Archive for ‘Parenting’

March 9, 2012

You never know…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

Choices

I was in the park today (03-09-2012) with Logan and I began speaking to a fellow parent. I will not use her name since I do not have permission.

It turned out she is also a same-sex parent of a cute little girl. We began talking and had a lot in common. What I wanted to write about today was things I guess I take for granted were actually of interest to her.

1st – Patience is a virtue. We forget that our little loved ones are just children. We expect them to know and understand at our level. We talked about how can we really, logically, be angry and upset with our child who is so young because they spill their milk, or break a dish or glass. They have no reference, they are learning — should we have not put a cover on the cup, or used a plastic plate. So they spill something – use it as an opportunity to learn, not to admonish! It is hard, but not impossible.

2nd – Understanding consequences. In reference to #1 above and to #2 below “hind sight is 20-20”. I have a client with children in college and were were talking about what our children do and what in the world they must be thinking when they do it. We came to the conclusion, “they are not thinking”. It turns out that our children really do not know what they are thinking and what will happen by what they do. There are studies that show that children under 16 (if not 18) do not have then mental capacity to understand the long term consequences of their actions.

3rd – Discipline of actions (a chance for empathy). I had relayed to her that Logan was very strong for his age and had even bitten a playmate soon after his first day at his daycare. I said we had tried the old ways of saying things like; “Logan, what were you thinking?”, “Logan, why would you do such a thing?”, “Logan, you are a bad boy for doing this!” and then took a different approach. We tried the “empathy” approach. By this I mean we said; “Logan, look your friend is crying.”, “Logan, how do you think your friend feels?”, “Logan, is this the right way to treat your friends?”. Well, the change was amazing. Logan has always showed an early understanding of empathy and he quickly understood what we were saying and changed his behavior accordingly. Now when (if) he does something to hurt someone else we talk to him in terms of the hurt person’s feeling and he understands what he has done wrong.

4th – I am sure there were other things we talked about, but it’s late and I just don’t remember what.

I am not trying to say I have insight to being a great parent. I can only say I am trying very hard to be a better (modern) parent. I am trying not to fall into that same patterns our parents and their parents were taught. I am trying to pause, step back and think about how my actions in the next few minutes can forever change Logan’s future.

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March 4, 2012

You’re a Dummy…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Words Hurt

Words Hurt

How words can hurt…

This brings me back almost 15 years ago when I innocently told my partner, “That’s stupid!”. He was hurt and upset with me for days. During the following few days he sulked and barely talked to me. I could not figure out what I had said (or done) wrong. I repeatedly asked, but he would not tell me. He would say I should know what I had said. I didn’t. Eventually, he told me I had called him stupid. I was flabbergasted and bewildered. I knew I would never say this, but had I actually said it and not remembered?

Truth was it was a cultural difference. I had said “That’s stupid” and he translated it to “You’re stupid”. He is of Hispanic decent and this is how he “heard” what I said. I explained that in English it really means nothing and it is just a saying. I was talking about the action, not the person. He eventually forgave me, but it did point something out. Words can hurt.

Today he and Logan were in the kitchen and I heard him say “You’re a dummy!” about some silly thing Logan did. Now, I personally would not have taken offense to this, but I decided to take a moment and think about what was just said. Jose and I discussed what he said and I told him I thought we should try not to use such language. No matter how innocent he meant it. I suggested that saying, “You’re silly!” might have been a better use of words. He agreed. Logan is only 4.5 yrs old so probably did not take any offense to what was said but it is never too early to begin watching what we say.

What is said today can have far reaching effects in the future. Now as a parent, I think of these and many other things differently than I might have just a few years ago. It’s an ongoing learning experience for all of us.

This video is very poignant…

February 19, 2012

I want… Buy me… Please! Please! Pleeeeeze!

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)

We knew this day was coming and this week it has arrived. Logan is 4.5 years old and has “discovered” why they put commercials on TV. Until now when we were watching a show and a commercial came on he would ignore it because it was not as interesting as Curious George or Zulu Patrol. I know this is not a new phenomenon to other parents or unique to us, but it seems that way. We are trying to stop this behavior early so it does not snowball as he gets older. We explain that he really does not need this and that he has plenty of toys in his room. Ultimately it comes down to the art-of-distraction. Can we get him to focus on something else before he becomes fixated?

Here are some of the more annoying ads.

Cuddle-Uppets

Cuddle-Uppets ($19.99) - Blankets that are puppets. Wow! What more could a kid want?

Press Dough Cookie Maker

Press Dough Cookie Maker ($19.99) - Yum Yum

Moon Sand

Moon Sand ($19.99) aka Moon Dough, Magic Sand, Aqua Sand - The amazing new Dough that is out of this world!

Bendaroos

Bendaroos ($17.95) Amazing Flexible Building Stick!

Disney On Ice - Toy Story 3 ($45.00) Yes, we are going to see this the 2nd week in March and looking forward to it.

February 12, 2012

Dragon Breath

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Brushing Teeth

Logan was 18 months old when we first saw him for the first time. He was so small and we both fell in love with him instantly.

Since Logan was still a ward of the state (a foster child) we (his foster parents) had to follow strict procedures concerning Logan’s health needs. Soon after he entered our home we had him meet his new doctors including a dentists. At first the dentists said he did not like to treat children under three. I explained that we had a court order from Logan’s Judge requiring regular dental examines beginning by age two. I also explained that I had some concern about Logan’s teeth being discolored. They were kind of grey and translucent looking to me. I thought that they had been neglected and needed to be checked out. Our dentists agreed and we went to see him.

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February 11, 2012

To Eat -or- Not To Eat…

by Please Tell Me (Kevin)
Groceries

Groceries

Every parent has had to deal with their children not wanting to try new foods. Our son is 4 years old and is ultra-finicky. We can’t figure out how he survives with as little as he eats. All of our friend’s kids seem to eat everything. We have spoken to his pediatrician and she assures us this is normal behaviour. It does not make us feel any better, but at least we know we are not alone.

This morning I went grocery shopping and bought several food items specifically hoping Logan would find them interesting and want to eat them.

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