When is too Early for Traveling Sports Teams?

Cartoon of two babies. One says, “As soon as I can walk, my parents want me on a traveling soccer team.”
Copyright © Kidzmatter and Kevin Spear

 When I drew this cartoon I was thinking about the pressure to perform that some kids face. I am not from a sports-minded family and I probably passed that same lack of interest on to my kids. It’s not that I wasn’t interested in competition. It’s just that there weren’t very many traveling art competitions and ultra competitive writing conferences at my elementary school. (sure, there were spelling bees. I never made it past “pneumonia.”) Continue reading “When is too Early for Traveling Sports Teams?”

Can a baby be too happy?

Cartoon of a girl commenting on a happy baby. The girl says, "You have an attitude problem. You're just too happy!"When I’m not feeling in the best of moods, nothing can cheer me up like a smiling, laughing baby. Nobody ever wants to make a laughing baby settle down. After all, what are you going to do? Tell him to act his age?

I didn’t think it was possible for a baby to be too happy. Then I found this article from the 2010 Psychology Today that reported covered Angelman Syndrome.  This is a rare, neurological disorder that has continual laughter as one of its symptoms. My first thought was:

  1. Mom was right. No matter what it is, you CAN have too much of a good thing.
  2. Now parents have another thing to worry about.

Has someone told you to stop worrying about your child, only to discover later your suspicions were right? Or have you worried about something your child did only to find out everything was fine?

Why caring for kids can be so unpredictable

Cartoon of a boy and a crying baby
Cartoon of a boy to crying baby, “Wait! Stop! This isn’t part of the script.”

Some people shy away from kids because they just don’t follow a set script. They are so unpredictable! One minute they can be happy, the next, wailing like the world has come to an end.

It can rattle different types of people.

  • Planners can feel frustrated when a child sends their day off course
  • People who value power feel powerless, especially if they’re used to throwing that power around. Babies don’t care about your authority.
  • Manipulators can be stymied because a baby hasn’t learned to be manipulated (unfortunately, we all learn quickly how to be manipulated!)
  • Tired people just aren’t going to get much sympathy from a baby. Get help quickly!
  • Young people may not have the coping skills or maturity to handle such a situation

It can  lead to tragedy if someone doesn’t handle the unpredictability appropriately. It breaks my heart and makes me angry when you hear a story about an innocent child that has experienced shaken baby syndrome.

If you are a tired parent or caregiver, get some help. We all need our rest. If you don’t know anyone, reach out to your local church. They value you and your child.

In the end, it is worth it. Children will not always be crying. There will be good days along with the bad. The unpredictability of a crying child goes hand in hand with the thrill of rediscovering the world through innocent eyes. The spontaneous crying goes with the unpredictable hugs. You will learn as much as you teach. You will laugh as well as cry with them. In the end, it is all worth it!