Not exactly a scrapbook page

Parenting 101, Intro to Parenting: Feed, diaper, soothe, burp.
My grade: B
My feeling: Relief that we all survived.

Parenting 201, Continued Topics in Parenting: Teach, read, watch, shape.
My grade: B+
My feeling: Mostly amnesia, with a vague sense of accomplishment.

Parenting 301, Discipline in Parenting: Expectations, rules, consequences.
My grade: C
My feeling: A on homework, D on tests. More work needed.

Parenting 399, Advanced Discipline Practicum — Family Vacation Lab: “Last warning: If you don’t stop, we are going home RIGHT NOW.”
My grade: A+
My feeling: Is this what success feels like? Because it feels an awful lot like we drove all day and dropped a wad of money on proving a point.


  1. Diane

    (((hugs)) At least it should be a lesson they won’t forget. Sometimes keeping your word is the hardest thing to do, even when it is the right thing to do.

  2. Claudious

    I love this post! I think I might sit down and write a report card like this for me. I hope I score as well. Though I do believe I got high marks in Advanced Discipline, I run a tight ship… (I dont’ know where my children are, but if they were here, they’d be towing the line.)

  3. Fold My Laundry Please

    I’ve learned not to threaten things that I don’t want to do. Otherwise I spend the rest of the day/week/month angry at my kids because they didn’t let me go to suchandsuch. So my threats now lean more towards, “Or so help me I will buy myself and ice cream cone and make you watch me eat it!!!”

  4. All Adither

    Well, that’s probably worth more in the long run than a good time. But I can feel your pain.

  5. carrie

    I love your approach to parenting, Mir. And now I love Fold My Laundry Please, too, because I am totally going to use that ice cream threat.

  6. Alison

    The ice cream threat is the best discipline method I have ever heard.

  7. Astrogirl426

    …does effort count? How about attendance? I mean, showing up has to count for something. Oh! And I have nice penmanship. Yeh.

    I shudder to think about what my grades would be…Probably something like:

    101: D- (’cause of that ONE stupid time when I let the baby bouncer fall on the floor, with the baby in it. But it only happened once!)
    201: C (cause it doesn’t get much worse than dropping your kid on cement)
    301: C+ (hey, I’m improving! Eh, let’s be honest – it’s a good thing we’re grading on a curve here)


  8. Astrogirl426

    whoops! Hit send too soon (guess I get a D in computers, too)

    GPA: 2.0

    I think I’m on parenting probation.

  9. Burgh Baby

    I hate when good parenting gets in the way of adult fun.

  10. Anissa@Hope4Peyton

    A+ in resentment for for making me miss some fun just to prove said point.

  11. Tricia

    Ouch! And, wholly crap you’re much stronger than I woulda, coulda, shoulda been. It’s that whole don’t point the gun unless you’re willing to pull the trigger. Kudos to you for the A+.

  12. Karen

    You go girl! It is one of the hardest subjects to just get a passing grade in.

  13. pam

    Oh I feel your pain.

    I remember driving 6+ hours to Cedar Point (an amusement park in Ohio) alone with two 7 year olds and a 4 year old. Finally getting there and one of the older ones just could not, would not get a grip with the whining, crying, yelling and just general jack assery. After much.much.much gentle (yeah gentle) cajoling my eyes and ears started bleeding and ‘the threat’ came out my mouth… ‘One more word and we’re out-a-here’ Well of course one more word was indeed spoken and we were indeed out-a-there. And he did indeed cry all.the.way.home. As well as the other 7 year old, and the 4 year old, and I believe if memory serves, the mommy!

    All this just to say…

    I feel your pain…

  14. carolyn

    Golly, i hate having to follow through on a threat. It just sucks, usually because, like many of your previous commenters, I end up missing out of something I really wanted to do. Parenting is hard!!

  15. suburbancorrespondent

    Does this mean what I think it means? Did you really? And Otto didn’t say, “Why did you say that?” all the way home?

  16. Flea

    Doesn’t being a parent SUCK sometimes? You’re doing a great job, pretty Mir.

