Some quick parenting advice: If you’re not familiar with the Omniscient and Omnipresent Parenting Style (O.O.P.S.), it’s time to get with the program. This is by far the best method for making sure your kids think twice before doing stupid stuff when you’re not around. Think about all the dumb things you did when your parents weren’t around, now think about how the human race keeps getting dumber, now think about your kids. Listen up!
The OOPS method is simple, but you need to implement it while your children are young. So how does it work? Like this…
Let your kid play outside unsupervised. I’ve warned you before about the dangers of letting your children play outside, but I think that for the sake of the future good of your child, it’s worth the risk. Make sure that your toddler knows that he or she is alone.
In this example, I let our youngest daughter, Libby, play outside on the back deck. While she was busy walking around and tripping every ten steps, I found a place to observe from. It’s important to make sure that you can’t be seen.
Now you just sit back and wait. Libby has a thing for food. Actually, she has a thing for sticking anything she can grab into her mouth, e.g., pencils, toys, kitty litter. Recently, she has been fascinated with the dirt in our potted palm trees. We “solved” that problem by covering the dirt with rocks. She wouldn’t eat rocks, right?
So now rock-eating has become a problem. Thanks to the O.O.P.S. technique, it won’t be an issue for much longer. All I had to do was lurk in the shadows until she went for the rock-tasting portion of her outside play; it didn’t take long.
As soon as she picked up the rock and started going for the mouth, that’s when I yelled. “Libby! Put down those rocks!” Startled, she threw the rock down and turned around looking for the voice. She couldn’t see me so she went back to playing. A couple minutes later, she’s back to the rock-eating. “Libby! Put down those rocks!” She kept looking for me, but without success. At this point, I continued to let her play. She avoided the rocks from then on. Are you starting to see how it works?
This is a great tool for letting the older two play together outside. Caleb is fond of his sister, well, fond of pushing her down and hitting her anyway. She often comes in crying and babbling something about “Brubber do dis”, but he always denies it. With O.O.P.S., there is no denying it. I saw it all. Usually I can catch it and yell at him before anything happens, but sometimes he moves like Usain Bolt, and before I know it, Leah is on the ground.
Your children need to know that you are always watching them. They need to know that even when they think they are alone, Momma or Daddy know what they are doing. What better way to achieve this than for your child to hear your booming voice seemingly coming from the sky? It’s not quite the voice of God, but if it puts the fear of God in them, that’s close enough.