal crap (which is abusive language, IMO, but that’s another subject altogether). I warn. I follow through with my threat. End of story.

My kids know that I am not messing around.

It works for us.

My daughter has had less spankings than my son. She responds better to time-outs in her room and I allow her to scream to the tops of her lungs in there as long as her door is shut. She blows off her steam and then comes out and we have a calm conversation about her behavior followed by lots of hugs and kisses and compliments. I can’t remember the last time I spanked her.

My son is not the same. He’s about half and half. Nothing jolts him into obedience like being spanked. Thankfully, he has learned self-control enough that I don’t spank him daily. In fact, if I kept track I’ll bet I don’t even spank him every other day. He is really learning, and being sent to his room is starting to work.

Do we draw lines? I don’t think so. I believe it’s pretty matter of fact. You are either constructively demanding obedience in your home or you are being too lenient or too abusive. Kids need discipline. Without it they will become spoiled and will have very little respect or trust for authority. You cannot negotiate with a 3 year old. You cannot.

You are the parent. You need to act like it.

What say you?


Happy Mommy Day May 8, 2009

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 3:11 pm
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For Them to Carry On December 8, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 6:33 am
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Dear Future In-Laws to My Child,

My husband and I have raised our kids to the best of our ability. We have brought them up in a loving environment which promotes self-expression and acceptance. We have encouraged them to become whoever they desire to become as long as they work hard and honor God. We have enabled them to receive the best education we could afford. We have taught them through our own actions to be generous people. We promise that your child is safe in our family and in a relationship with our child.

Our kids were taught not to judge a person based on their appearance. In fact, appearance received as much merit in our family as the length of someone’s eyelashes. It has been irrelevant. We have taught them to determine if a person is of proper character based on their actions alone. We have encouraged them to align themselves with people who have integrity.

Our kids were taught that hard work and hard practice are the ingredients for success.

Our kids were taught to love others regardless of how those people treated them. We have told them that it is ok not to like someone, but that they are still to be kind to that person.

Our kids grew up in an environment filled with outward affection and howling laughter. We hug, we kiss, we snuggle. We laugh, we crack up, we giggle. They are happy and content people. They have always been surrounded by love and acceptance.

Our kids were taught that getting an education is important to career success. We have told them throughout their lives, starting when they were toddlers, that they can be whatever they want to be as long as they do well in school and respect their teachers.

Our kids were taught that hospitality is part of friendship. Our home has always been a place to celebrate life whether through birthdays, holidays, or just because we can days. We open our doors and welcome groups of people to share meals and good times with us. They have many friends and our home has served as a safe place for them their whole lives.

Our kids were taught to have compassion for the needy people of this world. They know how fortunate they are and desire to share their good fortune with others. They are not selfish or self-centered. They are generous and caring.

Our kids were taught from birth to present time about Jesus Christ. They have received Christian educations. They have been involved in many youth activities geered towards shepherding their hearts so that they would long to serve God all of their lives. They started memorizing Bible verses at a very young age and have cultivated personal relationships with Christ their Savior. Of all the things we have taught our kids, this is the most important to us.

Our kids are not perfect. But they are good enough.

Rest assured that your child has chosen a more than suitable spouse and we will do everything we can to be there for them whenever they need us.

Welcome to the family.

Heidi Reed

What would
you add?


I am So Glad it Worked November 18, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:36 am
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I told you about meeting Summer at the playground. Well let me tell you what happened after she left.

I got tired very quickly of pushing my kids on the swings. It takes a lot out of me to do anything physical right now. I say this as my back throbs and I can barely walk after babysitting all day and a super long drive home. Anyway, I told the kids I needed to sit down on the bench and to please play on the other stuff there. They did fine for the first 20 minutes. Then I decided it was inching ever too close to naptime and we needed to leave.

I gave the usual 5 minute warning. “Kids, we are leaving in 5 minutes.”
“You have 3 minutes left.”
“One more minute.”
“Alright, turkeys, it’s time to go now.”

The response at that point is usually “one more minute, mom, pleassssse?”

I give in. Always. I give in. What’s another 60 seconds?

Brianna has been telling me on a daily basis “you’re not my mom, I’m not your daughter anymore” when she isn’t getting her way. I’ve tried many different ways of handling this. I’ve even laughed it off and told her she’s being ridiculous. I’ve never made a big deal of it because I don’t want her to think for a second that she’s getting to me. Well, that tactic wasn’t working. And even though she wasn’t hurting my feelings I needed to get her to stop saying that and be more respectful. But how?

Yesterday after they asked for “one more minute, mom” I said “alright, guys, let’s go” and started walking towards the gate. They, of course, threw into hysterics like I was asking them to walk across burning coals on bare feet. For crying out loud! I get no respect [in my best Rodney Dangerfield voice].

