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The Line in the Sand

Sep15

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I have been eating my words for a long time.  Almost 16 years.  There are few things left to which I say “never” and admittedly most of those things have the words “as long as you are a minor and living in my house” preceding the word never.

There is a reason why the idiom is the line drawn in the sand, and not say, the line carved in concrete.  Sand moves.  It takes the line and distorts it.  Erases it.  Eradicates it.  Sometimes you forget you even had  standards a line.

Some of what has happened for me as parent over the years is redefining what actually matters, not getting as caught up in the small things, and choosing my battles wisely.   I recognize that the line I hold in the sand today might not be recognizable in a few years.  But at the heart of all the rules there is a line in the concrete that will forever hold fast. 

1) Sugar ladened breakfast cereal. 
I used to refuse to buy any of it.  Ever.  In fact, my brother-in-law once gave my oldest son Honey Nut Cheerios and I was annoyed for days. DAYS. 

Fast forward to today, there are currently five different types of breakfast cereal in my pantry.  Four of them fall into the sugary junk food category.  The fifth is the kind that parents who buy the sugary cereal think of as “healthy,” but it really isn’t.

My current line in the sand: cereal that has “cookie” in the name, contains chocolate, or marshmallows.  My children think this is cruel and have all sorts of plans to eat these types of cereal as soon as they go to college.

My carved in concrete line: 5lb bag of sugar with spoons sticking out the top.
I can say with all certainty I will never serve that for breakfast.  And I feel comfortable with that proclamation.  We will always have bowls.

2) Swearing
I fully expected that my children would never curse.  That is for lazy people who take the easy way out and rely on shock value rather than words that actually convey what they mean.
 
Then I had children.  And well, sometimes you just need a good curse word to properly convey the enormity of the emotion you are feeling. 

My five year old had the following conversation with his friend the other day:

5yr old son: But I want a turn with the toy.
Friend: But is a bad word.*
5yr old son: But?
Friend: Yes.  We aren’t allowed to say but at my house.  Or stupid.  Or shut-up.  Those are bad words.
5 yr old son, very solemnly: We can’t say f*&% at my house.

They nod knowingly at each other and go on with their playing.

That is pretty much my current line in the sand these days. 

My line in the concrete?  Name calling, with or without curse words.

3)  Clothing
My children were never going to wear clothes with licensed characters on the them.  I just thought they were so garish and poorly made.  And did I mention garish?  Whoever designs those clothes needs to learn that less is more.  Every item of clothing does not need to contain every color in the rainbow.
 
Today I think all of my kids at one time have had clothing with licensed characters on them.  To include my 15 yr old son who currently has an Elmo shirt.

My current line in the sand:  tight skinny jeans on boys.  It helps that none of my sons actually want to wear this look, preferring instead to wear shorts so long and baggy they look like overgrown toddlers.

My line in the concrete: light up shoes.**

* I am assuming he meant “butt”
** Ha!  I was just reminded that my daughter owned a pair of light up sandals that were Disney Princess themed.  Clearly I have no standards when it comes to my children’s choice of clothing  and my line in the concrete is you must not be naked.

 
So tell me, do you have a line in the sand that you think you will never cross?  What about carved in concrete?  or were you just one of those smart parents right from the beginning who has never had to evolve or change their ideas on anything?

About the author

Chris Jordan

http://notesfromthetrenches.com
Chris Jordan began blogging at Notes From the Trenches in 2004 where she writes about her life raising her children in Austin, Texas.

Oh, she has seven of them. Yes, children.

Yes, they are all hers.

No she's not Catholic or Mormon. Though she wouldn’t mind having a sister-wife because holy hell the laundry never stops.

Yes, she finally figured out what causes it. That's why her youngest is almost 6.

Yes, she has a television.

She enjoys referring to herself in the third person.

If you would like to submit a question for Chris to answer publicly, please do so to adviceforparentsoftweens[at]gmail[dot]com.


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56 Responses to “The Line in the Sand”

  1. Zoot Sep 15 at 12:49 pm Reply Reply

    Oh, Man. I could write books especially since I was a young “hippy” idealistic college student when I first became a mother and am now…Not.

