# dignity # parenting chat

How Not to Lose Your Dignity | Parenting Chat | Jennifer L. Scott

Picture this: you're having breakfast... enjoying your poached egg on toast, orange juice, and coffee. You notice your toddler running gleefully around the living room, laughing uproariously. You don't mind, you're just happy to be having a few minutes to eat a nice breakfast. Suddenly you realize that he is holding something in his hand. What is it?

It looks like a large canister.
And he's shaking it.
All over the living room floor.
It's pepper.
Pepper is being shaken all across the living room floor.

Throwing your napkin aside, you start chasing after him, while yelling, "STOP!" Poached egg on toast regrettably trying to go down your throat.

Pause right here.

In this moment, you've lost your dignity.

As parents of young children, we all know what it's like to act less than dignified. In some situations (like the pepper shaking incident) losing your dignity is inevitable. But in other situations (losing your temper, etc.) dignity can be preserved. Parenting is hard, and I certainly don't know everything. But as a mother to four children, I'm learning and growing more and more every day.

I hope you enjoy today's video. Please chime in on the discussion in the comment section. I love to hear from you. For more on how to cultivate poise, check out my third book, Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance.

๐Ÿ“I finished my 2nd round of copyedits for CONNOISSEUR KIDS, my new book coming out in the fall of 2019 from Chronicle Books. I'm so excited for your family to read this wonderful book.

๐Ÿ“I'm working on a new eCourse for 2019. If you haven't taken my other courses, now is a great time. Chic Financial Principles for Debt-Free Living and Create Your Own Ten-Item Wardrobe are fun, affordable, and as many have stated, totally life-changing!

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Madame Chic in good company with Marie Kondo...
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The anxiety stuff and clutter induces is real. I don’t typically need the start of a fresh year to start a fresh project but I’m doing so this year (actually I couldn’t wait and have already started๐Ÿ™ˆ). I reread a couple of books that helped me jump start cultivating and decluttering my life several years ago. It was like having coffee with an old friend and picking up right where we had left off. Here’s to remembering the lessons from madame chic {especially ch.12: clutter is so not chic} and keeping only the things in life that spark joy ✨๐Ÿฅ‚ #tenitemwardrobe #konmari #sparkjoy #lessonsfrommadamechic #thelifechangingmagicoftidyingup #minimalism #keepitsimple #newyearsresolution #financialdiet #mindfulliving #minimalistliving #declutter #declutteryourlife #simplicity #lessismore #simplify

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Comment of the Week
On last week's Clean with Me video, Teresa H. writes, "Jennifer I love your videos (all of them). I especially love your natural cleaning videos. I tried Grove Collaborative after one of your videos some time back and I am hooked. The amazing thing is my husband has also become a fan of the products and the home always smells so fresh and clean. Thank you for your books, your videos and most of all for being YOU! Happy New Year!!"

Hi Teresa, thank you for your encouraging comment. I enjoy doing the cleaning videos and they motivate me to keep my house in good shape. Happy New Year to you and your family.

Thank you for joining me for today's video. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What tips do you have on not losing your dignity in parenting? Do you struggle in this area? Let us know and your comment could be comment of the week on The Daily Connoisseur.

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Sharon S said...


Thank you for your gracious and honest look at parenting in today's post. I must admit I lost my dignity too often for at least 2-3 years as we navigated the toddler/pre-school stage with our son. The grace in this whole challenge is that we (parents) can use our struggles to teach even our little ones the power of seeking and granting forgiveness. A grace that will serve all of us well throughout our lives. I'm not suggesting apologizing for needed correction, rather for the angry and/or hurtful responses we may give in our weaker moments. It is not easy to apologize to a child (or anyone else). Our son is now 16, and each stage is filled with challenges and joy and I am still presented with opportunities to act with dignity. This is key to maintaining communication with our increasingly independent teenager. After all, acting with dignity is more than a sign of self-respect. Dignity exhibits our respect for others.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jennifer. As I look back on my son's childhood, I have plenty to laugh about. He is seventeen now, but when he was 6, I definitely had a parent moment. My son was getting ready for school. He was going upstairs to get dressed while I take our dog out. I told my son to be a big boy and get yourself dress. I'm from the south, and it was rainy and humid that day. The leash was wet and it slipped out of my hands. The dog took off. I'm running down the street yelling for the dog. About 2-3 houses down in a neighbor's back yard I was able to get the dog. I'm walking up the street fussing at the dog when,I happen to look at the second story bay window of my house. I see my son standing there with no clothes on opening the window to ask what is going on. Mind you we were running a little late. Of course I had to yell at my son to get dressed. I had to take my son to school with my hair disheveled and not nice clothes on. I was not happy with the dog or my son.

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Ladylike said...

