Here are some answers to various cute or funny questions I’ve been asked.
While reading a random parenting blog the other day I came across a statement that said, “Parenting isn’t a game. It’s serious business!” I had to laugh. The writer of the comment seemed so angry--though I know when reading blogs you have to take into consideration that you don’t always know the intended tone of the writer.
I feel strongly that if you aren’t having fun being a parent, you are simply doing it wrong, and if you are a long time listener then you are aware that I don’t tell people they are parenting wrong,--different maybe, but never wrong. I’m going to take this opportunity to have a little fun with you and with parenting. I have a few funny, but real, questions I’ve been asked and I’m going to tackle the answers with the utmost of seriousness.
Tips for Easier Diaper Changes
Question 1: How do I prevent my child from peeing on me when I change his diaper?
I actually covered this in part of my Diaper Tips episode. My recommendation is to use what I call the “diaper shield”. That works for both boys and girls. When you remove their dirty diapers, they may catch a draft or a chill and then bazinga, they’ve peed again. By placing the new diaper underneath your baby before removing his wet diaper, you will create a shield that will protect you and the diaper-changing surface just in case. Don’t fasten the new diaper until you’ve slipped the wet or soiled diaper off of the baby. If you have a mess to clean up, and you know what I mean, you’ll want to keep one hand at the ready to put the shield into place after each wipe. If you have a boy and you want to make the investment, I know there are little hats you can buy to protect yourself, but why spend the money when you can make one yourself using some construction paper, tape, and creativity. Just keep in mind that your homemade creation won’t be reusable.
Tips for Ending Food Throwing
Question 2: How do I convince my child to stop throwing food at me?
Throwing food is a great pastime. I believe there is even a video game based on food fights. It’s not much fun, however, when you are trying to teach your toddler to eat like a civilized human being and she opts to fling her yogurt at you or the fridge or her brother or all of the above. It’s a phase. Kids do it. The best advice I have to end this behavior is not to react at all. So, when your toddler starts tossing her tater tots, do your best not to laugh, giggle, get angry, or appear agitated in any way. Kids thrive on your reaction. She’ll be watching you. Remove the food from her reach and calmly let her know that she can have it back if she agrees not to throw it. You can say something basic and understandable like “Food is for eating, not for throwing. When you are ready to eat, you can have this back.” It may take a few sessions of eating, but eventually the game will get old and the throwing should stop. Remember, the less you appear to be paying attention, the less of a reaction your child will be able to get-- and that’s what she’s really looking for. So, though you should always watch your child closely while she’s eating, make yourself seem less interested than you really are. And though you might be tempted, don’t fight back by throwing your food at your child. That won’t teach anyone anything and you’ll still be the one left to clean it up. Lastly, if your child is old enough to help you clean up the mess, she’s old enough that she should not be throwing her food.
Tips for Dealing with Your Kid’s Clothing Choices
Question 3: My daughter insists on wearing her purple skirt with her orange shirt and brown boots. What do I do?
OK, I’ll be honest about this question. It’s one I asked myself about three days ago. When my six-year old came out dressed in crazy colors and inappropriately fitting clothes and said she was ready for school, I choked a bit on my coffee. “Wow,” I said, “You look very colorful.” Her creative fashion sense was blooming that day, but her skirt was too short for the school dress code. That made the skirt-changing part easy. Now, I didn’t like the color coordination she’d chosen, but she was trying to be independent. As a parent, we should encourage this type of choice-making and the fact is, it just doesn’t matter. If you don’t like what your child is wearing, but there’s no other reason to prevent her from wearing her outfit, I’d say you should just let it be. Why give her reason to rebel now when there will be so much more opportunity for that in the future? If you allow your child to make her own choices now, you’ll be helping to build her confidence so she’ll be able to make more important decisions in the future.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
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