    And the skinny jeans? I cringed when my son went through that phase in 8th grade but I let it slide (although I openly grumbled) and – THANK GOD – grew out of it quickly. So, if it comes up? DONT PANIC.

    My line in the concrete? Man. I don’t even know if I have any anymore. I think my main line in the concrete? Is not to put them there b/c the second I do? Some bulldozer challenges it. hehe.

  2. cagey Sep 15 at 12:50 pm Reply Reply

    Back in the days of yore when I was Armchair Parenting, I had all sorts concrete lines, now they are mostly the sand variation. My line in the sand is light-up shoes – I am fairly determined in that one.

  3. meg Sep 15 at 12:51 pm Reply Reply

    Like you, my line in the sand is a moving target…sometimes I feel guilty that my first son had to endure all the silly rules… 5 kids later, most of those rules seem ridiculous! foder for his therapist…

  4. heidi Sep 15 at 1:03 pm Reply Reply

    My current lines in the concrete:
    No tattoos until you are 18.
    No piercing nipples or other private parts (if you ever do, I do NOT WANT TO KNOW)
    We share the no chocolate, cookie or marshmallow cereal unless they come in those mini boxes and you are camping.
    Also, my 15 y/o was flinging the ‘f’ word around last night with abandon. He was tantruming like a two year old. He also told me where I was going wrong in my parenting. Line there? Other than a stern talking to about the way you speak to me? No punishment. Obviously, I have no more lines.

  5. heidi Sep 15 at 1:04 pm Reply Reply

    My current lines in the concrete:
    No tattoos until you are 18.
    No piercing nipples or other private parts (if you ever do, I do NOT WANT TO KNOW)
    We share the no chocolate, cookie or marshmallow cereal unless they come in those mini boxes and you are camping.
    Also, my 15 y/o was flinging the ‘f’ word around last night with abandon. He was tantruming like a two year old. He also told me where I was going wrong in my parenting. Line there? Other than a stern talking to about the way you speak to me? No punishment. Obviously, I have no more lines. They have broken me.

  6. LK Sep 15 at 5:59 pm Reply Reply

    When I left home, I bought and consumed every sugary cereal I had ever dreamed of. I ate them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I think I nearly gave myself diabetes.

    Not that I’m a mom, we don’t “start our day with sugar”, but I will let my kids have Honeycomb for a snack or dessert.

    That line moved from no sugary cereals at all.

  7. Amy @ Taste Like Crazy Sep 16 at 2:19 pm Reply Reply

    “5 yr old son, very solemnly: We can’t say f*&% at my house.”

    My mom always told me, “You never know what you’ll do until you’re in that situation.” I stick to that like cat hair to a black shirt.

    Since I have a four year old and a two year old, I don’t have a lot of concrete lines. 

    Absolutely no biting or spitting and no throwing toys out the window are the only two that really come to mind. 

  8. Elizabeth Sep 16 at 2:20 pm Reply Reply

    My line was going to be bedtime. It was going to be 9 p.m. Sharp.

    Okay…10 p.m…..11? C’mon, it’s 12:30 a.m.!

    Will you just fall asleep, dammit, before my alarm goes off and I have to get ready for work!?

    Ugh. He’s only three and I’m too sleep-deprived to have any hard lines.

  9. Julie @ The Mom Slant Sep 16 at 2:44 pm Reply Reply

    That exchange between your son and his friend made me laugh – a little uncomfortably though, because I’m afraid my kids have already had such a conversation.

    My lines in the concrete typically involve stuff that’s illegal or morally wrong. I like to uphold ideals much of the time and allow for occasional exceptions.

  10. stacey@Havoc&Mayhem Sep 16 at 3:40 pm Reply Reply

    damn..my clothing line in concrete is ‘must not be naked out where people who are not close friends can see you’ because I lost those battles years ago and the oldest is only 7

    DH insists no cookie cereal and no marshmallow cereal.

    uumm…no shouting Fire in public places, not that I have reached that line. I’m currently battling at ‘no shouting in public places’ and am hoping to retake ‘use your indoor voice indoors’ sometimes soon.

