Searching for parenting cliches

I drew this before the Internet was a staple. It is so much easier to Google a good cliché now. A few that caught my eye were…

When I was a kid, I swore I would never use some of the clichés my parents used on me. That promise lasted until my first-born was old enough to talk. My favorite cliché became, “Someday, when you’re older, you’ll understand.” The problem with that one is I’m still waiting to be old enough to understand what’s going on. Who wants to admit that to your child? Not me!

Clichés are so useful because they deal with universal problems. They’re just too easy to use. What are some clichés you’ve caught yourself saying?

12 Keys to helping your child deal with anger

Spear Cartoon 3775Temperament is something you see very early in a child. Some kids are laid back and go with the flow. Others seem born angry. Whether they are a Type A personality, or are easily frustrated, they need help in learning how to deal with anger.  Here are ten ways you can help your child with anger issues.

  1. Consider your child’s age. Helping a two-year old deal with anger is far different from helping your elementary child.
  2. A toddler may be overwhelmed and overstimulated. You may need to remove her from the situation.
  3. An elementary child may need to discuss his anger issues and need help finding constructive ways to vent.
  4. DO NOT ignore the situation. Pretending a child isn’t angry may only make her angrier
  5. DO NOT teach your child to deny (bottle-up) her feelings. Stuffing anger only causes it to come out in unproductive ways later.
  6. Look for triggers. Is there some situation that causes the child to become angry? Talk about it with your child.
  7. Acknowledge with your child anger is a normal reaction to something. We all face disappointments. We all face people who just seem to know how to get under our skin.
  8. If the anger is directed at a sibling, separate the two, then come back to mediate the situation. Allow each child to express their anger with words. Make sure the children talk about the offense and not about the other sibling’s personality or flaws.
  9. If the angry child causes destruction, use it as an opportunity to make amends. The child needs to know destructive anger has consequences.
  10. If a child destroys property, have them work to pay back the destroyed property.
  11. If a child hurts another person, take away privileges until they child feels remorse. A forced apology isn’t a real apology.
  12. When you feel angry about something, discuss it with your child. Let them know how you feel and how you are coping with it. Focus on your feelings and not on the offender.

Above all, if you’re angry over a child’s anger, that is not the time to correct his behavior. Give both of you some time to cool off before you correct him. Whether you’re a child or an adult, anger can cause you to make decisions you may later regret.

 

Life can be as messy as a stinky diaper

high tech diaper pailIn the early stages of parenting, a stinky diaper is the worst thing that can happen. As your kids get older, other stinky things occur.

  • You’re not quite sure if the friend your child is hanging with is a good influence.
  • You’ve overcommitted and now you and your spouse are supposed to be at four different events at the same time.
  • You’ve stretched the checking account so far you could make a lethal slingshot out of it.

Yes, life gets complicated and smelly. You change one set of problems for another. But take heart in knowing all these problems are temporary. Stinky diapers, full calendars and rubbery checkbooks eventually fade away.

Seven keys to tell if you’re pushing your kids too hard

Cartoon of someone stuck in a tree. A swing is moving. A guy below shouts, "Am I pushing too hard?"

There’s plenty of pressure when it comes to being the perfect parent. If you’re not having your kid involved in that sport, she’s missing out, right? What about the science fair? And then you must be sure every minute is filled with meaningful activities, right? How do you know when you’ve pushed your child too far?

  1. In kindergarten, your child has participated in enough sports to earn his letter jacket.
  2. When you watch a movie together, your child whines, “You won’t make me write a review about this, will you?
  3. Your Twitter followers complain they haven’t received a recent update about your soccer mom exploits.
  4. You look into getting your child a special license so she can drive herself to softball practice.
  5. Your kids refer to the playground as a basic training obstacle course.
  6. Your family sits  down for dinner and your child asks why everyone is eating at his study desk.
  7. Your child’s science fair project attracts the attention of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

There is a lot of pressure to measure up. There is even more pressure to make sure your child isn’t missing out on something. Parents, relax a little! You and the kids need some down time. If they’re involved in too many activities, kids will begin to think they can never measure up to expectations.

Kids need downtime in order to be kids. They’ll have to compete as adults soon enough. Let them have a little of their childhood back! It will give you a chance to exhale too.

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Should you change or replace the whole thing?

Cartoon of a dad and a baby at a chancing table. The dad says, "We have a dirty diaper! Instead of changing it, should I just replace it?

Change is difficult even if it smells like a dirty diaper. A baby brings a lot of change into a family. And you can be sure the baby will be changing through the course of his lifetime. Before you know it, they’re off to school, graduating and having babies of their own.

When things get hard, it’s tempting to just scrap the whole thing and start from scratch. There are times when that may even be the best course. But when it comes to children, keep going! You may need to make some changes, but stay the course.

I would still advise you to replace the entire diaper, though.

 

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