Self-Motivation and External Consequences

Children

Unlike most of my parenting posts, this one is going to be high on theory and low on anecdotes. This discussion---which focuses on what it means that an adult or child "has to" do this or that---was prompted by reader Rebecca Horne in the comments section of my post on how I teach my daughter that "sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do." I want to start by saying that I don't have all of the answers, and that this is more of a thinking post than something that is fully settled in … [Read more...]

“Sometimes You Have To Do What You Don’t Want To Do”

Little Brother, Big Sisiter

We needed to get out the door, but Bobby was adamant---he didn't want to go. He wanted to stay home and watch his favorite kids' TV show. He worked hard to communicate and I understood what he wanted, but we really did have to get out the door. Bobby worked himself up into a frenzy and then began to cry. I picked him up and carried him to the car. By the time I buckled him into his carseat, he had accepted the inevitable. He was still upset, but he was much calmer.As I pulled out onto the … [Read more...]

On Communicating with Toddlers

toddler tears

Bobby recently took a three hour nap, and when he woke up, he was inconsolable. He came down the stairs crying, upset, and I had no idea what he wanted. Bobby will be two this summer, so communication is still a challenge. I tried picking him up and asking him what he wanted, but he cried and thrashed, so I put him down. I tried offering him all the things he usually wants---his pacifier, his sippie cup, a snack---but he rejected all of it.Having failed to console him, I decided to let him … [Read more...]

A Picture of Pain

paddle

Sean and I and the kids occasionally go for visits to my parents' house. Sally and Bobby love their grandparents, and I enjoy the time with my siblings. My parents live in the country, so weekends at their house can be fun getaways. The last time we were there, though, I was stopped in my tracks.It was a picture displayed prominently on the fridge. It was my mother, standing proudly in a jean jumper, pregnant with one of my many siblings. The picture was taken years ago, and it was the … [Read more...]

Solving Sally’s Meltdowns (Together)

TANTRUM

Even as a big girl of four, Sally still sometimes has meltdowns. A few weeks ago, she shed loud and angry tears and created a bit of a scene in the middle of a store because I told her I would only buy her one set of princess jewelry, not the five sets she had picked out. (It may be easy to laugh at the seeming absurdity of the situation, but those five sets of princess jewelry were very important to Sally at that moment.)Generally, Sally's meltdowns start with simple disagreement. She wants … [Read more...]

Kindergarten Approaches

schoolhouse

Next fall, Sally will board a school bus, turn and wave, and leave for kindergarten. Sally is excited. She babbles on and on about kindergarten. But if I am honest with myself, I am scared. This may seem silly given that Sally currently attends full day preschool, and has been in daycare since she was little. But public school? As a K-12 homeschool graduate, public school is something that is still foreign to me.Lately, Sally has been peppering me with questions about kindergarten. This has … [Read more...]

Respecting Every BODY

spinning bucket

Today I was pushing Bobby on the swing at the park. Each time his swing came toward me, I reached forward and tickled him. He responded by smiling and laughing, leaning forward and grinning at me. Each time as he came toward me he became excited, anticipating my tickles. Then something changed. Bobby still laughed when I ticked him as he came toward me, but he did so in a forced, annoyed way, and he leaned away from my touch. He managed to get out an "uh-uh" in the midst of his laughter. And so … [Read more...]


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