Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To Bribe or Not to Bribe: This is the question...

Me first-ting this morning to 2-year old:  "Time to get our pull-up off and go tinkle in the potty."

2-year old beauty:  "Nnnnooo!"

Me, thinking fast:  "But you'll get a mini-Oreo."

That's how the bribe went down.

And that's how we got the Disney princess pull-up off and baby girl's booty on the potty.

I could've sat there for 20 minutes in a power struggle and eventually ordered her on the potty.  Because, after all, as a good friend once told me,  "you're mom.  they have to do what you tell them."  Really?  Is that how that works?

But a power struggle and a yucky potty experience didn't sound good before my first cup of coffee.  So, baby girl got her cookie and got to eat it too!  And I got her pull-up off and got her to the potty so we could have an accident-free couple of hours.

Some very well-respected moms I know never bribe their children.  They use their power, and it works for them.  They are also probably a bit stricter than I am, have more time, and withstand meltdowns much more calmly than I. 

For a time, I wished I were more that way.  Stricter, calmer, with oodles of time.  But that's not my reality.  I have two smartie-pants toddlers who have their own strong ideas about things, I work, and at times, I'm just not a calmy-balmy type.  So I negotiate with them.  I barter.  I wheel and deal.  And they don't seem all that unhappy about it.  I'm not.  It's working for now.

But I'm a curious bug, and I wanna know:  what strategies do you use when you want or need your child to do something?  Is bribery out of the question?  Are there negative consequences?  I hope I hear from you!

Monday, March 7, 2011

TV Time

Moms & Dads, I am going to confess.

Even though I'm a TV mom, I always said I would limit how much I let my kids watch.  I always thought like 30 minutes a day or something was plenty.  If that...

Then came the Little Einsteins.  Then Diego.  Then Team Umizoomi.  Now it's Bubble Guppies

and Super Why (which is part of PBS Kids, which is somewhat educational, which can't be that bad, right?)...   Whatever I have to tell myself..

Because I'm about to confess that I've been relying on TV waaaayyyyyyy  too much.  Two-year old sassafrass couldn't care less about television.  But four-year old terror-turned-sweetheart loves his shows.  And dealing with the terrible twos right now, the DirecTV remote control (or "mote troll" as my baby girl says) is my slave.

I found this & started panting...

      According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF):
  • two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2 hours a day
  • kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs
  • kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer (outside of schoolwork) and playing video games
      The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

What is quality programming anyway?  And what happens if the little people watch more than 2 hours?

So I wanted to ask how much you all let your children watch.  Share and let's start a discussion about whether these guidelines make sense..

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh happy blog!

A certain weatherman I work with asked me today, rather seriously, "are you okay?" 

I nodded.

"No, really," he prodded, "are you OKAY?"

Yes, I really am!  Especially after today  (more on that in a minute).

Apparently, he'd read my last couple blog posts and thought I was like a depressed, suicidal mess or something. 

I'm not.  Not today.  But moms, as you know, it's a day-to-day process, which fluctuates.  I wish I were more steady, no matter the occasion (don't we all?).  But the reality is, a lot of time mood is based upon the terrible-two-meltdowns and splattered milk or the amazing, happy moments at the park and times like today with the kids, chasing the geese.

Or reading Dr. Seuss to the hundreds of children at the Clinton Library this morning. 

My kids were in the audience, previewing my book before I started reading.   

Or the ladybug that landed on sweet girl's hand.

Or precious boy climbing at the playground.

Today was a brilliant, happy day.  And I'll take it!  Happily.  Lovingly.  Openly.  Knowing the next meltdown (mine and theirs) is right around the corner...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Moms: Can you really have it all?

I just don't think it's possible.

Once upon a time... I believed.  I really did believe that as a mom, I could have it all.  But you know what happened to that dream?  It died.  Got flushed down the toilet with the flushable potty-training-wipees they say won't clog your drains! (I don't think they're any less thick, by the way.  Do you?)...

Anyway.. I'm talking about the kids, the husband and marriage, the house, the job, the social life...  You know what I'm mean, right?   The life we always dreamed of?   Ahhhhh... that perfect life.

Well, dont' mean to trash-talk.  But that perfect life?  Doesn't exist.

In fact, I just interviewed my friend, the editor of an award-winning parenting publication, who also sighed deeply just before our shoot.  I said cheerfully, "now that doesn't sound like the happy sigh I was hoping to hear from the woman who has it all!"

To which I was given the Tsk-Tsk.  Yeah right, she said.    Then, she rattled off her laundry list (gosh, don't we all have one?).  How little girl starts soccer today but doesn't have cleats, pads, etc.  How mama hops a flight to D.C. in the morning for a business meeting and hasn't yet packed. On and on and on....

But this friend of mine..   She's so beautiful.  Has a lovely family.  Wonderful husband.  Edits a fabulous magazine.  She doesn't have it all?

And me...  don't I have it all?  Constantly, people are saying I've got it made-in-the-shade.  Two beautiful little ones.  A TV job that rocks.  A handsome-doctor-husband.  A fun social life.   (all their words, not mine).  I guess on paper, it looks like I have it all.  So, then, why is it I feel I DON'T?

Maybe because of this and this alone:  this balancing act leaves you feeling like you do everything-all-at-once and nothing very well.  I don't feel like I love my kids well enough because, afterall, I'm never there to pick them up from preschool.  Rarely there for lunch and naptime.  Definitely not there for family dinner.  I miss their afternoons, their prime play-time. I don't get to see their sweet faces gleaming with joy, screaming "moooooommmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" when I drive up to their school to get them.

My TV station is great.  I work fewer hours to accomodate this madness of raising children and maintaining a home.  So of course, I feel like I do less then my colleagues, can't say "yes" to all the charities I'd like to help, and am constantly late and missing meetings. 

My husband is next on the list.  And I know he feels neglected.  No question about that!

My household?  We have two dogs and a cat (two of whom are elderly), and they are begging for love...

I'm exhausted constantly.  Always struggling to keep my head above water.  Repeatedly questioning my sanity...  Is this the "all" I was dreaming of?

The question begs:  Can you really have it all?

I don't think so.  I do think what I have is enough, though.  But it's hard.  And it's sure not the "all," "the dream" I once thought existed.   But maybe it's just enough.  Enough to be thankful for each day.

(If you do have it all, please email me at dscott@todaysthv.com.  I want to air your story!)