Skip to main content

8 (Well, 4) Parenting Mistakes You Might Be Making

At 18 months my triplets are a little shy of the three-to-five year age covered in this article.  But I read with interest.  It was nice, for instance, to find out that in a mere 18 or so months we will enter “among the most active and frustrating in terms of parenting.”  Yeah!

Anyway, it never hurts to take a look at what we might be doing now that will hurt us 18 months from now.  At the very least I can discern what future behaviour I might want to avoid.  Consider this a midterm review.  The list is somewhat long and I want to take the time to evaluate my performance and provide advice, so I’m breaking down into two parts.  The first four I’m putting up today, with the last four going up next Thursday.

Without further ado:

1) Don’t stray too much from routine.  I’ve blogged about this a little in the past and there are no problems here.  While it might be different, or more “active and frustrating” 18 months from now, our three have bedtimes and routines we honor almost to the minute.  When you have 3, you don’t have much choice.

Yep, suckered
2) Focusing on the negative.  Negative actions definitely rear their head from time to time.  We experience everything from shouting and yelling to hitting and hair pulling.  We have three little ones toddling around and over each other, fighting for attention and toys.  I think I’m better at not letting the negatives bother me more than my wife, but we are both pretty good at positive reinforcement.  Honestly, most of our reaction to negative behaviour is discussions between us about what we are seeing and what our reaction should be.  Otherwise, its “what do we say when we want the attention of Mommy or Daddy?”

3) Missing the warning signs: I’m probably guilty more than most of trying to calm a temper tantrum, especially a Randtrum, with reason and imploring the tantrumer to “calm down.”  I know, I know.  My wife has got me on this one.  As teh article says, reasoning with a tantruming child is like “trying to reason with a goldfish.”  But those cases are mostly at home.  When we are out, we always have well-rested children and snacks in tow.  Its something that far to many parents miss, in my opinion.  Run your errands after nap if exhaustion is your child’s trigger, and keep snacks on hand, well, pretty much all the time.

4) Encouraging whining.  Whining, not so much.  But holding, well, I’m pretty guilty.  Ours don’t whine so much as cry to get held.  I’ll admit, as much as I hate to, that I probably give in too easily, especially to my little girl.  Its probably the one area where our children actually do get “spoiled.”  Advice from a parent who has triplets and thus can’t really spoil a child:  They’ll be OK without it, you’ll be OK without it.  In fact, they will be me independent, you’ll be a happier person and thus better parent, and you’ll both enjoy the experience more.

- Hey, we are halfway and I’m 3 for 4.  Not bad.  Check back Thursday for the next 4.


Popular posts from this blog


A couple months ago I posted about a push up challenge, and at the risk of pushing this blog into a self-help section, I'm going to post something else that I really enjoy that I think might help a reader or two (all two of you!). currently runs what it calls "Mid-Week Meditations," which is a short story on some piece of ancient wisdom.  Oooohhhhhhh, its ancient.  Just so you know, I'm not one to fall for the whole "ancient" is best meme.

But this is legit good stuff.  They take a quote or concept from a philosopher in the past - think Marcus Aurelius - translate what the sometimes mumbo jumboish phrase means, and then kind of detail how you can apply it.

This week, its all about how to train your mind for constructive thinking.

One thing I love about the series is that it doesn't dress up the knowledge too much.  It doesn't make it out to be more than it is, or suggest that its great simply because some Greek guy said it 2,000 years …

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…

Stop Telling Kids They Are Perfect The Way They Are

Parenting is super tricky.

You do a thing you think is great - look, I've set very strict guidelines that will make my kid a super adult and prepare them for the world - and all you do is instill them with the thought that you never let them have fun and kept them from being able to adjust to the world as it is.
OTOH, you give them no rules and be their friend, and they long for you to have given them direction and guidance and pushed them so that they didn't end up with no skills and a habit of laying around on a couch all day.
It is really the ultimate no win situation in a game that feels incredibly important to win.  As a result, I'm hesitant to give hard and fast advice on how to parent a specific child.
But there is one piece thing I think we parents need to stop doing across the board: stop telling kids they are "perfect the way they are."  
This is also a tricky, mine filled field to traipse through, because honestly, self esteem requires that we like who…