Friday, February 1, 2013

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.

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