The more I spend time with playgroups and see other parents and their rules, the more my husband and I realize that our parenting is probably pretty "strict" compared to today's standards. Honestly, we are just raising our child with the same rules and manners that our parents both demanded of us. Here's some of our rules that make us "the mean parents:"
-No playing near the oven. Ever. Not even allowed to go close to it, let alone touch it. Sevryn will point to the oven and say, "le four! CHAUD!" (the oven! HOT!) because she knows she is not to go near it.
-No crawling, standing, and certainly no jumping on the sofa or other furniture. Furniture is for sitting on your bottom ONLY. She has a french video of kids kicking around on the sofa and she shakes her finger at them and says, "non non non non!!!"
-Not allowed to say, "NO" to adults or mom and dad. She has been taught to say, "No, thank you" and "non, Merci," if she is offered something she does not want. When told not to do something, she knows she cannot say, "NO," so so breathes a really heavy sigh of exasperation. (It's hard not to giggle!)
-Not allowed to touch the television, DVD player, TiVo, or even remote controls. That's for adults only.
-No playing on the stairs or climbing the stairs without an adult to accompany her. This is because we have a very tall iron spiral staircase, which is dangerous for children to play on. We have never used a child gate- she knows very specifically that she is NOT to touch "le noir" (the black part) of the stairs, at the top OR the bottom. She will stand and call for help, but she knows it is forbidden to touch the stairs without an adult with her.
-No banging on the piano. Pianos are instruments, not toys. She is allowed to play the piano, but only pressing the keys softly and gently.
-Not allowed to leave the dinner table until everyone is finished eating.
-No crying when it's time to leave the park. If she cries, she is "scratched" (not allowed back) to that park for a week. I haven't had to scratch any parks off our list yet, she knows when it's time to leave, we say goodbye to everyone, wave, and we go home.
-No touching or approaching dogs. Even little ones, and even if the owner says the dog is friendly. We have 2 dogs at home that love her and are gentle with her, and she knows that she may only pet HER dogs.
-No spitting, no biting, no screaming or yelling indoors. There is an indoor voice and an outdoor voice.
-No interrupting. If I am speaking to someone and she needs to speak to me, I've taught her to put her hand on my arm and wait. When I am available, I will turn to her and ask her what she needs. (I learned this one from my mother, who raised a huge houseful of children and foster children. It "saved our place in line" to talk to her, but was still respectful that she was busy with something.)
I'm sure this list will get longer as she gets older! What "mean parent" rules do you have in your home?