Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let me count the ways

It's easy to love our kids.
It's even easy to love ON our kids.
And it is most certainly fun to spoil our kids.
But...when it's time to UN-spoil the kids, well... that's not so fun. 
As parents, we ache to give our kids every possible advantage.  But in the end so much of preparing to launch them into the world is about withholding stuff. 
It is necessary & part of our job as mommies & daddies.
Here are some of the so-not-fun ways my hubby and I have shown our love
to our children over the years.
1. We went through the essential but painful (for us) process of sleep-training our kids.  Each of the kids was different, but I'm thankful that we started early and that we hung in there... despite the many, many nights we slept on their floor so that they got comfortable in their bed or that they learned what the bedtime routine was.  The reward (for everyone) is we have some serious rock star sleepers!
2. We took away bottles & NUKS when the time was right.  I'm not sure who found it harder to let go, but I do know that for dental health and speech development, it was key.
3. We set bedtimes.  Pretty reasonable ones at that, despite the fact that they hear their friends get to stay up much later.  We also have a bedtime routine - bath/shower, snack, brushing teeth and reading books together.  They know what to expect... and so do we.
4. We still have quiet and/or nap time.  And whether people believe it or not, a little bit of quiet & alone time in their room is tremendous for their energy & attitude.  And I won't even mention how great it is for Mommies & Daddies.
5. We said no.  Over and over again.  To all manner of requests.  To whining & begging and sad eyes.  Not 100% of the time - but enough for the kids to realize there are limits to their powers of persuasion.

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