Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Daddysaur Magic and Positive Discipline

It stirred, sensing something in its realm. It slowly opened one bleary eye -- suddenly two smaller creatures appeared. Probably B-hivers, it thought. It jumped up from its lair on full alert, scaring the larger of the two creatures.

The Daddysaur bounded to the floor to chase the B-hivers from it's cave, while the Mamasaur stirred restlessly behind them all.

"Girls, wait out in the hall and we'll go downstairs. Mommy's still sleeping and I'll be right there."

Such is the life of late with preschoolers in our prehistoric wake, those moments when we as parents feel older and "tireder" than usual that leads to the grumps with little ones who have boundless energy and endless brain activity.

Last night Bryce woke up yet again from a bad dream and came in our room crying, with the Mama waking, carrying and comforting her back to her bed to sleep. It's been a weekly event even with both of them being pretty good sleepers.

It's when they're awake when it all becomes a handful, playing well with each other one moment, then pounding on each other the next. Or hitting us. Or not listening to us. Or not getting ready to somewhere when we need them to, like school. Or being picky eaters. Or not picking up their things when we ask them. Or Bryce twisting her glasses and popping out a lens on a Sunday when the optometrist isn't in the office, like this very minute.

All very frustrating for fairly emotionally aware, balanced and impulse-controlled adults, like us. And probably you, too.

The Mama's been reading Positive Discipline for Preschoolers, by Jane Nelsen, ED.D., Cheryl Erwin, M.A., and Roslyn Ann Duffy, and now I'm reviewing it. The girls' preschool is based on the positive discipline research and methodology and although I've been aware of it since Bea started preschool, my cursory knowledge has run thin like my patience.

The fact is -- three-year-old's have more energy than at any other time in their lives. Yikes. No wonder that the B-hive continues to buzz so loudly.

The Mama and I grew up in a mixed discipline world of firmer hands and less softer touch, discipline more often associated with punishment and negative behavior extinguishing than positive learning and development. My parents' and Nonna's worlds even more so. Goodness, I was even spanked as a child.

My gruffness today as a parent just doesn't make any magic happen. It only squashes it.

According to the positive discipline book, we as Daddysaurs and Mamasaurs should focus on "Eight Methods for Implementing Positive Discipline":

  1. Get children involved in the creation of routines, through the use of limited choices and by providing opportunities to help.
  2. Teach respect by being respectful.
  3. Use your sense of humor.
  4. Get into your child's world.
  5. Say what you mean, and then follow through with kindness and firmness.
  6. Be patient.
  7. Act, don't talk -- and supervise carefully.
  8. Accept and appreciate your child's uniqueness.
Easier said than done when you grew up differently as I did, although my parents incorporated some of the above. Miss you Mom and Dad. Mindful positive parenting is where the magic happens.

And yes, Daddysaurs need to get into their B-hivers' world, which thankfully I do.

Who will travel with Daddy next?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Becoming Banana Daddy Rama

"Daddy, can you take Banana on your trip?" asked Beatrice.

That was the night before I left a week ago, and of course I said yes.

I then kissed her forehead and asked, "Do you want me to take some pictures of Banana and post them?"

She nodded. The next morning I left early before anyone else was awake.

But what started as something fun to do for both daughters while I was away at my Peoplefluent company conference all week soon turned into a Banana Daddy obsession.

And a happy and family friendly one at that.