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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Lydster, Part 47: "Hey, Guys!"

One of the things we've learned as parents is that there are lots of tricks of the trade, but that sometimes, they don't work.

For instance, some kind parents suggested that, in order to save precious time in the morning, we pick out Lydia's clothes the night before. That only works when she doesn't change her mind in the morning. But thanks anyway.

But it's not just the suggestions that are at issue; it's how they are presented. For example, Lydia needed to take an oral medicine that she did not like for an infection.
Good way to give advice: Have you tried putting it in yogurt or ice cream?
Bad way to give advice: Why don't you just put it in yogurt or ice cream?
The second way is bad because it suggests, more in the accompanying tone than in the content, that hadn't even thought of it, and that we're totally incompetent parental rubes. (I may be, but I certainly don't need you to TELL me so.)

As a matter of fact, we HAVE tried to put the medicine in food. She can taste it. (As can I.) But she STILL has to take the antibiotic.

This means, unfortunately, me holding her while her mother administers the medicine. Even before a single drop touches her lips, she struggles and says, "Hey, guys! Hey, gu-u-u-ys!" This is NOT how she usually refers to us. We find it very funny phraseology and have to stifle laughing as we give her the unwanted liquid. She pouts for about two minutes, then seems to forget all about it as she seeks out hugs. Very interesting, this parental trip.



Tosy And Cosh said...

It's those moments that can break your heart the most. One of my twins hates having her toenails clipped and will wail and scream as if she's being literally tortured.

Uthaclena said...

What an adorable Kidling!! Parenting... it's always an adventure!!

Greg said...

"Why don't you just smack her in the head until she takes her medicine?" See, that's BAD advice and it's in a condescending tone. It's the best of both worlds!

Mia is remarkably used to taking medicine (she should be, as she gets it twice a day). But she still doesn't let Krys give it to her as well as she lets me give it to her. Kids are just wacky that way.

Anthony said...

Parenting styles and philosophies can be such a touchy matter. Some of my friends (one's who tended to be conservative Baptist in background) were keen on the ideas of the Ezzos, who wrote a book titled, "Growing Kids God's Way" which seems to be a bit arrogant of a title. I think a key principle of this approach is that parents need to put babies on their schedule. Paula and I, by comparison, tended to favor the approach of Dr. Sears and attachment parenting. When some of my friends found this out I often felt there was a subtext of "you're gonna ruin your kid's character".

I have honestly never read any of the Ezzo's work, and so any impression I have is second hand. With that said, I can certainly understand wanting to shape, structure and develop your child's character, as that is a part of the ministry of being a parent, but the sense that I had is that the Ezzo's approach was rigid and insensitive to context. On the other hand, I can see why some would think that attachment parenting is a bit unstructured.

Anyways, I think most of us read, dialogue, take bits from here and there, and basically find our own way, a way that is organic to our families as a whole . In the end I think we mostly do our children good, but we also create issues for them. Thank God, however, there tends to be some inborn resilience in kids.

In the end, I think that parenting naturally evokes insecurity in various ways and degrees, and this is the source of why it is such a touchy matter.