    We didn’t go into this parenting thing with many expectations, nevers and alwayses in mind since mostly we never thought we’d be parents. The 4 months between our changing our minds and me getting pregnant just wasn’t long enough for us to start thinking of any.

  11. Mama Fly Sep 17 at 2:30 pm Reply Reply

    The toddler tide erased one of my lines just this morning. I was NEVER going to be one of those moms whose kid walked around with a soother in his mouth all the time. But there I was this morning – in the liquor store of all places – with an almost three-year-old with a soother in his mouth. Oh well, the latest in a long line of erased lines…he is the fourth. Need I say more?

  12. Rebecca Sep 17 at 5:03 pm Reply Reply

    Faded lines: I had a line in the sand about TV and lasted until after baby girl turned two. Now, it’s limited TV but it’s still a constant battle with her, babysitters, relatives, etc.

    I once saw my cousin give her son chocolate milk every day and said, “that will never be me” and my daughter drinks chocolate milk multiple times a week.

    Current lines in the sand: something with protein must be consumed for dinner, no dessert until some healthy food has been consumed, teeth and hair brushed at last once a day.

    Lines in concrete: no hitting, name calling or slamming doors,

  13. Headless Mom Sep 17 at 5:30 pm Reply Reply

    I get skinny jeans for my 10yo. He’s so skinny that they fit like regular jeans. He gets what he wants, and so do I!

  14. Jules Sep 17 at 5:40 pm Reply Reply

    No texting capabilities on cell phones – Speak to someone, learn to formulate a sentence without abbreviation FPS (for pete’s sake!)
    Owning only a few black pieces of clothing – I know the teen years are trying, but you don’t have to look like your in mourning.. That’s my job! Finally – turning our stereotypes into theirs – Sometimes a mind is a beautiful thing to waste when someone tells you what you ought to think, or not think for yourself.

  15. Jandy Sep 17 at 6:04 pm Reply Reply

    Line in the sand was “no TV before school”. Now they are all grown-up (some what) and they still don’t turn the TV on before work/college.

  16. janene Sep 17 at 6:05 pm Reply Reply

    6 kids here, ages 24 to 10. i had so many concrete lines with the first, poor girl, but she was so obedient to it all. #2’s personality caused me to shift those lines a bit, and #3 is currently causing the lines to blur completely. i have to say my concrete lines are now anything that could send us or him to jail, i.e., not going to school, drugs, alcohol, etc. the longer i parent, the less i feel like i know what i am doing sometimes! fortunately, i don’t think our youngest 3 will be such challenging teenagers, but that remains to be seen.

  17. Cate Sep 17 at 6:08 pm Reply Reply

    I will not be the annoying parent with the screaming toddler in the restaurant. As I’m just barely pregnant, I figure I have at least 35 weeks left before I’m eating that one.

  18. Ruth Sep 17 at 6:54 pm Reply Reply

    It used to be mohawks, but now I am encouraging our 10 year old and to get one.  When else in life is he going to be able to have a mohawk?  

    Real clothes must be worn when outside, I don’t care if they match- that’s concrete.   That’s all I can really pin down.  I mostly remember all my “failures.”

  19. MichelleRenee Sep 17 at 7:48 pm Reply Reply

    My concrete line.. Name calling no matter what your age.

    Line in the Sand : The BAD WORD list differs from the older to smaller.

    Blurred Lines? The no cell phone rule, The no streaking your hair rule, the friends sleepover on a school night rule..

  20. Jaye Sep 17 at 8:01 pm Reply Reply

    So many of my lines have been erased that I don’t even remember them all.  My nephew was born 2 years before my oldest and I was so judgmental towards my SIL and was going to be such a superior mother.  Eight years later and I’m still choking on that shoe leather.

    But, my line in the concrete is that my daughter’s hair must be brushed everyday before school.

  21. Sherry Sep 17 at 8:13 pm Reply Reply

    I think the only concrete line I have left right now is that my children must not kill each other or anyone else. Most of my lines in the sand moved away quickly and my kids are only 4 and 8.

  22. suburbancorrespondent Sep 17 at 8:25 pm Reply Reply

    Nothing, honey. Nothing is left. Nothing but “Please don’t grow up and be an axe murderer.” Oh, and I don’t let the kids have an expensive electronic anything if I don’t get one first. I have my pride.