Brianna plants her feet, puts her hands on her hips, and screams “you are NOT my mom and I don’t love you anymore”.

Four heads turned to see my reaction — all of them parents.

I laughed and said “is that right”. She said “yes and I’m not your daughter”.
“Are you sure, Brianna, because that means I won’t be responsible for feeding you lunch.”
“I’m sure” she tells me.
“Ok let’s go” I say and open the gate.

She stomps out of the play area and down the stairs into the van. Once inside and safely out of range of parents that might hear me I say “when we get home I will make a phone call and get you a new mommy”.

She. Freaked. Out.

I mean she went ballistic. She wanted daddy.

“No, honey, if I’m not your mommy then daddy is not your daddy. I’ll get you a new daddy too and while I’m at it this also means Jeremy is not your brother and the new baby is not your sibling so you’ll have to hope that your new parents have kids so you can have siblings.”

She cried and kicked and screamed and begged me to be her mommy again.

I said “no and call me Heidi — don’t call me mommy because I am no longer your mommy. Call daddy Rich because he is not your daddy either.”

I think she swallowed her tongue right then. Silence. Well, silence all except for the funny noises she was making as her breathing had been interrupted by the massive earth quake she was causing herself.

I tried not to laugh. Is that evil? I seriously had to stifle it in a big, big way. But somehow I knew this was working. I knew it. I just knew it.

We got about a mile from home when she started apologizing. I told her “thank you for doing that and remember your manners when you meet your new mommy and daddy later today”.

She. Freaked. Out. All. Over. Again.

I shoved away the twinge of guilt and the desire to hug her and kiss her and reassure her. I fought the urge to comfort her — and it was there this time.

We got home and daddy came out to help me unload everyone and everything. She looked like she was going to pass out from anger, frustration, fear… all sorts of emotions and her eyes told me she was in agony. I felt bad. I did, but I didn’t stop. I fought it again.

Daddy was not liking what I was doing and asked me twice to stop. I didn’t stop. I told him “she will learn not to ever say those hateful things to me again and this is how I intend to make her stop”. He rolled his eyes at me and I could tell he was very much less than pleased. He hugged her and told her everything would be ok and that she just needed a nap.

Finally, after putting Jeremy down for his nap, I took her by the hand and led her to her room and put her in her bed. I didn’t do my normal lovie routine though. I warned her that if she ever said “you’re not my mommy” to me again that I would pull down her pants and spank her rear end right there in the middle of wherever we are “and I’m not kidding so don’t you dare try it”.

When she woke up from her nap we cuddled, I explained that there is no way I’d give her to another mommy or daddy ever, that she is a very important part of our family, we love her very much, and that she can live with us her whole life if she wants to. BUT!!!! “Do not ever say hateful things to me again because those words hurt mommy and I love you with all my heart.”

She hasn’t said it since.

Twice she almost did, but she caught herself and just walked away with her hands on her hips.

She learned.

It was harsh.

It was hard.

But it worked.

Ever had to pull
out the tough love
card to get through
to your kid?


The Year of Salmonella November 14, 2008

Image courtesy of Google

Last year Jeremy contracted Salmonella poisoning. It happened shortly after we returned from our trip to Arizona to say goodbye to my ailing Grandmother. He got dreadfully ill one weekend — fevers pushing 104+ and Motrin would only bring it down to 100 for a few hours and then right back up it went. I remember in one day alone he had 16 diarrhea diapers. The next day he had 14 of them. He wouldn’t eat. Thank God he would drink water and lots of it. I called his doctor’s office several times and as I waited for them to return my calls I would start to get ready to head to the ER telling my husband “be ready because I might have to run out the door at any minute”. Weekend on-call doctors can only ask a bunch of questions. They can’t do a proper diagnosis on the phone. But the one that called me back on Sunday came close. She mentioned Salmonella a couple of times, but I quickly ignored it since Jeremy was the only one sick.

The following Monday, early, we took him to his regular pediatrician along with a sample of poop. Yuck. It sure was Salmonella. It sure was. We had to continue monitoring and testing his doo-doo for weeks. Finally it came back negative almost a month later.

A nurse friend of mine called me to ask a million few questions. We came to the conclusion he got it from touching egg shells at the grocery store. I had taken him shopping with me and when he asked if he could touch the eggs I thought nothing of it. I let him and even counted them with him one by one. Less than 36 hours later the boy was extremely ill — more so than when he had jaundice as an infant.

The health department called me sometime in December to ask me a thousand few more questions. It was then that I learned that Jeremy would be contagious for a year. So for a year I wouldn’t let anyone change his diapers unless they were well aware of his infection and once he was potty trained it became very important that he, as well as anyone helping him wipe, washed their hands thoroughly. Reinfection of Salmonella is common since kids aren’t the cleanest things in the universe.

Well it’s been a year. He suffered no reinfection. Nobody in our household or circle of family and friends contracted the virus from him. We are in the clear!!

