Laresa Watkins

The “D” Word

Sep 4, 2013

Jason made a comment one day last week that I have been thinking about quite a bit: “It seems like we’re always saying ‘Don’t do this! Don’t do that!'” I took that to mean, “You don’t let the kids do anything or have any fun,” which is totally not what he was implying.  He was just making an observation that we (mostly I) say “don’t” a lot.

With 2 young children, saying “no” is a necessity for their well-being, but I have been making an effort to notice exactly what I tell them not to do, and what I should maybe just let them do.  I will admit that sometimes I tell them not to do something because it will make a mess that I don’t feel like cleaning up, but I do try to avoid that because sometimes learning is messy, isn’t it?

I documented this morning what I just had to say “don’t” to, if only to provide a little comic relief for a tough post-vacation day!

1. Don’t zip yourself up inside of the luggage unless Mommy is in the same room and knows what you are doing.

2. Don’t go outside to shoot your bow and arrows naked.

3. Don’t pick up Baby Kitty by the neck.

4. Don’t attempt to pick up your sister by the neck.

5. Don’t try to run away from me in this parking lot.

6. Don’t tear the leaves off of the only plant that you or the cats have not yet destroyed.

7. Don’t eat that bright yellow mushroom you just picked from our yard, and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.

8. Don’t stick your hand in the baby Vapo-rub, and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.

9. Don’t attempt to pick up your brother by the neck.


11. Don’t try to pet Goldie (our fish), and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.


13. Don’t touch the toilet in the Wal-Mart restroom, and don’t do anything until we have washed your hands.

You get the picture, right?

Most of my “don’ts” are hygiene or safety related.  Gotta keep them healthy and alive, right?

Google “Saying no to your children” and see what comes up.  It is amazing!  My favorite article is “How to Say ‘No’ Without Saying ‘No.'” Are you serious?

Say no, people.  There is nothing wrong with it.  Do we not, as adults, hear “no” in some form or fashion every day?  What if our parents never ever said no to us, then one day we got a letter in the mail saying “Thank you for the application, but NO”? This is what would happen:

Am I the only one who doesn't want my child to end up like Miley?

Am I the only one who doesn’t want my child to end up like Miley?

“Don’t” is necessary to child-rearing.  So is “NO.”

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

If we take the time to discipline and say “don’t” and “no” now, our lives and those of our children will be better.  If our ultimate goal is to raise up well-adjusted, peaceful, joyful individuals, it is our responsibility to teach them that the world doesn’t always say “yes.”

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. Proverbs 23: 13-15

I for one will say “don’t” and “no” as much as it takes to teach Charlie kindness and gentleness towards animals and other people, and to teach Maddie that she has to wash her hands after she touches poisonous objects and uses the restroom.  These are important life lessons, after all!

I will continue to say “don’t” and “no” when my children face life’s more difficult problems, when we’re talking about drugs and sex instead of holding kittens and washing hands.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Parenthood (like Christianity) is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for the fearful.

Maddie’s Night Out

Jan 21, 2013

Hi Everyone!  I hope that your weekend has been as great as ours.  We spent a lot of time with family this weekend.  Friday night we had dinner out with my stepbrother Randy and his family (more on that eventful night in a sec).  Yesterday, my sister-in-law Jill was in town with her new little baby girl, Addison.  I took the kids to my mother-in-law’s house to visit with them for awhile.  Then today, my sister and her family came to Bonlee for lunch, so we got to spend some time with them.  I so appreciate every person in my family and the influence they have on my children.  We are all so different, but my family (while a tad crazy:)) is a good mix of people.

It was a really warm day here in NC, so we spent a lot of time outside.  We had a fire in our firepit at the house this afternoon, and Jason actually only just now came inside!

Jason giving Charlie a fire safety lesson-or a lesson in something!

Jason giving Charlie a fire safety lesson-or a lesson in something!


Maddie loved warming her hands by the fire.


The moon was beautiful!

So, back to dinner Friday night.  Maddie has been a handful this week.  I know that she has her 2-year molars coming in (one finally popped through today), and she has had a little cold, but she has been really hard to handle.  I had already decided earlier in the week that I am just going to have to start laying down the law with her, but that is really difficult to do in a crowded restaurant.  So I am officially one of THOSE people: you know, the ones with the obnoxious kid in the restaurant that ruins everyone else’s meal?  That’s me.  Maddie was a nightmare.  She refused to sit in her highchair, refused to sit with anyone but me, then finally refused to sit anywhere!  She wanted to wallow around in the restaurant floor or dance around in the middle of the crowded aisle in the way of the waitresses.  She threw toys and was just all-around awful.

Ugh!  It was not the way I had envisioned dinner going.  I am not exactly sure how I am going to handle Maddie as she moves into her two’s and three’s.  I love her spirit and her independence and her personality.  She has great qualities that will make her a very powerful woman, and I certainly don’t want to spoil those traits.  She is so different from Charlie, and I am going to have to come up with some new strategies. One thing I do know is this: Maddie will not be eating anywhere but Chick-Fil-A or McDonalds for at least a year!

Sweet Devilish Charlie

Feb 22, 2012

Charlie, who has always been a little late with everything (he didn’t start walking until he was 18 months old), has decided to come into his terrible-two’s now.  As I type this blog entry, he is throwing balls out of his ball pit at his sister.  I feel like I have to constantly stay on top of him.  So far, I have found that taking away the play-doh and Legos are most effective, along with telling him that he can’t watch Caillou or Bob the Builder (Thank goodness he no longer likes The Wiggles-how annoying is that show?).  He also really hates being in time out, so I just have to mention it and he straightens up.  Of course, there is the occasional spanking.  I have decided not to overuse that form of punishment and save it for the most dire crimes that could result in death or injury.  Several mothers and gandmothers  told me that if I can just hang in there until he turns 4  he will be okay, and I am hanging onto that hope with every shred of my being!

While he has his bad moments, Charlie also has so many good, sweet moments.  A couple of weeks ago he wouldn’t share a toy with a friend who was visiting our house.  I told him that he needed to be nice and share his toys, that God wants us to be nice and kind to people.  He said, through his tears, “God is wrong.” I had trouble keeping a straight face as I told him that God is never wrong.

The day before yesterday he asked me where Heaven is.  I explained to him that Heaven is in the sky, so far away that we can’t see it, but that even though God is far away he still sees and hears everything that we say and do.  At the time we were sitting at the kitchen table and I had the laundry room door open, so the washer and dryer were loud.  Charlie said “God can’t hear us because of the dryer.”  The boy cracks me up. 

One thing I have discovered about children:  They can bring you to your highest of highs and your lowest of lows.

Here’s a picture of Charlie and Maddie on Maddie’s first birthday.  The question is this: Is he hugging her, or strangling her?

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