Hello Jannifer,

Excellent topic! Yes, I agree that how I present myself is related to maintaining my dignity/poise because when I am sloppily dressed or not yet bathed, this puts me in a bad mood because I feel unattractive. I've noticed that as soon as I am able to get cleaned up, I feel happier and that feeling translates to how I treat those around me.
I believe that self-care and avoiding unnecessarily stressful situations are imperative for maintaining one's dignity. For example, we once had an apartment in a less than desirable neighborhood, and I was very unhappy there. I disliked the neighbors (pajamas all day, smoking, drugs, bad language) and I worried about the apartment being robbed when we were absent. One day, I completely lost my temper with my daughter because she didn't follow instructions (the instructions were related to avoiding being robbed). I felt abysmal about yelling at my child because really the problem was the location of the apartment and not the child. That's when I realized that it was time to move away. The only reason why we had stayed as long as we did was because the apartment had been provided for us by a relative, and I felt an obligation to appreciate it. But my child comes first. In short, doing everything possible to keep your stress levels down will help you to be a dignified parent.

Warm best,

Gigi said...

I really wish the internet and this channel had been a thing when I was young mother!

Maureen said...

Jennifer--yes! What a great video. I also have a two year old little boy, so I laughed out loud when you shared your breakfast story. I can absolutely relate to the struggle to maintain my dignity at times. I don't yell (much), but I sure can strengthen my calm muscles. Fantastic tips--thank you! And by the way, you look especially beautiful in this video.

I'm really excited about Connoisseur Kids! Can you please share what age group/reading level it is written for?

Happy New Year!

Christine Gaines said...

Hi Jennifer! What a great topic that All of us parents can relate to. I definitely lost my dignity a lot during the toddler years with my daughter. My husband and I are both pretty OCD about things around our house. We like order and cleanliness, both of which are hard to come by with young children. I lost my cool pretty often. What I find that really helps me the most in maintaining my poise and dignity while parenting, is getting a great workout in first thing in the morning. Working out is my therapy and how I fill my cup so that I can pour into others. I am so much more patient and calm with our daughter after getting a good sweat in! There have been times though that I literally have started crying in front of my daughter because she has upset or disappointed me so much. (That is very rare, but it has happened) I also notice that I lose my cool much more often when I don’t get a good nights sleep. I try very hard to go to bed early so hopefully I can feel rested in the morning. I love looking presentable as well because it demands respect and it is important that we earn our children’s respect. Thank you for all your insight! Parenting chats are one of my favorite subjects that you discuss.


Kim A. (thedaisymuse) said...

I've had many of those moments while parenting my three daughters, and some of the moments were in public! Once I took my two older girls, then 5 and 3, to a local bookstore for story time. When it was over and it was time to go, my three year old absolutely refused to leave the store! All I could do was pick her up and carry her, kicking and screaming, while my older daughter put on her best behavior as siblings often do when one is misbehaving. There we were, me trying to maintain my dignity while carrying the screaming child, and my five year old, walking beside me with stateliness beyond her years. We must have been a comical sight, and it's funny now, but not so much then!

Debbie said...

When I was a young mother in the mid-80s, I found myself very impatient and rude to one of my young daughters. My voice was loud and unkind. What I didn't know was that the other little daughter was playing with a cassette tape recorder at the time and I found myself recorded. I heard the playback and was absolutely humiliated at my behavior. There and then I vowed to never be so undignified and unkind to them again. My girls are now 34 and 37 and I have kept that promise. Make it a strong value and it will work in how you behave!

Aileen said...

Jennifer, I don't see a subscribe button for you blog? How can I be notified of your new posts?

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi ladies, thank you for your lovely comments!

Sharon- yes! dignity exhibits our respect for others... I couldn't agree more.

Anon- your story made me laugh! :)

Annalize- I like apologizing for the behavior but not the correction. I do that too!

Alexandra- I agree! Stress is definitely correlated with keeping dignified. Thanks for sharing your story.

GIgi- Thank you!

Maureen- thanks for your comment. Connoisseur Kids could be for kids of all ages. The parent will need to read it with the younger ones... but the older ones can read it themselves. But it benefits all kids for the parents to do the activities and reading together with child. I'm excited for it!

Christine- I totally agree. Exercise can help relieve stress and get the tension out. I jump on the rebounder every night to do this. Couldn't do without it.

Kim A.- I have had many experiences like your book store one. I loved your description of your older child. So funny !

Debbit- Yes! a recording of the behavior is shocking. Your relationship with your daughters sounds lovely. We've all been there where we have been unkind to our children. Me too!

Aileen- You can subscribe to the YouTube channel by going to www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur (or any one of my videos on YouTube) and clicking the red subscribe button. Then click the bell next to it and you'll be emailed every time I upload a video. Sometimes I upload things that don't make it here on the blog. Thank you!

Pj said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this video, Jennifer. You are a good story teller! I always appreciate your spurring us on to be poised, courteous, presentable, and to maintain our dignity. It is uplifting to be around folks who maintain those standards, coupled with joy and humor, kindness and compassion. I, as a great grandmother now, agree that all of you mothers will do well to continue to try to stay calm and not be highly reactionary, but I would like to encourage you by saying that children, bless their hearts, are amazingly forgiving and as they grow up they tend to remember the good that you do, more than the loss of dignity moments! That is true grace! Keep up the good work, Mommies!