Dear Mama of a Rough Little Boy,
It was a long day.
What did he do today?
Let me make a few guesses -- pull down the curtains, push down every child in sight, figure out how to unlatch and unlock the front door, throw all the fruit from the refrigerator out the doggy door, insist on reading the same dumb book over and over again, break a window on purpose, play in the dirt pile immediately after you swept, chase the dog, chase the cat, chase the chickens, chase the sister, break your favorite lamp even though you told him to get off the bookshelf 135 times, or did he bite you so hard you almost slapped his sweet little face?
None of those?
Then this letter isn't for you.
But, if you know all about being that mom who has the kid who pushes, kicks, bites and just generally plays too rough every moment of the day....please keep reading.
I know what it is like. From the days when you leave the park on the first kick, to the days when you let the kicks slide because you need to be at the park so you don't have to be in the confined quarters of your house with your crazy child.
Trust me. I understand.
So, from one mama of a rough little boy to another mama of a rough little boy, this is my (unsought) advice:
1. Drop the time-out. Instead give him a 'time-in'. When your instinct orders him into his room, take a step back and do something you will both enjoy. Are you rewarding him for bad behavior? No. You are loving your child and modeling the proper way to deal with strong emotions. When he is calm, then you can discuss the poor decisions made earlier.
2. Stay outside as much as possible. This is a no-brainer but very important. Drizzle, snow, heat. It won't stop these boys.
3. Keep your expectations low. Low.
4. Learn about toddler brain research and how brain development affects our toddlers' decisions.
5. Read lots of positive parenting blogs. This is a great starter post.
So tomorrow after you have told your rough little boy to keep his grimy little hands off baby sister for the 724th time, think about me.
And, I'll think about you.