Friday, August 29, 2014

Parent of the Year {Today}

I'll level with you. Three has been tough in the age department around here. A year ago, I always told people the terrible twos were a silly myth. Gehrig was a dream at two. Most nights Jason and I would look at each other and say, "We got the best kid. He's so awesome!"

Then he turned three. The tantrums became epic. He learned how to hit. He learned how to kick. The naughtiness showed signs of spite. Boundaries were pushed and pushed and shoved. We've gone through some tough days and long weeks where he seemed to be fighting us on everything. 

Lately, though, things have been simmering down. We're in a time of peace {this week}, so naturally I'm feeling like I've finally mastered parenting and life from here on out is going to be a breeze. Want to hear what I've learned? Here are my best moves for getting through the threenager days:

1. Defend his sleep. Gehrig is a kid that requires a lot of sleep. He will sleep 12 hours at night and he can still take a 2 hour nap if he has to. We've been lax with bedtime this summer and I'm pretty sure this is the number one culprit of meltdowns.

2. Keep him fed. That blood sugar drop is deadly. Give him snacks between meals and meals on time

3. Pee the evil out. Gehrig is the king of holding it. He doesn't have to go potty until HE HAS TO GO POTTY. That's kind of the worst feeling ever, right? So when he starts to act cranky, I try to usher him into the bathroom as quickly as possible to avoid a battle later.

4. Give him attention. I am big-time guilty of trying to get things done at home and getting annoyed when my kids make it difficult. But when I close my computer, ignore the laundry, and just play for a while, it makes such a huge difference in all of our moods. I don't get anxious about what I could be doing {well, I try not to anyway} and they get to have my undivided attention.

5. Keep things in perspective. Three year olds are tough because they can reason with you to a point, so it seems like they should get your reasoning, too {like, "you have to brush your teeth because that's what we do every night."}. It can be easy to forget how little he still is because so much of the time he's talking like a big kid. One night, after a series of time outs and lots of frustration on our part, Gehrig went potty {see #3} and ran out of the bathroom as happy as a clam...with his underwear backward and inside-out. Jason turned to me and said, "And we're letting this person control our moods." Then we laughed, because, seriously...

Other random things that have been working lately: 

-Avoid "no." This sounds like I'm an annoying, "we just want to facilitate a positive environment" type of parent. I'm not. But if I change "No, we can't go to Grandma's today" into "Well, first we have to go to the grocery store" it holds off the argument and keeps him happy.
-Praise him when he's being good. It can be really easy for me to just point out his negative behavior rather than recognizing and rewarding the little things he does that are so great like, randomly kissing his brother or coming up with a new game for us to play.
-Give him a win. Everyone needs to feel like they're getting a win every now and then. If I'm fighting him on something that really doesn't matter to me, I try to just let it go. You really need to wear a baseball helmet into the grocery store? Fine. Gonna take that {probably-not-water-proof} toy into the bathtub? Knock yourself out.  
-Talk in an Australian accent. Seriously, if I use my "safari voice," the kid will do anything I tell him to. I think this has something to do with it:

So, there you have it. The magic answers you've been waiting for. You're welcome! I'm going to go enjoy my award and bask in the ease of parenting now.

No comments:

Post a Comment