Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Parenting with Humor

From time to time, the same old parenting tips and tricks just don't work. Plus, you get tired of hearing yourself say, "Let's use our WORDS," and "I'm sorry, my ears just don't understanding WHINEse!" That's when I like to introduce some of my favorite characters. They're quite a cast. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome ...

The Anthropologist. Useful for fighting children.
Example: Five year old and eight year old are embroiled in a conflict over possession of something trivial. Things are escalating.
Parent: Guys, this is so interesting! And helpful, because I'm doing some research for an article on How Siblings Fight. Let me write this down [unless I'm driving.] Let's see, you start with an object that both of you want, is that right?
Kids, startled: Yes.
Parent: Okay, great. Then is it particularly effective to add screaming? Maybe a few tears? Tell me, what works the best?
(This method works AMAZINGLY well, because of the shock factor. So don't use it very often. But be cheerful and detached when you do.)

The Village Idiot.
Example #1: Clothes left on floor after reminder.
Parent: Wow, isn't this amazing! I KNOW I asked for these clothes to be put away, but they've jumped right out of the hamper! Creepy!
Example #2: Child is whining about wanting something NOWWWWW.
Parent: Hey, I didn't know we had invited Nellie Olson/Veruca Sal* to the party today! (*Selfish brats from Little House on Plum Creek/Charlie and the Choc. Factory, respectively)

The Interpreter.
Example: Child has been given some treat but complains that it's not the right color, size, etc.
Parent: Oh, is that Japanese for "Thank you Mama so much for this delightful treat?"

The Surfer Dude.
Example: Child comes to complain that his/her brother/sister has committed some gross offense toward him/her. Child clearly hoping for big parental reaction toward offender.
Parent, not moving: Bummer!
End of conversation.

Aren't children delightful creatures?

Really, I mean it.

Before kids, I only had ONE identity. Life is so much richer now.


Margo said...

This is hilarious Hannah! I'm storing these away for several years from now. :)

Naomi said...

Totally hilarious!! Bet it's a great way to help keep your sanity. I too will keep this in mind. :-D

Vanessa said...

Hmm, I think my favorite identity of yours is the surfer dude. Kudos to you on creativity and finding some humor in all the chaos, whining, fighting, screaming, etc.

The other day Benjamin was demanding something he couldn't have, and after minutes of trying to distract him from what he could not have, I just couldn't take the whining anymore, that I blurted out, "Life's just not fair, huh? Mommy doesn't get a lot of things she wants either. Sorry buddy!" Of course, reason doesn't work with two year olds, but I felt much better :)

Louisa said...

This made me laugh. A lot. I love having such a brilliant sister! Good to know where to run for parenting tips in about 15 years ;).

Jenny said...

Oh, this gives me some new ideas to try instead of my same old worn-out lines. LOL

melissa said...

Haha! I love the Anthropologist. I am taking notes