Firstly, the picture goes viral because the vast majority of parents are sitting behind their computer screen going “ahahaha, yeah, been there, done that” OR at the very least can go “Oh, I totally can see how that went down”
But I do have some reservations about bribing children to behave in a certain way. I’m not going to say do it or not do it. I’m in no way an expert at parenting and I’m absolutely not an expert on YOUR children, I can only share my thoughts based on what has (and hasn’t) worked for me and MY children.
According to this study children ask a lot of questions. I know. Ground breaking. Who knew? The most prolific questioners are girls aged 4 years, asking a whopping 390 questions per day, which is an average of a question every 1 minute and 56 seconds while awake.
My daughter is nearly 3 and this sounds about accurate to me. Though 385 of those questions are simply “Why?”
This post was prompted by a very well-meaning and brief conversation with my sweet older neighbour a few mornings ago, as I carried my 2 and half year old daughter on my back in her Ergobaby carrier home after dropping her brother off at school. As we crossed paths he told my daughter she’s lazy, she should be walking and that she shouldn’t be carried on my back.
It’s a stab to the heart… When your gently raised child starts biting, hitting, pushing and smacking. You always hear that children learn by watching their parents… but YOU do not bite, hit, push or smack, so why is your child? It’s baffling and it can become quite frustrating to deal with. Deep down in your heart, you know that you’re doing the right thing by not using authoritative punishment for your child, but you’re seriously questioning yourself and don’t know what to do.
A long time ago, before I had children, someone told me they cooked their family multiple meals a night to cater to their family’s individual tastes. I thought that was ridiculous. I thought: one day, when I have a family, there is no way I’ll be making an alternate dinner for anyone.
Even later on when my son was a toddler a friend vented her frustration at the fuss of cooking two meals a night; a “kids” meal and an “adults” meal. I still thought heck no! That’s not happening in my home.
The idea of introducing a new baby to your first baby can be a little daunting. There’s no way to know beforehand how they’ll respond to an enormous change in their lives like becoming a big brother or sister. The best we can do is prepare our older child as much as we can and prepare ourselves to make the household run as smoothly as possible. But at the end of the day whatever will be will be.
The little boy at the playground could not have been more than 20 months old. Although I had seen him with his parents before, when he came wondering slowly over to the water play area, his parents were nowhere to be seen. My girls had asked for permission to get wet in one of the fountains. I told them it was ok because we had a change of clothes in the car.
There are more than a billion monthly active users of Facebook, 500 million tweets are sent every day and overall nearly 40% of humans are able to access the internet. Until this year women sharing images of their children breastfeeding were at risk of having their photographs reported for obscenity and Facebook blocked some breastfeeding support organisations’ accounts entirely. The recent change to Facebook policy which removed the ban on women’s nipples being shown in breastfeeding images is a healthy step forward, but a great deal of discomfort and inequality that exists in regard to the female nipple in public and on social media remains.
I’m raising dependent children. No, that’s not a typo. I know that independent children is supposed to be the thing that parents want to achieve, but it’s really the last thing I want to do. Like, literally the last thing I do as a parent will be when my child becomes independent. That’s when they move out, get a job, rent their own place, start doing their own laundry and when that day comes this Mumma is going to celebrate with a bottle of champers! But really, that’s at least a decade and a half away! Right now, with a 2 and 5 year old, independence isn’t the lesson of the day.
My daughter is 2 and for me that signifies the end of “demand feeding”. I did the same with my son, after 2 years old of breastfeeding him on he was gently restricted to only feeding at home, at night, in bed.
This sounds so easily done, 2 years of unlimited feeding is a pretty darn good run – you’d think they’d be a little more appreciative and cut me some slack! But for my toddlers reducing feeds has been what I imagine it would be like trying to take away a toddler’s dummy, special comforter, sleep routine and favourite snack all at once; lots of resistance.
Ever have one of those days where you want to run away from home, or hide in the bathroom with a never ending bar of chocolate?
I am having more and more days like that.
I tripped over my toddler last night while holding my dinner. A full bowl of my favorite soup, and it went all over my computer keyboard. Needless to say after a flurry of rushing back and forth, trying to keep my kids away while I cleaned it up. My keyboard no longer works.
Children see no difference between playing and learning, as long as the learning is fun! ’Fun‘ does not mean things have to be flashy, shiny, loud, expensive or exotic (although they certainly can be). I swear, give a kid a cup and some water and they might play with it for half an hour. This learning while playing thing is not an easy concept for most adults to comprehend because we are so used to making meaning out of an activity. We are used to setting up purpose made activities to encourage a particular outcome.
My friend phoned me and was understandably upset about a situation that had just happened to her and her son.
She’d taken her daughter to school, bringing her 2 year old boy along. He was playing with a Barbie doll when they left, so Barbie came along for the ride. At school, while standing in the playground waving his big sister off to class, the little guy clutching a Barbie doll was surrounded by a small group of older boys, maybe 8 years old by my friend’s estimate. They began to taunt and tease him about his doll, asking him if he was a boy or a girl.
There’s so many polite euphemisms I’ve used to describe my daughter: “Challenging”, “Strong Willed” “Determined” and “Intense” (by which I mean “difficult” “combative” “stubborn” and “throws tantrums… a lot”) She’s always been like this, since she was a brand new baby, I’ve been shocked by how intense she can be.
There have been many times I’ve looked at my wonderful little girl in the middle of a massive meltdown and wondered “Where have I gone wrong?” But when I’m calm (and she’s calm) I look back and I do know that this is the right path for us.
It might be not be the right approach for all people or for all children, but it’s what works for us.
Breastfeeding is like a favourite snack, a cuddle with Mumma and the comfort of sucking all rolled into one, so it’s no wonder that my toddler wants to feed often, but yesterday walking home from dropping her big brother off at school she lifted up her arm to show me the scratch on her elbow from the previous day, she held onto her scratch and told me “ow, ow, ow” emphasised with a little pout and sadness in her eyes – then she tapped my chest and brightly asked “boo boo?”
After a few days of wondering how to best approach a response to an incident which took place – ironically on August 1st, which was Day 1 of World Breastfeeding Week, I’ve decided to rather than address the doctor himself, because I doubt it would make any difference anyway, I’ve gone with the bloggers best friend and written an open letter . To protect the doctor involved I will call him Dr Blank.
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