Monday, March 28, 2011


As a mother I fail miserably more often than I'd like to admit. It'd make your eyes water to read the lists of failures I could share or hear the pitch my voice can reach at times.

But since I control the content on this here blog, I'm only going to share a handful of practical things I've done right. This may very well be an exhaustive list of my right parenting, but it's something.
  1. Trained them to say "aaahhhh" with their tongue out from a very early age. It saves having to dig in their mouths if they have anything in there they shouldn't. It also helps at the dr's. and the dentist's offices.
  2. A sick bed. We have an extra crib mattress we keep sheeted and tucked beneath our bed. Whenever someone is under the weather they sack out on the sick bed with a bowl beside them and get to be close to mom and dad as well as a bathroom. I get to monitor their breathing/coughing/restlessness/fever from the comfort of my own bed and they get to feel special all tucked in their "nest."
  3. Public restrooms freak me out with little ones. I see germs everywhere. We build a "nest" before using the toilet and taught our children to hold on to us while using the facilities.  It keeps their hands away from any nastiness and helps them focus on the task at hand.
  4. "Look at my eyes." My friend Ellen taught me to have the children make eye contact when giving instruction or correction. It engages their minds and leads to their acknowledgement of the said instructions. It also helps them be good listeners by using several senses and keeps them from running away mid-sentence.
  5. I think it was our pediatrician who advised me to have the children hold on to me when we're in a public place. This is especially helpful when multiple children require mom to push a stroller or carry groceries. Of course my preference is to hold their hand, but this keeps everyone safe and close through parking lots and food courts.
  6. "Pocket Places." We copied my dear friend Kim in labeling some stores/places "pocket places." If it's necessary to walk through an area where everything is breakable (i.e. crystal aisle at HomeGoods), it's a "pocket place" and the kiddos know to tuck their hands in their pockets til we're through.
This list is woefully short. Please share any good ideas you've heard or practiced with your children!

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