After writing Monday’s post, I thought a little more about my tactics over the last few months to resolve so many of our conversations with my four year old that turn into “Poo-Poo Stink Face.” Sound familiar?
Since one of the first times I heard my son use a “potty word” I told him to go spit it in the potty.
I don’t like to rule out his favorite words entirely, but just giving him a designated space where he can let it all out has spared the rest of us from hearing them as often.
I have always been about CONTEXT: There is a time and a place for lots of things. Use wisdom here folks… if the future of a behavior leads to serious issues then avoid it all together! But, here are kid-friendly examples that I am talking about:
If my kids are climbing on me then I will say “You can climb on monkey bars, but not on mommy.”
If my kids are kicking: “You can kick a soccer ball, but not a person.”
If my kids are biting: “You can bite food, but not your brother’s finger.” (CHARLIE!)
You get the picture.
I don’t want them to GLORIFY any one word or behavior because of their lack of being able to use it.
So, I would rather give them a place to use it.
BUT, that then means that I have to follow up with my child:
Sternly, but calmly “Sean Patrick, that is a potty word. If you want to use that word you need to go to the potty and say it into the potty where no one else can hear it but the potty.
If he does it again, “Sean Patrick, what kind of word is that?” (Wait for him to tell me). “That’s right, and where does it belong?” (In the potty).
If he does it again, I would bring him to his room to “take a break.”
I know this is so silly to write an entire post about, but it has been encouraging to see that he is okay not using a word or behavior in other settings when he has a place to use it if he gets the itch to.
Now, when he gets around another silly, potty-word-using kiddo, all of my influence seems to go out the window, but… it just gives me a chance to remind him about our little family policy.
Having a sense of humor is really important in my family…we love to laugh at and with each other.
But I don’t want my kids to turn into a bunch of bullies who laugh at other’s expense.
So, we have talked a lot about what is funny, and what is NOT funny.
As my kids vocabulary grows so does their love of words like “doodie-butt” and “doo doo face.”
Name-calling is apparently the funniest thing in the world according to my 4 year old, next to telling someone they smell like fill-in-the-blank.
So, I am turning the tables on all-things-silliness.
If my four year old decides to call me a doodie-butt in a silly moment. I will look at him with a serious face, and calmly but sternly tell him… “Hurtful words aren’t funny, but I love when you are silly. Try calling mommy ‘honey bunches’ when you want to be silly. Okay CUTIE PIE HONEY BUNCH!” And I throw a name right back at him that is “silly” or “cute” but not offensive.
If my four year old decides to tell me that I smell like something stinky. Again, I look at him (without freaking out like I am a thirteen year old in defense mode…come on parents- we are the grown-ups here) and just seriously, calmly, and sternly tell him “I love when you are in a silly mood, but it is FUNNY when you tell mommy I smell like something that doesn’t really stink. Sooooo, let’s try: ‘You smell like cinnamon.'” (Cue the huge laugh like that was the funniest thing we have heard in forever). “Or… “You smell like SUGAH, sugah (also known as sugar).” HAH!
And finally, we like to tell stories around here. Stories that people relate to, and then we put a spin on them with some slight exaggerations and expressions thrown into the mix. I usually make facial expressions like “REALLY?!?” and ask questions like “What happened next?” or “What was that like?” to get my kiddos to make some funny associations.
These little exercises have made a big difference in our kid’s perceptions of what is funny, and what is not okay.
My son now REGULARLY asks me “Mom, is that funny?”
“Mom, is that silly?”
“Mom, is that a mean word?”
We want our kids to keep their sense of humor and not lose it all together from the parent police.
So for us, it just boils down to funny is silly but not hurtful.
Are there any parents out there lost in summer?
Some days I’m lost in the best ways….playing and swimming the day away with my three kids.
Other days, I’m lost in an August daydream when I will have even a few hours to run errands alone.
Even though I might get a little antsy some days for a little reprieve, I really admire (and am inspired by) moms who have not allowed their work load or daily tasks to drown out what really matters as a parent… making time for family.
So, it’s not very often that you get to spotlight a mom who has accomplished so many life goals as an athlete and entrepreneur (read bio at the end of the post!). AND she also shares tips for moms like me, with young kids, to make time as a family (perfect timing in light of summer and the World Cup!).
U.S. soccer legend Kristine Lilly, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and Play Ambassador for Let’s Play,an initiative led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids and families active nationwide,shares tips below on how she transforms the soccer drills she learned on the field into fun games that keep her kids active all summer long.
1. Dribble Relay
o Set up some small orange cones or plastic cups in a zig-zag pattern.
o Divide your family into two equal groups and give one person from each team a soccer ball. Have the team members stand on opposite ends of the yard.
o To begin, the team member with the soccer ball has to dribble around each cone to the other side, tag their teammate and pass them the ball.
o Then, the teammate has to dribble the ball back through the cones and race to the other end of the field. The team to complete the obstacle course first, wins!
2. Kick-out Keep-away
o Great for a large group of kids, give all players a soccer ball (or any type of ball they can kick around) except for the person who is “it.”
o Set up four cones or plastic cups on each corner of your “field,” and when the game begins, all players dribble their ball while the person who is “it” tries to kick each ball out of bounds.
o When a player’s ball is kicked out of bounds, he/she is eliminated. The last player with a ball wins!
3. High-Five Goals
o Set up a couple of markers to signify a “goal.”
o Pass the soccer ball to your child, and have them kick it back to you.
o After three kicks back and forth, tell them to run over to you and give you a high-five, and then kick the ball into the goal. This is a great game for little ones!
4. Sideline Sprints
o Put a mark on the lawn or driveway about 15 yards away, or whatever distance works best for your space.
o Run to the line and back five times.
o Next, do five jumping jacks and count them off together out loud.
o Continue the sequence, but this time, run to the line and back four times, and work your way down to one time. It is a great workout game for parents AND kids, and helps little ones learn how to count.
5. Hydration Station
o It’s so important to stay hydrated when you’re playing outside in the heat. I like to keep a small cooler filled with cold water or juice in the fridge so I can easily grab it and during outdoor play in the summer.
o Just make sure your kids don’t drench the “coach” after they score a goal!
Kristine Lilly is a mom and an American soccer player who last played professionally for the Boston Breakers women’s professional soccer team. She was a member of the United States women’s national soccer team for 24 years and has appeared in more international matches than any other player in the sport, appearing in her 352nd and final match against Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in November 2010. She is the founder of the Kristine Lilly Soccer Academy and author of an e-book, Girls Soccer: My Story. Lilly lives with her husband and their two daughters outside of Boston, Massachusetts.