Got’ny Gum?

by Lisa on January 3, 2012

Sat down at the ‘puter to work. Time to pound out a couple of long-overdue CC emails. Instead I ended up checking My Yahoo page to see which of the blogs I’m following posted updates. (Can you say procrastinating?)

Several had great New Year’s Posts or things I’d like to make sure I do, but the post written by Amber Dusick at Parenting. Illustrated by Crappy Pictures. had me laughing and thinking one of my own award-winning parenting moments.

Gum. My kids LOVE gum. My kids want gum. They constantly ask me to buy it for them. They get it for birthday gifts and Christmas presents. They seek it out when ever and where ever they can.  And, they ask everyone—especially those who are known “gum carriers”—like Grandma and Aunt Sheila.

After years of rude and unbecoming, “Got’ny gum?” greetings, I decided our subtle parenting hints/techniques were not working. Taking this barbaric behavior directly head-on, no holds barred, with the two younger ones, I sat them down on the couch for a “talking to.” Our conversation went something like this:

Mommy (that’s me)—“You can NOT ask Grandma and Aunt Sheila for gum before you say anything else to them. It’s rude and not okay. You need to acknowledge them. Say hello. Let them know that you love them and care about them, not that you just want gum from them. How would you feel if every time you saw your friend his/her first words to you were, ‘What do you have for me?’ Would that make you feel loved and cared about, or not loved?”

Sophia, (middle-child) nodding with understanding, replied—“Not loved.”

Mommy—“Besides…you don’t always need to ask Grandma or Aunt Sheila for gum. Do you understand?”

Jonathan stared blankly ahead, but Sophia answered emphatically—“Yes, Mommy. I understand.”

A couple of days had passed since our big talk. Aunt Sheila pulled in the driveway unexpectedly. The kids started jumping up and down in the house screaming, “Aunt Sheila is here! Aunt Sheila is here!”

The door was flung open and all three of them were running down the sidewalk toward Aunt Sheila before I even had time to emerge from the house. Sophia reached the “Gum Carrier” first. I stepped onto the porch just as I heard her excitedly say, with arms lifted up and a big smile on her face “Aunt Sheila, Aunt Sheila! How are you? I love you! Got’ny gum?”

It was a proud moment for me. Yep. All that great one-on-two parent talking to, and my Sophia took it to heart. She learned the lesson I’d taught her well. What a good girl.

Like Amber, I’d love to hear your “teachable moments.”


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