Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Three things

Three things important to me in parenting

1.) This one you've probably hear before. Pick your battles. Or, as we say around the avonlea household, Is this the hill you want to die on, soldier? I ask myself if whatever I want Little Bit to do (or not) is really that important? Does it matter if he eats his food one way or another, as long as it ends up inside his tummy and not on the floor? Then, why try to force him to do it my way? Does it matter if that item he wants gets "toddlerized"? No, then let him carry that advertising booklet around and color on it, or drop it on the floor. Related to this is...

2.) Respect Little Bit as a person. Yes, he's still a child, but if I can give him choices, if I can give him some say in his life, then he gets a little autonomy. He has his own likes and dislikes, and they can change. At one point, he was fine with us cutting up his dinner roll into bite-sized pieces, but one day, there were going to be tears if he didn't get a whole roll, unblemished. So I gave it to him, and laughed when he smooshed the whole thing against his mouth trying to get a bite. Sure, that's a trivial example, but there are lots of little choices he can make.

3.) Let him play! I do not want to overschedule him with a bunch of activities and lessons. First, he's only three. However, when he gets older, we'll sign him up for one or two things at a time, eventually working our way through different sports, scouting, martial arts, music, etc. so he can find out what he enjoys. For now, just playing is pretty darn good. I will not be pushing tutoring on Little Bit, like the people mentioned in this article, in order to prepare him for kindergarten.

[Play is] also a critical way that children develop language, express their creativity, expand their social skills, solve problems and generally learn about their world — all important abilities that will help them in kindergarten and well beyond.
-- Joan Almon, Executive Director of Alliance for Childhood

1 comment:

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

Well done!! Bethany has asked to take "Li-lin" (violin) lessons. We have not crossed that bridge yet. Getting her to dance class is enough a 3. She needs her time on her swingset.