  23. Rachel Sep 17 at 8:54 pm Reply Reply

    My line in the sand…whining. Can’t stand it until I give them the “look” hence the sliding sand.

    Concrete? I will not abide the word “hate.” It’s such a strong word and has so much negative connotation.

    Anything else and it’s a slippery slope my friend. I fear I give in a LOT to my 5 and 8 yr old. Like DS in at bedtime..even though I swore it was only to be reading books when they were babies. No eating food in my brand new Subaru….lasted like a week. Oh how i will laugh about my “rules” someday. How DO they manage to break most of them???

  24. Sarah Sep 17 at 8:59 pm Reply Reply

    Our lines have shifted so much that our 8 yr old has complained about the fact his 3yr old brother gets to do all the things he wasn’t allowed to do. Our response is that 8yr old is our experiment child. Line is the sand: We’re holding out (by our fingernails) from buying any computer game console related thing (Wiietc). And line in concrete: name calling and funnily enough I only realised this a few days ago: mooning your brothers friends. This may change to a sandy line at some point but I doubt it.

  25. Carolyn Sep 17 at 9:43 pm Reply Reply

    OH…do I ever have lines in the sand.

    Line in sand: My parents did NOT buy me a car and I will NOT buy you a car.

    Then, you worked your fanny off this summer for a vehicle, so we ponied up (2/3) and you now have access to a 1996 Ford Ranger (too small to carry a gaggle of teens).

    Line in concrete: I will not EVER get you that Candy Apple Red Maserati you covet. Ever. Even if I win the lottery. That one I used a jack hammer to draw.

    Line in sand: My son will NOT EVER wear hockey hair. EVER.
    OK…it’s your hair. You want to deal with hair hanging in your face, broken out skin from dirty sweaty hair (soccer), etc…have at it.

    Line in concrete: No to tattoos. Or piercings of any body parts except a SINGLE hole in each ear. Want more? You’ll wait til you’re out of school. (and yes…you resign yourself to the hockey hair and BOOM you find yourself at the “salon” getting the hair cut every 3 weeks because now it’s too long)

    Line in sand: I was 43 when I got my cell phone. You’ll wait until you NEED* one. And even then, NO TEXTING.

    Line in concrete: Unlimited texting. But NO downloads. You WILL survive without them. And no, you do NOT need to access your email. That’s what TEXTING is for.

    Line in sand: No more than 2 sleepovers/month/child.
    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Line in concrete: Can you be home before school starts on Monday (yes…that IS sarcasm)?

    Line in sand: NO THONGS. IF your pants are so tight you need a thong not to have panty lines, then your pants are too tight.

    Line in concrete: Thongs ONLY get worn for dance, because being the “understanding” mother I am, I DO understand spandex and the effect of panties on it. Let me catch you in a thong for everyday wear (yeah…like I do a panty check every day) and the even limited supply of thongs will go *poof*…disappear.

    Line in sand/concrete: NO characters on SHOES. This I have adhered to and WHEW…the youngest is 9 and she’s not interested in characters any more.

    *NEED = 14 years old. 2 down, 2 to go.

  26. liz Sep 17 at 9:56 pm Reply Reply

    My kids are out of the house! and I have no lines left.  I’d like them to graduate in 4 years but I understand if they don’t (major changing).  I’d like them to not get tattoos but have told them that if they do, make sure they’re well done by a good artist and not to get them on their faces or necks.  Piercings, whatever, they’ll close up.  (Actually neither of them have piercings or tattoos.)   Sex, well a pregnancy is going to mess up your plans but it’s not the end of the world.  Video games, yeah, I let them play as much as they had time for in high school and they still play a little but they’re usually too busy. They’re actually turning out to be pretty good people.   

  27. kathy Sep 17 at 10:48 pm Reply Reply

    coke in a baby bottle. Line in concrete. (easy as i always breastfed, oldest is 16 and youngest is 8 and the factory is closed)

  28. Jennifer Sep 17 at 11:12 pm Reply Reply

    Concrete:
    No shooting at the table
    No laying on the floor at the grocery store
    No lying
    Sand:
    Everything else

    If you want to go out with no clothes on, power to you.

