Friday, July 26, 2013

The Key to Getting Top Notch Behavior from the Kids

The Quirky Mom ~ TheQuirkyConfessions.com
Did the title fool you? Do you really think I hold the key to opening up all the secrets that result in good behavior? Ha! On the slim chance that I did fool you with my rants, think again . . . but if you know somebody who has all the secrets, send them my way.

I'm a firm believer that all children are different. What tricks work for some, may not work well for others. My kids are like night and day. They are such polar opposites of each other that I've pretty much gone down the whole list of parenting techniques and approaches when it comes to encouraging good behavior. Let's be honest, kids can be just a tad bit bipolar. You never really know what (or who) you're going to get, and when you're going to get it.

We all know the basics - well rested, well fed . . . blah blah blah, usually goes in your favor, but it's never a guarantee. I can tell you this much, my kids are always in bed at a reasonable hour. They are always encouraged to take naps, or "rest". They are also offered nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day. It's not my fault if they choose to sing really loud during quiet time, or eat one cheerio and chalk it up as breakfast. I try my best to get them to rest and eat, but I also refuse to force feed vegetables in their faces. The airplane approach only goes so far these days. As far as nap goes . . . sometimes it just doesn't go, and I accept that. (As long as I have five minutes to take a shower.) Plus, no naps just result in an earlier bedtime . . . for all of us. (You better believe my patience has usually been thrown out the window by 4 pm on no nap days.) I've become a master at keeping my composure though . . . most of the time.

Never Fully Dressed without a Smile
This is my attitude: (and some people may look at it as a bad attitude, but it works for me.) I expect the worst, but hope for the best . . . for everything. Example: You're throwing a birthday party for your kid during my kids "rest time"? Sure! We'll be there! Even though it may result in what could be the most massive meltdown, EVER. This is what I expect, however, I am usually surprised and pleased by the outcome. Usually my kids are having too much fun to show signs of being tired, and they'll save the meltdown for me at home later. I'm okay with that. I go into whatever it is we're doing with a positive attitude for my kids sake and everyone else, although there is often a little voice in the back of my head that says "This is going to be a total sh!t show." You know what Little Orphan Annie says though - "You're never fully dressed without a smile!" Good advice - Smiling goes a long way. So does talking to your kids.

Over the past week we had one visit to the pediatrician for a 3 year check up, and two first time visits to the dentist. A lead test for my big kid,  and a stranger sticking their hands in both of my kids mouths. Now keep in mind I'm totally thinking "sh!t show", but I hyped up these visits with a Little Orphan Annie smile, and told my kids how great it is to go to the doctor and dentist for check-ups. I didn't overkill the talks, but answered any and all questions they had with a big KOOL-AID smile. My oldest had lots of questions and comments about going to these appointments, and my youngest listened in on everything. This resulted in lots of big, cheesy smiles and excitement from me. I mean everybody loves to start off their Monday morning bright and early with a trip to the dentist or doctor, right? Well, my kids certainly do. 

Quirky Dental Appointment ~ TheQuirkyConfessions.com
On appointment day my oldest woke up with just as much excitement as she had on her birthday. She was tickled pink about her trip to the doctor. Both the doctor and nurse could not stop laughing because she could barely contain her excitement. During her lead test the nurse advised her that she may want to look away instead of looking at the needle in her arm. She responded with "Thank you, Nurse! This is just so great! I love lead tests! Now I can go to college!" I'm not really sure where the whole college comment came from, but it gave us all a good laugh. We had a similar outcome during our visit to the dentist. Both girls
The Quirky Kids at the Dentist ~ TheQuirkyConfessions.com
were thrilled to be up and out of the house at 7:30 am to start our day off with a new adventure. Lanie, my oldest, did spectacular and got a super report on the great brushing she does. I was nervous about Charlotte and was told that they may not be able to get a full cleaning/exam. They encourage kids to go at her age more for the experience and to prepare them for this when they are a little older. She blew us all away with her stellar behavior. She sat still, let them examine and clean her teeth with no trouble at all! The dentist said Charlotte put her teenage patients to shame! I was amazed by their role model behavior.

I'm thinking it may be time to throw my secret  "Negative Nancy" approach out the window. Not everything is always going to be a sh!t show. My kids have proven that to me. Actually, they have shown me what the true definition of amazing is. Just ask my oldest . . . She always rants and raves over how "amazing" she and her sister are. You'd trip over their amazingness if you weren't looking. Truth is, they are pretty amazing. Especially during their visits to doctor and dentist offices. We'll just save the flip outs for the grocery store. After all, nobody is perfect, and I'm okay with that too.




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