Cure to eye-rolling in tweens

I am currently seeking patent for my latest invention, attributed to tweens and their endless eye-rolling activities.

Honestly, is this something they learn in school? Is this a subject they teach in grade 3? How has eye-rolling become such a staple in my sweet child’s life?

Well I have invented a cure. This cure is still in experimental mode, so feel free to apply to your own unique eye-rolling circumstances and report findings. I’ll create a spreadsheet, if you want. Or maybe someone can design an app… Continue reading

Summer vacation parenting

Parenting and its endless challenges takes on a new spin during summer vacation, it seems.

It’s not that we’re less consistent or inclined to let things slide more often, although that does happen sometimes. Rather it’s about the whole family being more relaxed on a different level. There are less schedules to follow, particularly when no one is going to work or camp, or lessons of some kind, and we’re all just kind of living into the day.

But living with kids will eventually nudge you back into reality when you observe certain behaviours that you think have been dealt with in the past. Certain inappropriate behaviours that resurface, and make you shake your head in disbelief. You may lose it, you may cry, you may lash out, or you may sit down at the blog to post out a solution. Continue reading

You’re a bully!

Is it simply irksome or is it a symptom of a bigger problem, that schools are teaching and training and emphasizing and explaining to first graders, and younger, what bullying is?

Because I’m beginning to think that some of these so-called topics they teach the kids these days end up getting interpreted in ways that indicates a misunderstanding, or worse, in these young children.

Where do we draw the line?

Since when is it acceptable for a kid to call his mom a bully? Why would he choose that word to begin with? How is it that he feels completely justified calling me this name?

I am more than just a little irritated.

I know of a kid, a then 9-year old, who called the cops on his parents when they insisted he complete his homework prior to playing with his younger brother (or something to that effect).

Is this what it has come to? The kids’ trump everything, and then some?

Maybe I’m the one who’s confused.

If you’re read this far and still want to know what happened, read on.

Our morning routine is the same as yours. Some days are fine, other days are annoying. Getting them READY and OUT of the house in a timely fashion that does not set the tone for a negative day is…the same as your morning routine.

We’re leaving at half past.
We’re leaving at 8:30, do you have x and y ready?
We’re leavig in 10 minutes, did you brush your teeth yet?
Get your shoes on, we’re leaving at half past, remember?
Where’s your shoes? It’s half past, we’re leaving now.
You STILL don’t have your shoes on…

I walk toward him, lower myself to his eye-level, and, as he starts to move away from me to avoid what he knows is going to be a very stern conversation, grab his wrists. I grab his wrists and hold him in place and speak (not yell) in a deep, quiet, ‘do not screw with me’ voice the following words:

PUT YOUR SHOES ON NOW.

He creates such drama, about how I’m a bully and how what I did holding his wrists like that is bullying, I swear for a moment he rendered me speechless.

I’m not allowed to hold his wrists. I’m not allowed to raise my voice. I may get reported if I do….

Huh? Is this where we are?

Excuse me if this rubs me the wrong way. I now have to re-teach MY values without negating the school/community/mainstream values to a child who feels completely justified to call his mother a bully.

It bothers me.

sigh.

Playing shoe store; or how not to educate your children about money

In order to understand the dynamics of this Friday afternoon game I played with the two kids, it helps to understand the pre-event that quite possibly determined the outcome of this game.

It’s Friday after-school pickup time and after some rain during the week, Benjamin is very happy to see that I brought the soccer ball along. He and a bunch of boys start their soccer game while I chat with another mom about a bully situation in one of the classrooms at this same school.

While I talk to her and to another mom, I keep an eye on Sonja who is dressed in a green Tinkerbell costume and showing off her wand to some other girls in the playground area of the school yard. It’s getting later, and colder, and some of the soccer players head home. Ben and two boys start to wrestle and roll around on the grass, and then break up and run off into different directions.

I see Ben out of the corner of my eye run straight toward Sonja and her group of girls. Even before it happens, I know it’s about to happen…he sucker-punches her from behind and runs to hide behind some structure. Continue reading

The truth about my parenting style

When I carefully reflect upon my parenting style, this comes to mind:

source: myspace

source: myspace

I try very hard to stick to a method of parenting, particularly in the discipline department, that makes sense to them (and to me). I try very hard to give them clear instructions in phrases that both can understand. I try very hard to keep my sanity when my method fails. Continue reading

The trouble with the morning routine

If you’re a parent, sooner or later you will feel the desire to bitch about the morning routine. Seems that no matter what form of media you pick up, be it a parenting magazine, a blog or whatever, someone somewhere has issues with their kids during the morning rush.

Granted, most people who gripe about this have schoolaged kids. Or at least kids who have to BE somewhere at a given time during the morning hours. But even young kids who attend voluntary daycare part-time can drive their parents to the edge of a deep, dark cliff…

Makes one consider the various parenting options endlessly debated in above-mentioned media forms.

Like reverse psychology. Reverse psychology can be applied in many forms. Most parents understand the intricacies of this method when dealing with stubborn toddlers, and young preschoolers. Sometimes, it works, sometimes, it doesn’t. It depends on so many things, and there’s never any guarantee the desired end result will prevail.

But reverse psychology doesn’t enter my mind nearly as often when I’m trying to parent my almost 4 year old boy than when I parent the 15 month old girl.

Let it be known that I have a great son. He is funny, smart and patient, cute, sweet and intelligent, adorable, quirky and a great brother to his toddler sister. He makes me laugh (and cry) every day.

Sometimes, he comes up with the most amusing ideas. Continue reading

Don’t flood the bathroom

Ben is close to 3 years old. So when it’s bath time, I don’t sit with him the entire time. I putter around nearby getting odds and ends done while I listen to him splash about.

On more than one occasion the bathroom floor was completely flooded. And for some reason, asking him not to do it again, and demonstrating how not to do it again, didn’t seem to sink in. (no pun intended)

Then it came to me. Take away a priviledge and see what happens.

“If I see one drop of water on the bathroom floor, no Mighty Machines for you tonight!”

or

“If I see one drop of water on the bathroom floor, no more Smarties!”

Something like that.

Seems to work.

Fast forward to today.

In a rare moment of peace in mid-afternoon, I took advantage and had a bath. The toddler was in his room playing with a fire station I had set up for him earlier, daddy was watching sports with the infant, the dog had been walked, and the dishes/laundry/housework could wait.

At some point while relaxing with a white face mask in the warm bath water, Benjamin comes in. He is very impressed with my little setup.

Then he points to the floor and says “no water on the bafroom floor or no Treehouse for you tonight!”

Ha.