  29. Jeanne Sep 17 at 11:16 pm Reply Reply

    Love this post since your “line in the sand” items are so similar to mine. Still been able to keep the kids off licensed character wear (except for PJ’s – totally acceptable for some reason) and of the 5 cereals in my pantry only one would classify as a “sugar”cereal but that will likely change since I’m so damn happy if they eat anything before school! I have girls so I guess the skinny jean thing is more acceptable but I tried to turn my 5-year old daughter’s skinny jeans inside out for washing and my freaking arm wouldn’t even fit down her pant leg!

  30. Nicki Sep 17 at 11:18 pm Reply Reply

    I have learned that anytime I say the word “never”, it always happens… 

  31. suzie Sep 17 at 11:25 pm Reply Reply

    As a rather grouchy mom of 12 and 14 yos:
    My older daughter swears.
    My younger daughter just tonight complained that while growing 2 inches in height that her legs actually fill out her jeans. She COMPLAINED.
    I haven’t seen them in 2 weeks.
    As someone who used to dream of homeschooling 6 kids, and now can barely get face time for 2 because of work responsibilities? 
    Who cares about sugar in a burlap bag?

  32. Lucinda Sep 18 at 12:34 am Reply Reply

    I often joke about those lines…I say things like my kids I don’t care much about what my kids wear as long as they are clean and weather appropriate but even that is optional. And they aren’t quite old enough to worry about whether or not the clothes actually cover the body.

    I didn’t make a lot of proclamations before I had kids beyond generalities like I’m their mother, not their friend and I will tell them I love them all the time, both of which remain true. So is it weird that in many ways my lines actually get firmer as they get older? Or maybe I just only draw a few lines so I’m pretty clear about where they are. But give it time. They aren’t teens yet. I’m sure I’ll be eating my words soon.

  33. Catie Sep 18 at 3:35 am Reply Reply

    My brother’s first word was “shit”. We all turned to each other and shrugged. I think it was all downhill from there.

  34. gem Sep 18 at 6:33 am Reply Reply

    This s funny cos I wrote on exactly this the other day. I had a line in the sand around toy guns and now my boys aged 14 and 16 play XBox Assassins Creed and the 14 year old went paint balling for his birthday. As I read this the only conclusion I can come to is that my line in the concrete must be real guns!! Joking I swear)

  35. Sue Sep 18 at 11:00 am Reply Reply

    The only thing left on my List is No Tattoos. And I can even see softening up on that eventually. I wrote a post about this once and how I let go of my No Travel Sports rule and one of my beloved commenters said she had never let one of her rules go. And I really had to restrain myself from blocking her.

  36. Deputy's Wife Sep 18 at 1:40 pm Reply Reply

    Lord, if I only REALLY knew what it would be like to parent way back when. Before having children, I dreamt of well behaved, well mannered children. My children were going to love each other, not fight, and certainly look neat and clean. There were going to be a shining example to children everywhere. Now that I have lived in reality the last ten years or so, I have come to understand that my children don’t need to be well behaved ALL the time nor do they need to be neatly dressed. What they need is love, tolerence, and a lot of humor. If we didn’t have a sense of humor around here, we would have been all locked up by now.
    Also… my line in the concrete… NO t-shirts bashing education (Top ten reasons why not to do homework) I would rather put them in a bud light shirt.

  37. xpurg8d Sep 18 at 3:32 pm Reply Reply

    My youngest will be 39 in a couple of weeks, so all my lines were obliterated years ago. But I offer this to those of you who haven’t got to this point, yet: Make sure your lines don’t sound like a “dare” to the listener.

    When the daughter was about 15 and declared that as soon as she was 18 she was going to get multiple piercings in each ear, I unwisely said, “My sister (who is ten years older than I) got three piercings in each ear YEARS ago.” My intent was to make it not so desireable.

    So she showed up for my birthday dinner when she was 19 saying, “I won’t be eating much tonight.” When asked why she responded by sticking out her newly pierced TONGUE.

    Footnote: She turned out just fine, the tongue stud came out years ago, and she’s somebody’s mother now. I just sit by and giggle.

