Help! Every time we walk to the park, my adventurous three-year-old bolts away from me. When I ask her to come back, she just ignores me. When I yell, she laughs in my face. The other day I totally lost it and screamed that we are never going to the park again. It’s been a week and we are both going stir crazy, but I am terrified to try again. How do I help her understand how dangerous this is and get her to stay with me?
Got siblings? If you do, I bet you can imagine yourself in the backseat of the car in a heartbeat, remembering the injustice of your brother hogging more of the center armrest. Or was it your sister that always jumped in the front seat before you got to the car. Maybe it was the time your dad pulled over, turned around and said, “Knock it off or I am turning this car around right now!” Takes you right back, doesn’t it? Take a deep breath; it’s okay, you are in the driver’s seat now. But the ride may still be annoying thanks to your own band of munchkins screaming in the back seat.
Behold The Power of Treats! "Can I have some ice cream?" "I want another piece of cake!" Sound familiar? Kids seem to want them. All of the time. And, of course they do! We often have made it the source of all happiness and the forbidden fruit at the same time. All of life’s big events seem to have them.
For generations, babies were thought of as adorable, moldable lumps of clay that were there to be cared for and loved until they were old enough to be useful or interesting. Without language to tell us what they think or feel about the world around them, it can still be easy to disregard the amazing development that infants are undertaking in the first year of life.
As parents, we are rarely at a loss for words. We delight in sharing the knowledge we have gathered over a lifetime, and find joy in teaching our children to navigate their world. Yes, there are topics we may feel uncomfortable talking about, like sex and drugs; but we find a way, and with time, can talk about them with greater ease. As the news of school shootings, terror attacks and random violence occur with greater frequency, we find ourselves in the position of having to explain the unfathomable.
As a parent educator, I rarely use the word should. Matter of fact, I cringe at the idea of giving parents one more SHOULD; almost as much as many parents cringe at the idea of talking to their kids about death. After a spate of violence and random death in Seattle, I realized how few parents discuss the topic of death with their children before they are forced to. This is where the SHOULD comes in. We should because it will help our children and ourselves move through the pain of loss just a little bit easier. For those of us who have lost loved ones, even the tiniest bit easier is worth it.
“What’s for dinner?” “Ugh, I hate green beans!” “Can I have dessert yet?” “I’m not hungry (but I will be as soon as you clear the table)”…the list of mealtime complaints can go on and on. Not to mention the mayhem that may ensue before your little one can even talk. Not many parents can forget the frustration of thrown food, the mess of the yogurt in the hair, or the game of “watch mommy pick up my bagel over and over again.”
We all know the drill. It’s been a long day, everyone is tired and it’s time for the kids to go to bed. Every step of the process feels like herding cats. Once there is more than one child in the home, the steps to this dance become even more complex. It makes tired parents want to hop up on a horse and lasso those kiddos right in to bed!