  17. Brigitte

    Ooh, good (though extremely painful) job. I don’t know if I could have done it.

    My husband tries to use this punishment when we go to restaurants, but he forgets the all-important step of the “One more time, and – ” warning. Which just ends up making ME more mad than it does our daughter. Maybe he needs to take Parenting 399 again.

  18. E

    Isn’t that what parenting is? Going all day and spending lots of money, only to have upset children at the end of the day? I think that’s it in a nutshell.

  19. Ladybug Crossing

    I have removed my child from a birthday party for bad behavior, It has never had to happen again. The boy was 3. He still remembers… He has never forgotten…

    You will never ever have to do that again. Just the threat will be enough to send them into the A+ level of behavior.

    You did good!

  20. SportsMom

    Ha! Somewhat different situation, but I did this to my son during a baseball game. HIS baseball game. He was 7 and doing a lot of wholly inappropriate trash-talking — on the field, in the dugout — it was ugly. I grabbed him between innings and told him if he continued, I’d walk onto the field and remove him to the car. So you know what happens next – he continued, I walked out onto the field (where he was playing shortstop), took him by the hand, walked him to the car, put him in the backseat, and let him cry and carry on while I stood outside the car, breathing. A woman walked by and saw me standing there. She said, “I don’t know what he did, but know that you’re being a good mom right now.” That certainly helped. I got in the car, drove him home, and he spent the afternoon NOT playing baseball. It was a hard thing to do, but I gotta tell you – it’s 10 years later, and he’s never trash-talked his teammates OR the opposing team again. Well…at least not within my hearing.
    Way to go Mir!

  21. steff

    I hate it when that happens…nothing like getting slapped from behind when the kids break rules we set. Guess you could make them split the cost of gas from their allowances or in sweat dollars – cleaning bathrooms, pulling weeds.

    Pulling weeds is the worst punishment in our house.

  22. Dawn

    It be money well spent. They’ll definitely remember the time mom really meant what she said! But ouch to the wallet.

    Your children are so much better off than the poor little girl I saw in a restaurant today. About 5 years old, all done up in a frilly sundress complete with sparkles and hair in ringlets, she spoke only in a whine and both parents turned themselves inside out to ensure she got what she wanted PRONTO! even to the point of “Daddy” telling the waitress that he would have to go into the kitchen to (pretend to) cook her pancakes because she will only eat Daddy’s pancakes. It was almost like that segment from the “Twilight Zone” movie with the little boy everyone was afraid of.

    Then she was allowed to dance around the restaurant (which thankfully wasn’t croweded at that moment) presumably because she felt like it. Um… can you say child about to wear hot coffee?

    I feel so bad for her. She is going to find life so difficult. In about 2 months time. When she starts school. Oy to the vey.

    See! You are not only pretty, but you are teaching your kids how to be in the world, and that is the most important lesson we mothers can teach.

  23. Cele

    Oh I am so glad I’m a grandparent, and most of those days are behind me now. Kudos all.

  24. Lisa- Domestic Accident

    It takes big kahoonas (I have no idea how you spell that) to be a good parent.

  25. Megan

    So, is it a good thing that I rub my hands in glee at the thought of the future use of this? Like, “gee, I’d really LOVE to take you to XXX but I have to be absolutely sure we don’t have a repeat of That Time so you’re going to really need to work to show me you’ve learned… “

  26. StephLove

    So, clarify please. Was it a day trip or did you actually cancel a whole vacation? Just curious.

  27. Kim

    You are awesome. Absolutely awesome. You definately get more than an A+++++++!

  28. Dani

    I give you not only an A+, but some gold stars next to it. :) I’m a huge advocate of, “Never let there be an empty threat.” I’ve ALWAYS kept my word and it works. You’ll never regret it.

  29. Aimee

    Ouch — but for what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing.

  30. Bob

    well, crap.

    If it makes you feel any better, you did the right thing. You HAVE to follow through on consequences.

    the trick is, to pick the right consequences……

  31. jennielynn

    You’re grading yourself too hard! Those final projects are works of art!

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