I have what one might call an allergic reaction to the modern parental experts and their hokey advice on what I, as a mother, should be doing.
Perhaps it's a homage to my own mother. I find myself using the tactics she used on me to keep me in line as the most appropriate for my own children. Then again, it's mostly just doing what comes natural and being slightly lazy.
In some ways I am a very progressive mom, I believe babies should be breastfed for at least a year and certainly longer if possible, I am for co-sleeping, I think giving choices is helpful and spanking should be kept to the bare minimum (I do think a swat is the only option sometimes, although Eric adamantly opposes it).
But what about all this other namby-pamby nonsense that these "parenting experts" are passing out as good advice?
Listen to your children and then respond to their needs. That's great as long as their needs fall in line with my schedule and they do as I say when it really counts. Needing to watch the end of Barney when it's time to leave for school and responding to it, just means we are all late - sorry your needs don't always matter.
Unconditional love should always be given Unless you are driving me insane and being a demonic brat - then it's the "Hey you little snot, I have feelings too, and let me express one for you - LEAVE MOMMY ALONE OR MOMMY MIGHT EAT YOU." It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Lead by example, if you want them to be patient, you must be patient.
That's all well and good, but when I have a buttplow in front of me who refuses to go through the green light within a reasonable amount of time, mommy may bust out a "Move it moron!!" and a honk to just to show the selfish bastard the error of his or her ways. This might accidentally cause my child to shove another kid in line if he is busy picking his nose and staring off into space. Life's short dumbass, wake up and get movin'.
I could list dozens of examples of things I should be doing differently as a parent, but I am not a automaton - I react based on my experiences, my values and my mood. I try to be an adult and behave appropriately, but I sometimes fail. It's a good lesson for your children to learn I think - "Hey sometimes Mom's a bitch." I generally admit to this, apologize and try and make up for it, but you can't remove this essential quality from my being. It just is.