What a battle.

Don’t let your kids play with eggs, egg cartons, or touch raw meat or raw meat packaging. Be very very cautious as you cook or prepare food in the kitchen being sure to clean and sanitize all surfaces (including you) that come in conact with anything of that sort. It’s not worth an entire year of careful analysis of every bowel movement your child has or being inches from rushing him/her to the ER.

Another friend told me that organic eggs are the biggest culprit for Salmonella. And wouldn’t you know it — those are the kind of eggs I used to buy when Jeremy fell ill. Not anymore. Now we buy the safe eggs. The ones that say they’re free of Salmonella.


The Fleegle Pet November 1, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:46 am
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Today is my baby shower. So in honor of Moms expecting babies all over the world I decided to write this post which has nothing to do with infants, but everything to do with being a Mom.

Meet Walden, Wubbzy, and Widget
(Widget is my favorite)
from the show Wow Wow Wubbzy.
My kids majorly heart this show!!

One day Wubbzy gets a pet. He names it Tiny. It is called a fleegle. He feeds his pet fleegle, Tiny, candy and Tiny suddenly grows to be 50 feet tall. In order to shrink him back to his normal size, Wubbzy and his friends have to feed him carrot juice. The moral of this story? Read the instructions given to you for your pet so you can properly care for him. So cute! Oh and carrot juice is better than candy. Ha!!

Brianna and Jeremy have this show and many other episodes from WWW on DVR. Thank God for that contraption/invention/what have you. Life Saver!!!

So the other day we’re eating our 2nd lunch together (yes, we have 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches and 2 dinners around here — my kids LOVE to eat!). Brianna (age 4) starts to tell me she wants a pet. I am not a pet person. Those days are long gone. So I decided to simply play along. Here ya go…

B: Mommy, what kind of pet do you want?
Me: I’ll take a hamster.
B: Jeremy, what kind of pet do you want — a fish or a bird? [she gives him a choice so it won’t take too long — he’s only 2 1/2]
J: A bird and I want to name him Tiny. [see where this is going, don’t you]
B: I want a fleegle.
Me: Where do you suppose we can get a fleegle?
B: From the trapper man.
Me: Do you know where we can find a trapper man?
B: In the truck, Mom. [like, duh, I should have known that]
Me: Ok, but I don’t think a 50 foot fleegle will fit in our house. Wubbzy’s fleegle got to be taller than our house, Bree.
B: Mom, I won’t feed him candy. I will only feed him sticks and grass and food that we eat, but not sugar.
Me: Is that right?
B: Yes, Mom and he won’t get big because I will take care of him like it says in the directions. [the girl is so serious and I am totally trying not to crack up at her]
Me: Bree, we live in Florida.
B: I know that Mom. So?
Me: Well, Wuzzleburg is the only place that has fleegles and Wuzzleberg isn’t in Florida.
B: Where is Wuzzleburg, Mom?
Me: In Colorado. [I don’t know, what would you have said?]
B: Where is that?
Me: In the coldest part of our country. You know how you hate cold? Well, Colorado is colder than Florida could even dream of getting. That’s where Wuzzleburg is. In Colorado. [ha — I fixed her]
B: Mom, snakes are in Florida. Can I have a snake? [she fixed me right back]
Me: No, snakes will hurt you and will eat my hamster and Jeremy’s bird, Tiny.
J: [starts to wimper] Not bird Tiny!! That bad snake won’t eat my bird!!!
B: Ok, then I want a dog. Dogs don’t eat hamsters or birds.
Me: Someday we might get a dog when you kids are old enough to care for it because Mommy does not do dog poop or dog baths or dog walks or anything else dog that is unpleasant or time consuming.
B: Jeremy, did you hear that? Mom said we can get a dog!!!!!!!!!

Yep, you saw it right here — I’m screwed! Kids are smarter than you think even when you think you thought you thunk it. Sheesh!!

Happy weekend kids!!


My Kids Taught Me October 21, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 5:17 am
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  1. Never underestimate the power of a hug
  2. Baths are made for adventure
  3. Imaginations should run wild
  4. Play time is the best time of the day
  5. Forgiveness comes natural
  6. Chocolate milk is not just a drink — it’s excitement in a jug
  7. Honesty can be really funny sometimes
  8. Everything can be messed up in one way or another
  9. Nothing is off limits
  10. Keep trying and trying and trying and trying and…
  11. Sometimes suffering the consequences isn’t so bad as long as we get to [fill in the blank]
  12. Growing is something to be happy about
  13. Sometimes all we need is a band aid and a kiss to make it all better
  14. Bugs and animals are fascinating
  15. People should be admired

Photo courtesy of Google Images
Search terms: “brother sister holding hands”

Disclaimer: This post is about what my kids have taught me. There is no hidden meaning.