Only a few generations ago, it made sense to ignore expert parenting advice. Most of it was nonsense.
In the early 20th century, parents were instructed by books and manuals to always keep their childrens’ heads pointed north, so as to somehow be in line with electrical currents traveling the globe.
Pregnant mothers were told to “avoid thinking of ugly people,” because their thoughts might somehow transform the appearance of the child.
On the advice of experts, parents fed their children kerosene and turpentine to cure croup and the common cold.
(Photo credit: Saul Loeb)
I don’t normally write political posts. It’s not my expertise, and while four of my top five StrengthsFinder strengths are related to learning the fifth is Harmony, which means that while I enjoy a conversation about ideas, I can’t stand feeling attacked. Political discussion just seems to often bring out both the best and worse in people. And Your Parenting Mojo is about inclusiveness and commonality, not division.
But what’s going on with the Kavanaugh nomination fills me with both anger and despair – for the immediate cause, for sure, that we are about to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court who may have committed sexual assault but we can’t know for certain because nobody will conduct a proper investigation.
The new school year is now well underway; my daughter moved up to a new preschool class this year and we certainly seeing some changes.
She’s in with the fours, fives, and some sixes now and relational aggression is rearing its ugly head. Almost every day we’re hearing some version of “[Friend] said she didn’t want to play with me today,” or “I’m never going to play with [Friend] again!” or “I’m not going to be [Friend’s] friend any more.”
Typically these issues seem to be forgotten about by the next day and they’re back to playing together again but boy, am I sick of hearing about it already!
School’s in! How’s it going for you and your child?
On the first day of school, did your child give you a sweet hug and run off cheerfully to play with their friends?
Or were they stuck to you like a limpet, screaming “Don’t go! Don’t go!” as you tried to extricate yourself, highly ambivalent yourself about whether this transition was the right one to make?
And on the second day, did they happily get into the car and strap themselves in, or skip along beside you as you walked to school?
Or did they dig in their heels and refuse to get into the car seat, and then refuse to get out of the car at the other end, and give you the “Don’t go! Don’t go!” treatment again?
Toddler 1: “Nooooooo, it’s mine!”
Toddler 2: “I want it!”
How many parents have ever heard that scenario?
(I’d be surprised if any of you haven’t.)
And how many parents are sick of hearing it?
(I’d be surprised if any of you who have more than one child aren’t…)
Young children find sharing difficult!
We know that children develop the mental skills needed to engage in sharing behavior over time, and yet we find ourselves in a pickle over sharing all the time. Our own children take things from each other. Our child takes something from another child at preschool. Someone else’s child takes something from our child at the park.
When it’s just our own children at home, we might just step in and say: “Well if you can’t stop fighting over it, I’m just going to take it away so neither of you can have it.” In a public place, we immediately find ourselves getting hot and anxious not because of the children, but because of what the adults around us will think of our children – and, by extension, our parenting.
Being judged is hard, right?