I just came across this fantastic new show called “Take Me to Your Mother”, where Comedian Andrea — a new mom to toddler Odin– is chronicling her adventures through Mommyhood by tapping into one of NYC’s greatest resources: The Neighborhood Mothers. In this episode Andrea seeks out the advice of a group of West Indian Boss Moms in The Bronx and learns the real reason why you must learn to say No to your child.
8 Tips from The West Indian Boss Moms
Tip #1: Instill a Healthy Dose of Healthy Fear
Healthy Fear is a good thing. For Andrea that’s a hard thing to wrap her head around because the word fear implies something bad. In parenting, however, healthy fear lets the child know that you are the protector and your job is to make your child feel secure. This new world they’ve entered into is super scary and you are their guide on this journey.
Tip #2: Private Practice Makes Public Performance
If you let your child walk on the dining room table when there’s no one around, don’t be surprised when he does it during a dinner party. That’s what Andrea found out as little Odin screamed until he got to walk on the dinner table, during dinner. The Boss Moms said it best, “private practice makes public performance”. Everything you allow your child to do in private is a practice for how he or she will act when company comes a calling.
Tip #3: A Mommy’s Mantra: I Am The Boss
I AM THE BOSS. Period. What Mommy said is what goes. End of story. The Boss Moms say that you have to believe that mantra internally before your child will believe you. Instilling that confidence within yourself is key to a healthy parent/child relationship.
Tip #4: I have to Follow-Through
Follow-Through is the secret ingredient. Andrea learns that if she gives a warning to Odin and doesn’t follow-through, she’s teaching Odin that her words are just empty threats. But if she follows-through on those warnings, her words mean business.
Tip #5: Fix Your Face
Practice your mommy-said-no-and-she-means-it face in the mirror so you can see what your child sees. If you smile, like Andrea, after you give your demand all is lost and your baby has outsmarted you once again.
Tip #6: Once In Awhile, Just Act Crazy
To keep your kids in line, The Boss Moms suggest just letting your crazy overtake you for a second or two. No one wants to make mom mad. So make your point loud and clear.
Tip #7: Warning 1, Warning 2, Warning 3
Warnings are a good way to let your child have a chance to assess their own behavior and give them a warning to change it. One of The Boss Moms touted the success of this technique even with her teenagers. When she gets to Warning Two, her 16 and 17 year old have barricaded themselves in their rooms and don’t dare come out until she gives the all clear.
Tip #8: Talent Will Take You But Character Will Sustain You
Andrea learns that all these rules, techniques, and mantras are put in place for one reason only: to instill character in your child. The worst thing you can do is have a talented kid out there in the world with no “broughtupsy”, that’s having no upbringing, conduct, character, or manners for those of us like Andrea (and myself) who have never come across that expression. I cannot say enough good stuff about this funny show with real meaning.
Here are a few lasting quotes from The West Indian Boss Moms of The Bronx:
- When you steward someone it’s not about being their friend, it’s about giving them the tools that they need.
- If you do not train your child, the world will train your child. So true!
Check Out “Take Me to Your Mother: Andrea Takes Charge”
( http://www.hulu.com/watch/483740 )Andrea has trouble saying “no” to her 1 year old, so it’s off to meet some West Indian mothers who teach her how to take charge.
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