Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lazy Parenting


I've fallen into this trap I'm calling lazy parenting
I'm not sure how I got here but I need to make a conscious effort to get out. 


I've stopped doing this I used to find very important. 
These are things that I think are very important for developing children, 
yet I've ceased to do things on a regular basis. 
Not because I've changed my mind on parenting, 
but just because I'm lazy


Examples

Read to Oliver every night

Aaron will never let us "forget" to read but Oliver? 
I'm ashamed to say he's been read to maybe a handful of times. 
When it comes to nap and bed, 
breastfeeding takes long enough that I just want to rush through to that. 
The crazy thing is that most baby books 
(like Sandra Boynton or Dr Seuss Board books)
 take a whopping 30-45 seconds to read. 
Yet I've been skipping this vital step in bedtime routine. 
And I can see it reflected in Oliver that he never wants to sit, 
which Aaron was already doing at his age (and still is!). 



Brush Teeth before Nap. 

Children should brush their teeth twice a day. 
Many parents do this in the morning, 
but to me, the act of going back upstairs after breakfast is too much effort. 
Instead, I always made Aaron brush his teeth before nap. 
Or at least, I did. 
I cannot remember the last time he brushed his teeth at nap. 
Bed, yes.  Nap, no. 


Always get Down to the Child's Height. 

Embarrassingly, this was brought to my attention by Prince William
who does it even when scolded by his grandmother. 
(Yes, I'm getting parenting tidbits from the Royal Family.) 
I know in my mind that this is verrry important for children to be heard, 
and for them to hear you. 
Yet I quit doing this long ago
 (probably when I was pregnant and couldn't get down!) 
and I imagine my failure to do this may in some small way contribute to the deterioration of Aaron's listening skills. 


Limit my usage of no 

This is so much more vague, 
but I noticed the other day how much I'm say no. 
And I don't like it. 
Just like any phrase in the English language, 
if you use it too often, it loses its meaning. 
There was a time in my parenting career where 
I reserved the word "NO" for only the most dire of situations like. 
"You'll get hit by a car and die" dire. 
Now I say "no" to pretty much everything. 
I'm sure a large amount of this is my protection of Oliver. 
"No, you can't roll off the couch or you'll roll onto Oliver." 
"No, you can't kick the ball." 
"No, you can't use the pencil as a gun.*" 

*Side note: WHY must all little boys turn everything into a wearpon?

I want to find a way to pull back on my automatic "no"-ing, 
although I suspect of the four things I've noted, 
this will be the hardest of all. 
Wish me luck!

3 comments:

  1. It's great that this parenting thing is so easy, right? ;) I think your next post should be about all the things you are doing awesomely as a mom, ha! Oh, and we have always only brushed the twins' teeth at night and even though I intended to make it a new year's resolution to start doing it in the morning as well, I just cannot seem to make it happen. Sigh.

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  2. From my lofty perch of having raised three sons, I would say that the most important of these is to read to Oliver. Reading to him now is the building block to him reading to himself later. There are so many technology distractions today that it is even more important to build the reading foundation early. Take the boys to the library, let them see you reading for pleasure! Limit screen-time in favor of book-time. All of this will create a love of books.

    I wouldn't worry about their teeth or getting down to their height, but that's just me.

    As for saying no, sometimes I felt my husband and I were the best parents when we did say no. You will see as the boys grow up that many parents are actually afraid to tell their children no. This is because it is easier to say yes, especially to argumentative teenagers. Yours are little and of course you don't want to continually default to no for every little thing. Just remember that as they grow up, no is definitely not a bad word.

    You're doing a great job with those boys!

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    Replies
    1. Ah yes, I should have clarified on the saying no. No is very important and I agree that many kids don't hear it enough. I say no to toys in the store, no to touching things you can't touch, etc. What I meant was the kind of no that helicopter parents are like. "No don't touch that rock" or "no don't climb that tree." The kind of "no" that keeps kids from being creative and exploring. That's the kind of "no" I'm over-saying. The obedience/materialist no has never been a problem. :)

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