Tagged With behavior

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It is a common refrain among parents of young children that the Terrible Twos have nothing on age three. When they hit age three, we start calling them “threenagers,” a tip of the hat to their increasingly disgruntled disposition. But that word is nowhere near strong enough to depict what it’s actually like to have a three-year-old in your home every day. They can’t communicate as well as they’d like to and it pisses them off. They constantly try to do shit that could kill them and you stop them from dying and it really pisses them off.

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If you want to add a new habit to your day-to-day life, it’s worth taking the time to reflect on how you picked up your current habits—and whether you can use the same skills to incorporate another habit or behaviour into your routine.

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“I take away his phone and he behaves for three days and then goes right back to the back-talking and crappy attitude. I don’t understand why he doesn’t just... learn!”

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Siblings are going to fight. They’re going to poke at each other on long (or short) car rides. They’re going to push to be the first one out the door. They’re going to wrestle for control of the TV remote. After a while, it can start to sound like the regular background noise of a family with multiple children. But typical sibling rivalry or squabbles can morph into full-fledged bullying — and that’s not normal or ok.

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The thing about toddlers is that they’re mind-numbingly irrational. It’s not their fault, of course. It’s going to be a solid two decades before those brains are fully developed and able to offer up true logical reasoning to the world, but still. It’s frustrating.

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It’s Monday, which means that you’re probably thinking about what you hope to do differently this week — the habits you want to change, the temptations you want to avoid, and so on. Right?

Or... have you already decided that you’ll try to change those habits next week? Or next month? Or the next time you make a New Year’s Resolution?

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As soon as kids begin to talk -- or even non-verbally indicate a preference -- we start to give them choices. Do you want to wear the red shirt or the yellow shirt?Would you like a peanut butter or grilled cheese sandwich for lunch? Should we read Goodnight Moon or The Very Hungry Caterpillar? We’re trying to give them a tiny amount of control in their otherwise uncontrollable world. And we’re trying to avoid tantrums over the littlest of details.

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We were in the supermarket’s parking lot. My daughter — who was two at the time — refused to get into her car seat. I tried coaxing her calmly, and then not calmly at all. Soon, it was a scene. She screamed as I wrangled her flailing body, my foot stretched out behind me to stop my shopping cart full of groceries from rolling away. People peered into my car, wondering what was going on. “We’re OK!” I lied, my face hot and head dizzy.

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Sometimes, I come across parenting advice that makes me uncomfortable, and that’s because I feel exposed. This happened when I read a Tumblr post by an author who goes by Olofa. The title: “Do not punish the behaviour you want to see.”

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I obsess over everything, but mostly social faux pas. Did I say the wrong thing? Am I being too quiet? Should I hide in a closet with a plate of food until everyone at the party leaves?

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Every now and then, I feel it happen. I feel myself getting sucked into an argument with my eight-year-old son over the simplest of things. The type of outerwear needed on a particular day, maybe, or where a certain toy should be stored. And because he and I are a lot alike (let’s call us tenacious), we both have a tendency to dig our heels in.

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Once, when my son was three years old, I took him to an indoor bounce house park. An hour of jumping and sliding and bouncing didn’t tire him out the way I’d hoped, though. It only made him ready for another hour. Unfortunately, the “open bounce” time had ended and all the other three-year-olds were dutifully drinking from their water bottles and pulling on their sneakers. In the meantime, my son was flat-out refusing to leave.

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You know that feeling you get when the teacher waves you over for a quick chat at school pick-up? Or when another parent stops you on your way to the car and says, “Hey, I thought you should know...”

Or when a neighbour calls out your name as you head up to the front door with an armful of groceries and says, “I have to tell you something (your kid) did the other day.”