  38. Becky Sep 18 at 3:56 pm Reply Reply

    My lines in the sand seem to be changing.I had firm lines, or so I thought, about movie ratings, the age they’d get cell phones, and certain items of clothing would NEVER be worn by my children. These seem to be changing.
    My lines in the concrete involve what I will or will not let my teen daughter out the door in, only one hole in her ear(and no piercings anywhere else for her and none anywhere for her brothers). I also am holding firm about no blinky shoes and no character backpacks. And unfortunately, my concrete line in the sand forbidding any watching of Sponge Bob Squarepants has somehow broken down. He’s a regular on our tivo now. Ugh.

  39. Traci Sep 18 at 4:00 pm Reply Reply

    Reading all of these I think I have had each of these rules at some point or other.  I have 7 kids…ages 22,20,14,14,7,4 and 1.  No cell phones…gave in with the first set of teenagers.  It beat waiting around for drama rehearsal to be done…it always ran late.  No tattoos…gave in on the 20 yr olds 18th bday.  At least I was there, saw that it was small and she hasn’t gotten any other’s since.  I had the no thong rule…then they bought them for themselves with babysitting money.  We’ve had character shirts, sugar cereal, video games, cursing…where does it end.  The one year old should skate through childhood easily…I have not a line left.  Well if I had a line her older siblings would tell her how to get around it.

  40. Maddy Sep 18 at 5:37 pm Reply Reply

    My first line was no disposable diapers, that lasted six months. I was given a packet of Huggies by my mother as a gift, she said take December off from all that washing and enjoy Christmas. I never went back.
    My current line in the sand for my teenage boys is no Facebook or MSN, no chat rooms or cyber bullys for them. We will see.

  41. tracy in ohio Sep 18 at 8:07 pm Reply Reply

    My lines in the sand change everyday it seems like. Right now its no belly shirts. I have been holding on to this one since they were little and so far it has stuck.
    I use to have a line in the concrete that was no child of mine would be a picky eater and they would eat what I put in front of them. I now make a menu around what my step daughter will eat when she is here and my 2 yr old ate fruit snacks for dinner because he wouldn’t touch the sandwich I made him. He is a very picky eater and low weight so I am happy just to get some kind of food in him most days.

  42. Nicki Sep 18 at 10:07 pm Reply Reply

    These were all my previous lines in the sand as well. Another big one here was “We will not own or play with guns, ever”. Then we moved to Texas. Now my kids own not only water guns (previously forbidden) but airsoft guns. I’m afraid to even draw a concrete line here for fear of jinxing myself.

    Others:
    * I will never pierce my baby’s ears.
    * I will never enroll my kids in school.
    * I will never get into power struggles over food.
    …and oh so many more.

  43. Jessica Sep 18 at 10:16 pm Reply Reply

    When I was growing up, my parents were at a cookout and this other kid came running up and said, “Weston said a bad word! He said the F word!” My parents just looked at each other and they said, “really?” and the kid said, “Yup. He said…. FART.”

    I believe they gave a huge sigh of relief, because LORD KNOWS it could have been the “other” F word just as easily.

    My one and only is 12 months old. My lines are not formed yet. Right now, my guidelines are, “everyone alive and happy at the end of the day.”

  44. KarinNH Sep 19 at 10:29 am Reply Reply

    Oh, how this post and the comments have made me laugh!

    My kids are 20 and 26. There are no lines left. Hence this exchange about 5 years ago:

    Youngest son: I am glad I am not a first child!
    Me: Oh?
    YS: Yeah, most of my friends are first born children. And their parents? Are wound way too &^%$ tight!

    And once they hit the teen years? Most of those lines are nothing but fervent wishes anyway!

  45. meredith Sep 19 at 1:00 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t like the constant knit-picking bickering between my two girls. In my imagination they were going to be the two best of friends…which they can be sometimes. But at 10 and 12, they sure seem to fight about a lot of stupid things. The line not to cross: no hitting allowed.

