adventures in childcare ADVENTURES IN CHILDCARE adventures in childcare

Going back to go forward

For generations, the elders of a community, wise and adept at communicating important life-lessons, were the ideal teachers for the members of a clan or family. Combining knowledge and first-hand experience with myth and philosophy, they then devised profound ways to impart this invaluable information upon the youth. These methods of instructing and strengthening the minds of young people has worked extremely well. But these invaluable stories, lessons and anecdotes are quickly being lost and distorted amidst the fast-paced, self-important lifestyle that people on every continent now subscribe to.
I am not an elder. I have been actively involved in many children's lives and I am acutely aware of the need to bring new methods of teaching into our children's lives. Our children need to be given a maleable template of how to cultivate a positive relationship with themselves. That template requires the active involvement of inspired and unrelenting parents, foster-parents and grandparents. I am a person with faults and short-comings just like everyone else. I am also an inspired parent who wants to see the children we bring into this world be given the tools to make this world a better place to live for ALL the inhabitants of this jewel we call the Earth.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


One major key to a secure bond with your child is doing what you say. Making a promise to your child doesn't have to involve the words "I promise". Telling Danny that you're going to a movie on Friday means that unless something very important to you, or important to Danny comes up, you WILL be going to that movie.
If you have to change plans then let Danny know ASAP and have a good reason. Apply it in a way that he'll understand. If you forget that you told little Dan about the movie and he's informed around the time you were supposed to be going to see the new Spiderman movie, you've just had strike one.
Or maybe it's strike seventeen. Which is really too bad for Danny. And it makes your relationship tenuous at best. By now he doesn't even get his hopes up too much. And when you do go out with him, he's rowdy and obstinate because he didn't expect to be going anywhere. His emotions are all mixed up and he feels like testing your nerves, since his were stepped on so often.
We take for granted that we get to make the laws. Think about how you would feel if your boundaries were arbitrarily limited. Everything you wanted to do was tempered with the sense that you would get into a lot of trouble if you pushed too far. All this, while you were witnessing "big" people doing whatever they wanted.
Give your children the greatest gift you can offer: Treat them like an intelligent and deserving individual. They are not stupid. They know when they're put in last place. They know when you're lying. They also learn to be a hypocrite from the very ones they look up to. In other words, tell Danny that you'll pick him up at 4pm and then back out one too many times and he'll make you pay for it. When you do finally get some Danny-time, he'll ask for a treat at every store you pass because he senses your guilt.
He will probably also misbehave more intensely because he's finally getting some attention and he does not want to lose it. He's lost his sense of importance too many times already. Why not whip the towel at the very individual who's thrown in the towel on him? All I'm saying is - ALWAYS try to keep your promises!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Ever tried to get a child to share something when they clearly do not want to? Nope, it's not easy: "I had it first!"; "I just want to do something with it"; "She didn't want it"; "But it has to stay on the castle"; "No!". There's lots of good kid-reasons for not sharing and it's one fight that's hard for you to win. If you force Jessica to give Kelly the Bratz doll, you risk being on the receiving end of Jessica's wrath. But if you can't find a way to get Kelly that doll (that she deserves), Kelly may begin to plot villainous consequences for Jessica. Kelly may also begin to see the power Jessica has over you and begin using the same tactics; double trouble.
To alleviate a disagreement between children, knowing each child's personality is paramount. You also need a reasonable understanding of the circumstances. Without a clear picture you're better off letting the kids sort it out themselves. If you do know the situation, there's a way to make both Jessica and Kelly happy - most of the time. It's called diversion.
You can distract Jessica with a different toy. You could distract Kelly with a different toy, or you distract them both with something completely different. You may even have to force them both to clean up and play somewhere else. Ideally, you give them a common enemy or goal. You can become a "monster" who wants to chase them. You could tell the girls that it's time to play a card game, or read a favorite book. Or maybe it's the perfect time to go for a long walk.
It is not, however, the perfect time to go shopping with them ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


This is the first thing you should know about your children: They ARE smarter than you. Mostly in ways that you may not recognize. If you often find yourself at the mercy of your child's will, they've got you. They've got you figured and they've also got the tools to sustain the control they have over you. A child doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about the various ways they can exert control, but they do attempt to get what they want by using different tactics. And whether they find a tantrum that works, a plea that's successful, or that guilt reaps great rewards, children will repeat the behaviour and augment it to fit a specific need. Don't doubt that your child's got you figured out - until you become wise in the same way. Figure your child out so that they get what they need, not what they want.
Most children don't even know why they want something. They are slaves to feelings and emotions, as we can be also. But adults have years full of triumphs and gritty mistakes to account for and lots of time to ponder and assess the results. Jimmy may want candy, a hug, a toy, to not brush his teeth, to watch one more movie, or your attention. But do you give Jimmy a toy because Sam has the same one? Or do you talk to Jimmy, explain the benefits of waiting, or choosing a different toy that might be a little more in line with what you'd prefer Jimmy to have. Know what Jimmy needs and you'll find a way to show Jimmy why he'd be happy with what he needs, not what he wants.