In April's issue of Glamour, movie star and Oscar winner Kate Winslet said that of all the things she has had in her life, that the thing that makes her weep with happiness are her well-behaved children. She said:
The challenge is making sure that they're never treated different just because I sometimes am. I always want them to be regular kids who are grateful and respectful of other human beings. I want them to know that when we fly first-class, that they are lucky. The highest compliment I could ever receive about my kids -- and I can say that this does happen frequently -- is when the in-flight crew say to me, Your children are wonderful. They are so well-behaved. Every time I am told that, I could weep.
She also refuses to get plastic surgery to combat motherhood's scars or aging. Wow. She kind of rocks, no? Even still, she makes me feel a little bad.
Recently, my toddler children (2.5 and 4) have started to get a tad out of control for their dad and me. They have had a combination of changes in their lives, business trips and babysitters, so that might explain some of it. But we also have extremely high strung children, born 18 months apart who egg one another on and whip each other into some kind of frenzy.
It often is not pretty. I do not often hear, "your children are so well behaved." In fact, I may have never heard that. I get, "your children are beautiful" (they are, though I know I am biased) and "your children are creative" and very often "your children are really smart" (this they probably are the most), but very rarely do I hear they behave well.
Of course, I partially blame my husband and myself. We are kind of free-range parents. We give our kids a very long leash to explore on their own, but when we want to bring that leash in toward us, forget it. Temper tantrum city, baby.
Currently, we are working toward better listening. We have the sticker charts and the 1-2-3 countdowns. We are working on earlier bedtimes, since I suspect our approach to bedtime (letting them read until they were tired -- well into the night some nights) is also not working. Stay tuned.
One day, in the not too distant future I also hope to hear the words, "Your children are SO well behaved." And when that happens, I, like Kate, will almost certainly weep with joy.
How do you get your children to behave?
Image via Glamour