  46. Amy Sep 19 at 2:30 pm Reply Reply

    We home school. The only main ones that come to mind are: no tv until school work is done and I won’t allow cable or computers in the room. I do, however, allow tv and dvd players in the rooms. The computer is in a central location and cable tv is as well. Pop tarts are only for camping, never at home. And you are not allowed to tell me “no” when I tell you to do something EVER!
    So, although when I first had kids, I had all kinds of crazy rule and ideas, now, after 3 kids, I have become much more relaxed. My rules fall under the sheltering from “the hideousness of society” more than anything.

  47. Angie Sep 19 at 3:06 pm Reply Reply

    You still draw a line in the concrete when it comes to light-up shoes–just not when it comes to girls’ shoes. And, take it from a mother of 4 girls, it is nearly impossible to draw a line in anything when it comes to girl clothing.

  48. Jen Sep 20 at 7:33 am Reply Reply

    I draw my line at shoes that squeak. Fortunately, my kids haven’t seen them, but I have, and I find them annoying. I do buy light up shoes…usually don’t realize they light up until after we get them home. Sigh….

  49. Brigitte Sep 20 at 10:02 am Reply Reply

    I think I’m too tired to get into mixing, pouring and drawing lines in concrete. ;-)

  50. Catootes Sep 20 at 10:38 am Reply Reply

    Soda is an occassional treat not a mainstay of the diet. Breakfast, every weekday, no excuses (not even my excuses), lunch and dinner are optional. Don’t kill each other, because then I would have to call the police and the house is a mess.

  51. brit Sep 20 at 11:13 am Reply Reply

    we are currently working on the difference between private and public. As in, The Library is a public building, you can not pee in the yard of the Library. Grandpa’s house is Private, you can pee in Grandpa’s yard.

    Yep…..rules…..I try to stick with let’s not get arrested.

  52. elz Sep 20 at 11:26 am Reply Reply

    Line in the sand: I will let my children choose their activities, within reason.

    My line in concrete: I will NEVER sign my daughters up for a beauty pageant. I will never wear their faces on my shirt. My line in blood: I will never permit my children or myself to appear on “Toddlers and Tiaras.”

  53. edj Sep 21 at 2:38 pm Reply Reply

    My current ones are no TV or computers in bedrooms. We’ll see. I have a feeling that compute one will soon be but a happy memory!

  54. Elena Sep 23 at 4:06 pm Reply Reply

    Currently my line is “Thou shalt eat what I cook for dinner and not sit there at my table and gag over the nutrituous meal that I am forcing you to eat.”
    We have been battling this one out since the addition of a stepfather and a nightly family meal to our routine. After last night I am seriously considering banning my 13 year old from eating dinner. Except I am afraid he will not really think of this as a punishment….sob.

  55. Shelley Sep 25 at 12:35 pm Reply Reply

    I have a couple of lines in concrete. One of them is regarding tattoos and piercings. I have three daughters, ages 18, 15 and 8. When my oldest was 15 or 16, she wanted a belly-button ring. I said no. My line in concrete is this: I will not consent (sign) for any tattoos, or any piercings other than ears. When you are 18, you can do whatever you want to your body. Until then, no. Strangely, when my 18 year-old turned 18, she did not run right out and get covered with tattoos and piercings. In fact, she did nothing.

    Another line in concrete: My daughters (this applies now mostly to the 8 year-old) will never wear those cutsey little t-shirts that say “Princess”, “It’s All About Me” (no, it’s not), or “Wanted It, Threw a Fit, Got it”, or anything along those lines. Won’t buy them, ever.

    I have never, and would never, enter a child in a pageant. I think the whole thing is ridiculous.

    Cheerleading, also ridiculous. Now, if someone really wanted to do it, I wouldn’t stop them. But my girls play sports, and I’m glad. I would much rather see them playing their own sports, than standing on the sidelines with pom poms going, “Go boys…yay boys!” My motto: “Real girls don’t cheer…they PLAY!”

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  1. Why I secretly dread a Verizon iPhone - Sep 16

    [...] Our oldest child wants a cell phone. She doesn’t even care if it’s an antiquated flip phone like Kyle and I carry, or so she tells us. Her classmate across the street got one a year ago so that her mother could track her with the GPS. Her BFF down the street also has one — both of her parents work outside the home. Which is all well and good, I’ve told her, but she’s not getting a cell phone. Not yet. That’s my line carved in the concrete. [...]

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