…that’s not about work is parenting.
My boss is a couple of years older than me and she’s a mother of three kids. Every now and then, we’d talking about raising children and I find her tips very, very helpful.
I would like to share the things that I learn from her: from discipline, managing expectations, health, and education. There’s quite a lot so I’ll write about them in other entries. Let me share one on this entry.
On Managing Toy Store Visits
Recently, Lucas has a liking for a certain I’d like to call BJ. He’s the yellow triceratops in the kids’ show, Barney and friends. The last time we visited a toy store, Lucas saw BJ, grabbed it, and walked away with it. I let him carry the toy without the intention of buying it. I distracted him with another toy that I was going to buy for him, and asked Yaya to return the BJ toy back on the shelf.
No-no: My boss said that was a no-no. It’s a violation of trust. It’s easy to distract Lucas now because he’s only 2 years old. When he gets older though, if I allow him to get a toy and plan on diversion afterwards, he’ll either expect me to buy it for him or he won’t let go of it because he will learn that sooner or later, I will distract him and take the toy away from him. The same goes for parents saying they will step out of the toy store and come back to buy it later, only to intentionally forget about it. Lines like, “Ay nakalimutan na natin bilhin yung toy” (Oh, we forgot to buy the toy), are not helpful. For a child, when their parents say they’ll return to buy the toy, they are already anticipating for it. Frequent “forgetfulness” will only breed doubt and may cause the child not to trust his/her parents anymore.
How do we manage? My boss said to set their expectations even before you enter the store. Set rules and make an agreement with your child. That way, they will not feel betrayed because they know that he/she and Mom or Dad had an agreement. For example, before going to store, tell your child that you (him/her and you) will only look, but will not buy any toy. They can touch, play with it (if allowed) but will not buy. If this agreement was made even before the parent and child came in to the store, then the parent will just remind the child about the agreement. I think this technique harnesses obedience and understanding of rules. When you do set rules, stick with them. My boss said, I can use this technique as early as now. Even if my Little Jedi does not entirely understand what I am saying, eventually he will. It’s good that discussions like this becomes part of our “malling routine” as early as now. Discipline and obedience can start at a very young age too.
This is just one of the many discussion my boss and I have. I’ll try to share every parenting tip that I get from her because I am pretty sure that we’ll be able to relate to it, one way or another.