We have a rule that there are no toys allowed at the dinner table or in bed. Three weeks ago, Penelope decided to surround herself with stuffed animals at bedtime. Technically, stuffed animals are toys but they’re also a lot like pillows and provide comfort.
I chose to talk to her about it instead of making a rash decision and Penelope informed me that they “protect her” and would help her sleep. I decided to make an allowance and made a deal with her: She may take as many of them to bed with her as she wants as long as she’s not playing and makes a good effort to fall asleep.
I believe consistency is one of the most important ingredients in parenting but that understanding is equally important.
If Penelope feels secure and safe surrounded by thirty stuffed animals while she sleeps, I’m not going to tell her no. She agreed to my conditions and there have only been a couple of nights I have had to take her stuffed animals away.
We have been given our children on loan as a gift and they deserve to feel understood just like every other human being in this world.
Jordyn Armouris refreshing with her authenticity and honesty when it comes to parenting and writes about anything parenting related, using sarcasm and humor to tie everything together. She is a stay at home mom to four girls and runs survivingmommy.org Instagram @surviving_mommy and Twitter @survivingmommy_
“I stay off of social media, it just gives me too much anxiety seeing everyone’s perfect lives.”
I’ve heard this often from adults but never from a teenager. “Maybe you don’t talk to enough teenagers,” you might say.
I would respond with this: I did hair for almost a decade and many of my clients were in Junior High and High School and shared a lot of private things with me, including their struggles, so I sort of have a little experience interacting with that age group.
Do you remember being an adolescent? Emotional maturity, self-image and judgement are incredibly difficult to master or control during this time. Can you imagine how hard it would be for someone ages 10-25 to deliberately choose to swear off the very thing that could be causing their depression? Something that nearly ALL of their peers are engaging in? I’m talking about Social Media, specifically.
I believe that it could prove nearly impossible and that’s why I think it’s time we parents take matters into our own hands.
Some believe that suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death in Americans between 10 and 34. What’s one obvious difference between this generation and those before it? Digital technology.
We can tell an adolescent until we are blue in the face that people are simply showing the highlights but that’s not going to convince them. Humans learn through experience best and until our children get out there and start living their lives alone, it’s probably not going to click for them.
So for now the best we can do is all we can do: Educate ourselves on adolescent suicide and on digital technology. The internet is a powerful tool friends, let’s arm ourselves with the knowledge we each individually need and take back our children.
The application of this may look different for each family as our family dynamics and cultures are all different, a knowledgeable parent usually knows what’s best for their individual child.
Jordyn Armour is refreshing with her authenticity and honesty when it comes to parenting and writes about anything parenting related, using sarcasm and humor to tie everything together. She is a stay at home mom to four girls and runs survivingmommy.org Instagram @surviving_mommy and Twitter @survivingmommy_
I rewarded my four year old for throwing a fit today, at least that’s what it would seem like. We were driving in the car ten minutes after she had woken up and her little sister was given the stuffed Unicorn I found in the backseat.
This really upset Penelope who had asked for this specific unicorn yesterday. However, I had no time to procure another stuffed animal at the moment and she would just have to deal. She began to scream after my explanation as to why she couldn’t have it. “If you continue to scream you WILL go back to bed when we get back home,” I finally exclaimed, realizing that she may simply be too tired to stay up.
Penelope had been throwing a fit for five minutes at this point and in my experience the longer the fit goes on the more unreasonable the child becomes. To my utter surprise and complete joy her fit subsided in less than 30 second and all that was left was a scowl on her face.
“I would be scowling, too,” I thought.
You see, Penelope had a rough bedtime routine last night because it was the second night of us helping her to break the habit of magically requiring sustenance at the very mention of bedtime. Then, she woke up screaming at 5:30am because she had a nightmare about a giant spider coming after her to eat her and on top of that I woke her up an hour earlier than she’s used to. Lastly, this unicorn should have been given to her; after all, she requested it the day before and I was so busy that I forgot to get it out of the car for her.
To sum up: Penelope had been put to bed with hurt feelings over her new bedtime routine, been awakened by a terrifying nightmare, was forced out of bed early and she was then unjustly treated with the unicorn situation. Anyone would act unreasonable.
Five minutes later when we arrived home I looked at her angry little face and I said, “Penelope, you made such a good choice to obey Mommy and stop screaming even though you’re so tired and rightfully upset. Thank you! I’m going to give you a surprise now for your good choice!” You should have seen her face light up and she chose veggie straws for her surprise.
Often, I think we hold children to impossible standards. Just like us, children have bad moods and it’s our job to teach them how to express their emotions in a healthy and acceptable manner.
Jordyn Armouris refreshing with her authenticity and honesty when it comes to parenting and writes about anything parenting related, using sarcasm and humor to tie everything together. She is a stay at home mom to four girls and runs survivingmommy.org , Instagram @surviving_mommy and Twitter @survivingmommy_