- Sarah, 13, frustrates me with her attitude but that’s just what teenage girls do.
- Tommy, 16, smells like teen spirit even after a bath (and no, I’m not referring to the song or the deoderant) but teenage boys just smell.
- Noah, 10, is a space cadet but all 10 year old boys have their brains turned off.
- Amy, 4, is having her terrible twos but all children go through this.
- Evan, 14 months, is clingly but he is still a baby and needs coddling (2nd definition! Not first!).
- Cathy, 27, is simply wonderful but if I put anything here I’ll be cut off for a year.
- Doug, 37, has CRS disease but that is because of stress and bad sleep habits.
So when do we quit attributing actions to their ages and just brushing them off? That is not accurate. We are a very consequence based family. Cathy and I put great weight in natural consequences. "if you choose to walk across the gravel in your bare feet rather than slip on shoes, your feet will hurt." When the child is going to learn the lesson for themselves, the lesson sticks more than if it is scolded or yelled into their head. Besides, why create a riff between child and parent when nature is going to handle it? You may bring about a shortterm solution faster or avoid a mess by forcing a child to do something, but having patience and taking time to clean up this mess will have a much more positive impact long term. I know, easier said than done.
Just this week, Tommy started asking everyone to be sure to rinse their dishes before putting in the sink. He has learned on his own that cleaning the dish is more difficult after the food has dried and hardened. That comes from the natural consequence of having to rewash dishes.
So Noah. I fear his absentmindedness is going to hurt him in school badly this year. Seems he has gone from spacey to deep spacey. Just yesterday he gets out of the van, goes to the tailgate, opens it, gets his $200 karate gear (pads) out of the back, sets them down on the ground to close the gate, closes the tailgate, and walks into the house. Hours later, fortunately no rain, Cathy returns from an errand and is agast to see the brand new pads in the yard where weather, animal, child or crook could have put a damper on Noah’s karate lessons. We ask Noah to look in the yard and he just stares in confusion failing to see the pads. 10? I’m thinking daily games that improve memory, concentration and attention to details are in order! Of course, as much as I hate to become one of those adults, I cannot help but think that video games are contributing to the absentmindedness.