Many of us can’t wait for the holidays. We imagine lazing around with family, drinking hot cocoa and kids content to play all day, needing nothing but their new toys. In reality, we often find ourselves frantically finishing holiday shopping while wrapping up work projects before the kids are out of school for two weeks. Not to mention packing for travel or rearranging the house to accommodate in-laws. Alas, it seems that sometimes our fantasy does not align with reality.
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.
In case parenting during Halloween is new to you and your family, let me fill you in on the latest trend in candy management. Gone are the days when kids roam free, feeling safe in their neighborhoods and enjoying the pure bliss of securing a mountain of candy. If you thought your kid’s friends would be over for an hour of post trick or treating candy trading, you might be in for a surprise. Instead, a “nice” witch sneaks in, steals your child’s candy, and replaces it with a toy or game.
Is there any sound more annoying than endless hours of whining? Apparently not! A 2011 study published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology found that whining distracts people more than listening to a high pitched chain saw. Performance on tasks and attention decreased more with whining than any other noise they played. Across the board, men, women, parents, and non-parents were equally irritated by the noise, even when the words were in a foreign language. It is a good thing our kiddos are cute!
If you tuned in to the news this week, you likely heard about the cry heard around the world. In case you missed it, I am referring to the little one at a restaurant in Maine who cried for forty minutes. I think we can agree crying, is a pretty normal behavior for children. Unfortunately, the restaurant owner had a meltdown of her own and yelled at the baby, causing an international uproar from parents and a rally cry for every person who has ever been annoyed by a crying child disrupting their fun.
We’ve all been there. It starts with the blissful moment of reuniting at school after being apart for the day. Hugs, smiles, news to share; and yet, the minute you get home it all seems to fall apart. No matter how much I psyched myself up for the afternoons, many days I wondered if we had some sort of toxin in the house that infused my kids with crankiness upon arrival home. Over the years working with families, I heard this same story over and over. Well, at least I wasn’t the only one.
Once upon a time, we were a well functioning team each morning. It was surprising, given that I was not and am still not a morning person. We had one child, and daddy delighted in helping our toddler kick off the day. We had a lovely routine chart that helped us move through getting dressed and brushing teeth. My part was to press snooze, imagining that somehow that extra seven minutes of sleep was going to make a difference. I was eternally grateful for my husband's willingness to take the lead in the morning so I could grumpily move from sleep to wakefulness and put on my happy face before joining them 15 minutes later. Our little one was free to choose what she wanted for breakfast when they arrived downstairs.
“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.”