Another great question; “When do I take my child’s pacifier or special blanket away?” The answer is, never. I know you probably think I am crazy, but hear me out. There is a time for pacifiers and blankies. You set the boundries for when they can have them. I always carried a pacifier and my kids special blanket in my diaper bag or purse. I believe in letting them have it to go to sleep or to calm down. I do not agree with a child walking around with a pacifier. Also, I can’t stand when a child talks through a pacifier. I think it is very important for children to talk and respond appropriately and respectfully at a young age. Now let’s talk about the proper times for these things. It’s appropriate when: going to bed at night, taking a nap, car rides, movies, when they just need to relax. Whether we are dealing with a pacifier or thumb, you can take either out of their mouth. By doing this, especially with their thumb; be in tune to why they are sucking it. If they seem nervous give them reassurance and if it is just habitual, redirect them to play, color or something else. We need to make sure our children have a solid foundation of security at a very young age. Holding them when they cry, talking to them, give them reassurance in all situations. I truly believe you can never spoil a child with love and security. Most children naturally outgrow bottles, pacifiers, blankies, etc. The main idea is to give your child security that will last. As your child gets older they will have different interests and wants. They will go from holding their blanket to playing with trains, or dolls. I am not a fan of pacifier fairies as I worry that kids will have a worry of what other things will have to be given away next. If you want to speed the process up; as your child gets to an age you want them to stop using the pacifier or other item; have the item stay in the bed when they awake in the morning or have a special place the item stays until you want them to have it. Just remember to be empathetic when you are taking anything special away from your child. One last thing; always do what works for you and your child, not for everyone else!
Today my son started his 6th grade year. Last week my oldest son started his sophomore year of high school and my daughter started her 3rd grade year of homeschool. What I want to talk about today is attitude. I personally love summer and having my kids with me 24/7. I am the parent crying when they go back to school. That being said, I always have a positive outlook on the new school year. While my kids are in Kindergarten-6th grade I write a little note to their teacher and give them a starbucks gift card. The reason I do this is to let the teacher know she is appreciated and I care that she is spending 6 hours a day with my child. I feel it is very important to be on the same team with your child’s teacher. Education is very important to all of us as we want our children to succeed and follow their dreams. I believe if we have a good attitude about school, homework, teachers, and other kids our children will also have this attitude and be able to cope better. Let me hit on these for a minute.
School- I don’t like getting up early but I do it with a smile and focus on something good about each day, maybe it is a Tuesday and I say “Happy Tuesday I am looking forward to hearing what you learn about today.” or “Let’s take a walk after school today”.
Homework- the controversial one; I have an attitude of buckle down and get it done, this way there is time to play everyday after school. Also, sometimes it’s good to change the homework spot for the day; in the winter time I will start a fire in the fireplace and we will sit in the family room to do homework. When the weather is good we will go sit outside to do homework.
Teachers- connect with your child’s teacher; you have your child in common so this is an easy one to work on.
Other kids- we all raise our children differently so rules vary by family. Bullying is such a hot topic these days and I think the main problem is that we are teaching our kids to fight back, instead of defending themselves and having empathy. When we teach our kids to look at others lives and try to understand what they are going through our kids can deal with conflict and mean words a lot easier.
I’m not saying there won’t be bad or emotional days, we just need to have an attitude of gratitude whenever possible. Being a parent never stops and we shape our kids throughout life. I know I would rather have my child smiling and looking forward to the next day rather than dreading tomorrow.