Are you unintentionally sabotaging your child's development?
Yesterday my 2 year old son walked through the front door holding his shoes in his hand. I asked for his shoe, and instead of placing them on top of the shoe organizer, or in the organizer, I placed his shoes side by side on the floor in front of the shoe organizer. He began to whine and said no, as I turned to walk away.
I almost insisted that it was okay to leave the shoes on the floor as he picked them up and placed his shoes next to a pair of my ballet flats, but I stopped myself. Insisting that he leave the shoes on floor could have undone months of training and modeling.
As parents we put so much time into training our children, but one lax moment can undue our efforts. Children thrive on consistency and routine and when they don't have it, they are confused.
This was something basic, a pair of shoes on the organizer, but it reminded me that I must always remain conscious of the verbal and nonverbal messages that I communicate to my children.
We must all remain conscious of the weight of our actions on our children who are always watching us.
Phelf, the elf from Elf on the Shelf, made his debut appearance in our home in 2014 during a time when I sought to create holiday traditions for our family. My 9 year old son fell in love with Phelf's shenanigan's and he returned again during the 2015 and 2016 Christmas Season's.
Yesterday I was accosted by my son, who demanded to know the truth about Phelf. Click here to read the conversation.
My husband is not a fan of Phelf, but he has played along much to the delight of our oldest son, and he will continue to do so with our youngest. As parents we have so many choices to make, but sometimes we should look to our children for the answer to those questions.
What do you think? Would you indulge your child in their desire for holiday whimsy? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Positive Parenting For Black Moms: Mothers Like Us.
by Pia Mattix Davis
Before I came to my senses and made the decision to wash my pump parts at work instead of transporting them to and from home each day, there were many mornings that I lacked the necessary tools to relieve my ever increasingly engorged breasts of milk.
At the time my husband and I shared a car and he dropped me off at work, so returning home was not an option, neither was making a run to Walmart. On the days that I knew my husband was available, I would call him and he would bring me the pieces that I needed. Once a close friends who also pumps had her husband bring her spare pump to my office, and on another occasion, a complete stranger responded to my request for assistance in a local breastfeeding group.
If I, a working mom with two children, can be rescued in my time of need, then why can't that same grace be extended to children? The lessons learned during childhood mold us into the adults that we become. Those lessons should serve to build character and instill the traits needed to thrive. If I forget my lunch at home I can reach into my purse, pull out my credit card and order take out. If I forget a work assignment I can drive home and retrieve it before the deadline. A child in school does not have those options. There option is to call mom or dad. I don't see this as a lesson in problem solving, as much as I see it as a reminder that the problems of children are not given the same consideration as those of adults.
by Pia M Davis
I refuse to eat raw or cooked spinach unless it is in a casserole or sauce. My oldest son only eats broccoli, while my baby is a fickle pickle and will devour asparagus one day and spit it out the next. As their parent, it is my job to provide wholesome meals, but I don't have the time, energy, or the desire to force either boy to consume unappealing foods.
I loved spinach up until 4 or 5 years ago, but one day I detected a filmy texture that lingered. I attempted to eat spinach on many other occasions, but the filmy texture remained. Up until last year my oldest refused to even consider eating sushi. One day I convinced him to try a bite and since then has has been hooked!
What is my point you ask?
We as parents can't respectfully force our children to eat the foods that we enjoy. Stuffing a child's mouth full of collard greens or forcing them to remain at the table until the liver is gone will not cultivate a love for that particular food. Instead it builds anger, and creates resentment and can rob a child of the possibility of one day enjoying something that they once despised.
We work hard to fashion our children into rational, human beings, so can't we trust and honor their choice when they tell us that they don't like green beans?
by Pia Mattix Davis
by Pia Mattix davis
From birth, our children deserve to be respected as humans and as individuals in the choices that we make for them. Until they develop a voice of their own, we must consciously consider how our choices affect their lives. A baby who is sensitive to lights and sounds should not be subjected to a noisy concert or worship service, and a toddler who is fearful of new people should not be forced to sit in Great Aunt Gertrude’s lap.
As adults, if we don’t like loud venues, we have the choice to remain at home. If we don’t want to hug a stranger, once again, we can make the choice to shake hands or simply say hello and remain with the confines of our personal space.
by Pia Mattix Davis
I was raised in a home in which the phrase “Do as I say, and not as I do”, was a primary parenting philosophy. From premarital sex, to lying and everything in between I was expected to adhere to a moral standard which was not upheld in the home that my mother provided. At a young age I was confused, and as I grew I began to view her as a hypocrite.
I am not perfect, and I don’t profess to be, but I strive to live the life that I want my children to emulate. I can’t hold them to any standard which I myself can’t maintain.
By Pia Mattix Davis
Let’s be real. It is completely normal and understandable that our children will get on our last nerve. Unlike our adult friends (who also can get on our last nerve) who recognize when we need space and back off, our children don’t or even if they do, their needs come before ours.
Sometimes we aren’t in the mood to parent, but unfortunately we can’t pick and choose when we want to engage with our children. Even at those moments, when deep down in the back of our mind, we want to tell them to get lost, we can’t. As a wife, I would be devastated if my husband told me to scram when I needed him.
At moments such as these, it is wise to have a word or phrase to say to your children that will help to change your perspective. When I am frustrated most, I tell my boys that I love them. This simple phrase forces me to stop and consider my words to ensure that I even when disciplining, I am building them up and not tearing them down.
By Pia Mattix Davis
At the bare minimum, Positive Parenting is nothing more than how we respond to our children. We as parents must control our emotions, and speak to our children with patience, compassion, and respect at all times. Childhood is a time of tremendous learning and growth, and our children require guidance and redirection during these formative years. Our children need safe spaces in which they can make mistakes and receive advice and discipline that will guide them as they grow into men and women. We must extend the same patience and grace to our children that we would like to receive from our employers and our spouses.