Archive for the ‘Parents’ Category

Even good kids might be tempted to steal something that they really want.

When I took my 7-year-old nephew to the store and later learned that he had picked up a cookie and hid it in his pocket, I worried how he had learned this behavior and if it had become a habit. Much to my relief, I learned that petty thievery is normal for kids his age. By kindergarten, most children know it is not appropriate to take things that do not belong to them. However, they still have poor impulse control. Their desire to have something that they really want may be stronger than the little voice in their head telling them that stealing is not the right thing to do. And now that they are surrounded by a classroom full of their peers and seeing what everyone owns, the temptation to make a five-finger discount is even greater. In our upcoming posts, we will give you some strategies to help prevent and deal with stealing. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Sticky Fingers

You will be much happier when the kids, their siblings feel like there is enough to go around: sufficient marshmallows and time and puzzle pieces and attention. When my children were tiny handfuls, the book Siblings Without Rivalry, made a huge impression on me. I did not have to grouse at Joe, “Can’t you see how busy I am?” because he wanted to play Sorry! and I was bathing his baby sister. I could just say instead, “I would love to, as soon as I am done here. Do you want to get her towel for me?” It is just a small recasting, right? But it is the one that seems to quiet that miserable sibling drumbeat of competition for resources. Likewise, I have a slightly quirky practice of gossiping to the kids about each other, but in positive ways. “Read Jenna’s school report with me,” I say to Joe. “They totally get her, you are going to love it.” I invite Jenna to join me in making a card to celebrate Joe’s successful making of the baseball team. “Could he be more awesome?” I say, and she responds, “Seriously.” It is not some big philosophy I started consciously, but I see what it does: It rewards the siblings with special attention for mutual appreciation. When you have these close relationships you feel secure. If my son sees me dancing with my daughter to ‘I Will Always Love You,’ he can laugh and enjoy it. He knows I love him just as much. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

 

Where to eat, which board game to play, what to do with a free evening: Teachable moments abound. Not only will giving your input reinforce for the kids that their opinions matter, but they will also get practice negotiating, compromising, and conceding. Especially now that the kids are older, we enjoy their illuminating feedback about how to allocate our limited resources. When Joe recently lobbied for a new couch, he wants a big, comfy one. He inspired to comparison shop online and present various budget-friendly options.  This is the big kid version of letting him pick out a passion fruit in the supermarket when he was 4, and it is teaching him the same skills, according him the same respect, and diminishing, in a small but real way, some of that powerless feeling that children must suffer from so much. Check out our other post on Including Your Kids. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Decision

 

 

Think ahead before you call a sitter, not just because of the money you will save, but also because you will end up sharing so many interests with your children. We took Joe to his first folk festival when he was 6 months old. Two-year-old Jenna cheered with us at political rallies and gazed wide-eyed at an exhibit of Georgia O’Keeffe flowers. The kids have gone out with us for tacos and chicken wings since they were babies in arms, mesmerized by the ceiling fans.

It is important to include kids as much as possible. The more parents can take seriously being present with their kids, the better. It does pay off. The kids will be happy and confident and engaging because you are connecting with them. This also means stuff that you do at home too, like reading to them, playing games, listening, as well as taking them along when you pursue your own grown-up interests out in the wide world. But I am thinking of the latter because it can be discouragingly hard. When they are tiny, for instance, and you end up trailing a newly walking somebody up and down the museum stairs or standing outside the restaurant with a wound-up somebody else who needs to skip or cry or investigate the hydrant for an hour. Oh, it can be very tedious, even though it is worth it because what you are saying is: We can do both things! What you like and what I like too. In fact, we do that still: The kids do want to go for a bike ride with us, but especially if we bike to the good ice cream place instead of boringly off onto the endless rail trail. Check out our other post on It Does Get Easier. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Include

As the kids get older compared with those younger years, everyday life takes much less effort. My spouse and I are not as tired as we were then. The kids brush their teeth on their own, pour their own cereal, and buckle themselves in the car. They no longer topple over each other’s stuff for no apparent reason.

That is most of it, of course. But there are also some things we do deliberately, things that you can do too, to make harmony the household vibe. You can cultivate communication and compromise, flexibility and kindness, courtesy and the benefit of the doubt. Or, well, harmony. Each voice is different, and the individual notes might vary, but we are all singing the same song. We talk about achievement but not enough about the power of love, connection, and harmony.

Are there breakdowns along the way? Sure there are. The kids still make weird sounds specifically tailored to drive each other crazy. I am irritated when people leave their homework and art projects spread all over the dining room table. We fight boringly about household chores. But because we enjoy each other’s company, and because we enjoy enjoying it, if you follow, we try to solve our problems as quickly as possible so we can get back to it. These are some of the methods that have worked for us. Check out this wonderful children’s book on love and harmony, I Love You Through And Through. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Harmony

C

Is everyone singing the same song or does it feel sometimes like you are all out of tune? How to get in sync with one another to create a happier, more connected household.

David has asked to stop and use the bathroom. This is not an unreasonable request: We are, after all, on an eight-hour road trip, and he is after all, 6 years old. Ah, but the bells are tolling, tolling, tolling out the death of everything good and right in the world because David we stopped at a rest stop not even ten minutes ago. But of course, when we stopped he said that he did not have to go. I didn’t, he says apologetic.

I turn around and look at him. His little face is like a deflating souffle; he is literally wringing his hands. His brother, Joe, 8, is scrunched into the corner of his seat as if my withering look is a deadly ray gun that must be evaded. I am the parent from everybody’s childhood memories, the one who was angry with you for being little. I am also the clown parent in a family circus, and I am juggling juice boxes and a broken flip-flop, and the falling balls of my own sanity. Impatience is fizzing up in me. We are never going to get there. We are never going to get anywhere. We are just going to stop and use the bathroom, over and over, like we are in an existential French play about a road trip in hell.

I can not believe we are going to get off the highway again. The rest of the family sighs and they say, “He just needs to use the bathroom and yes should have probably gone before but whatever.” He needs to go now. It is as simple as that or almost because it is a weirdly hard principle to learn. People are different from you, and the more gracefully you can deal with the fact, the better. That is harmony, in a nutshell. Check out this wonderful children’s book on love and harmony, I Love You Through And Through.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U

Harmony

Beyond “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.”

  1. You can get happy in the same pants you got mad in.
  2. Fair is not alway equal.
  3. Pull yourself together dude.
  4. This house is not a democracy. It is a mommy-ocracy.
  5. We go in to the restaurant to eat, you stay in your seat.

 

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

ChildrensBooks2U