Little Bundles of Sin? I Think Not.

toddler-portrait

"My legs are tired mommy, my legs are tired!" Sally was insistent."We're almost home, honey, you can make it," I assured her. Bobby was in the stroller, and as he is just moving from babyhood to toddlerhood I wasn't going to make him walk."No I can't! My legs are going to fall asleep!" Sally was again insistent."Come on honey, I know you can do it," I said. "Just a little farther!"And at that moment, Bobby climbed out of the stroller, looked at his sister, and pointed back at the … [Read more...]

Raising Little Terrorists: Threats and Ultimatums Gone Wrong

bigstock_Angry_Child_2348279-300x200

"Mommy, stop your typing right now, or I'll color on the table with this marker.""Sally!" I burst out, "I will not let you threaten me like that!"And then I had a sudden realization and my annoyance evaporated. Sally, age four, had been issuing ultimatums like this with increasing frequency over the previous week, but it was only at this moment that I put two and two together and figured out where this was coming from. Sally had learned to issue threats to get her way¬†from me. Stop … [Read more...]

And Bobby Wore Heels

dress shoes

I was getting ready to check out at the second-hand children's clothing shop when I realized I had a problem. When we had first arrived at the store Bobby had brought me a pair of white heeled girls' dress shoes just his size and had asked me to put them on him (he doesn't really have words yet, but that doesn't mean he can't communicate!). So I had, and he'd been running around in them with smiling from ear to ear ever since. And now that it was time to go, well, now he wouldn't let me take … [Read more...]

No Spanking Necessary

reading book

I was nervous. Bobby is a year old now, and fast on his feet. He loves watching his sister Sally in her dance class. Usually we stay outside the room and watch through a long window, and I hold him up to see. But one day a semester, the parents are invited to sit in on the class to watch. Sally was excited to have us in the room. There was a slightly inset area that ran along one side of the room, with space for folding chairs and a bit of room around them. But how in the world was I to sit … [Read more...]

Why I Let My Children Eat (Almost) Whatever They Want

kid

I wrote recently about why I give my daughter Sally unrestricted access to her Halloween candy, and that generated some interesting discussion as people reminisced about their own childhoods or explained their own parenting decisions. But one comment, left by a reader named Brandy, got me thinking about teaching children about healthy eating.¬†Brandy offered this concern: I guess I am struggling with this because of my own past. I was brought up with full access to junk food. My Halloween candy … [Read more...]

Let’s Talk about Halloween Candy

candy

When I was a child, we didn't do trick-or-treating, but we did go to our church's harvest festival each year, which means we children did end up with piles of candy. Each year my parents put all of that candy up where we couldn't get it and let us eat it for only one half hour each Saturday over the next couple of weeks, until it was gone. This was a terrible idea. Not only did it reinforce that nothing was really ever ours, it also meant that every Saturday for a month we would cram ourselves … [Read more...]

“Would you like me to hold you while you cry?”

Mother comforting her crying little girl

I knew the moment I saw Sally's face that there was going to be a problem. Her face was crumpling, and I knew tears wouldn't be far behind. Sally had just finished her dance class. Her teacher had just given her and her classmates each a certificate of participation, but one girl, who had fulfilled all the requirements and was ready to move up to the next class, got a ribbon. And Sally didn't. And in Sally's four-year-old mind, this was a disaster.The tears flowed freely as we walked out to … [Read more...]


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