Backseat Parenting: advice/comments that cross the line

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Have you ever been in a situation where someone began to parent your kid in front of you and their style of parenting was not in line with yours? Or what about people who are constantly telling you how to raise your child? Or telling you it’s time to transition your child from breast to bottle? How about informing you that it’s high time you began potty training or *gasp* cross the line and implement their “recommendations” after you have repeatedly and politely declined wanting to do “insert task/advise” at this time (or ever)? I think this has happened to many of us (if not all) and the bigger problem is: How do you handle it?

One of the many things I love about my daycare provider is that she asks what we are doing at home so we can all be on the same page – she works with us to maintain consistency in Henry’s life – which almost everyone can agree is what is best for any child. I know that while I am at work if Henry throws a toy at another person or breaks down the baby gate to implement his escape plan that starts with traversing the stairs (yes, that actually happened) he will get a time-out or the toy taken from him. That’s what we discussed and that’s how I would handle it at home. I can see that these efforts at both daycare and home are working because Henry is “getting it”. He knows that if he does something at home or daycare there is a warning (depending on the offense) and that warning is “If you do that again you will get a time-out. Do you want a time-out?” and when he’s home the answer is a very emphatic “No Mama. No time-out.”

But there have been times when I am with friends or family members who may have had children or not and they have taken it upon themselves to step in and start “parenting”. Henry will start to act up/throw a tantrum and I will begin to handle it in our parenting style, which is a cross between a lot of different methods. I am firm and let him know I am there but I don’t coddle him or give into him. I want him to understand that he can’t always have what he wants when he wants it and if he does want something that the way to get it (if it’s appropriate) is by using his words/actions positively not by throwing a fit. But I have friends/family members undermine me by giving him what he wants or baby talking/coddling him when I am trying to parent him. It’s frustrating, yes, but it’s not going to turn him into a serial killer. So instead of creating a bigger issue I let it go. Continue reading

Where is the Elmo Free Zone?

Henry ElmoBefore I had Henry, I was that crazy lady in the Walmart or whatever department store I was in that stood in front of the Elmo toy display poking, squishing or hugging all the Elmo’s I could and stood there laughing my butt off hysterically as passerby’s ushered their children away to safety. Yep…that was me. Now I would give anything to make Elmo stop!

From the time my son wakes up until he goes to bed at least once an hour I hear “Elmo?” I have watched Elmo the Musical Episodes 1 & 2 so many times that I know it inside and out (Heave Ho, Heave Ho!). I have Elmo calling him on my phone. He has Shapes and Colours Elmo and we can’t forget the little Elmo car. This kid can spot Elmo from miles away. It’s like it’s in his DNA.

Last week we were in Shopper’s Drug Mart walking down the card aisle…THE CARD AISLE PEOPLE…it has thousands of cards with thousands of pictures and this kid starts shouting “Elmo! Elmo!” because there was ONE CARD way at the top with a picture of Elmo on it. And he starts losing his mind over it. It was Like Elmo was the Beatles and he was a teen girl on the tarmac.

A few weeks ago we were in Chapter’s and again he spots an Elmo all the way across the room and he beelines it for it screaming “Elmo!” the whole way, just so he could touch it. I thought it was cute then, but today he took his obsession to a whole new level.

Elmo CallsThere is an iPhone app called Elmo Calls. It’s a cute little app that has videos and messages from Elmo for your little one, teaching your child the alphabet, holiday’s, bedtime routines and cute jokes. You schedule calls or you can just randomly call Elmo when you want.

So today I give Henry the phone and Elmo called and he answered with no problem. The video starts and then Henry hits “end” for some reason. And this happens over and over. After about 5 minutes of this Henry has a complete meltdown. I’m talking tears, snot, calling Elmo’s name like he’s Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. He was a hot mess!

I wasn’t sure what to do. So I offered him a PBJ sandwich to which I got a resounding sniffling “yes!” as he jumped off the couch and ran for the kitchen.

Note to self: Food trumps Elmo.

Labour…HOLY CRAP!

Nesting picture

As you may know from my last post, I spent 29 hours in labour with my son…and let me tell you it was worse than they said it would be!

The night before I went into labour I nested. I really don’t know why they call it that, because for me I just became a crazy mad woman who needed to scrub the entire world clean. Nesting is so deceptive of a word for what actually happens, which I found is the case with almost everything pertaining to pregnancy and parenting. I mean when I think of nesting, I think of folding cute little onesies, unpacking the mountain of diapers you bought, and placing all the lotions and potions you will soon figure out you don’t need in their rightful place. It sounds like you would be arranging the stuffed animals and toys they will just spit up on and checking and re-checking the baby monitor to make sure it works.

It is NOTHING like that (at least it wasn’t for me).

Continue reading