Understanding Parenting: Toddler Talk

We LOVE Rudolph! I mean, it is an absolute classic and a necessity to kick off Christmas! Clarabelle especially loves the movie because of the name of Rudolph’s girlfriend (Clarice) as this is also her “princess” name. However, she has a serious issue with the way that the other reindeer behave.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” she says as she provides her wisdom, “why are the kids so mean and why don’t the mommies and daddies tell them to stop?”

“Well,” I struggled, “they have never seen a red nose before so they don’t understand.”

“But even the grown-ups are being mean! I am not mean to different people. You and mommy aren’t mean either.”

“You are right. That’s because we know that being different is a good thing.”

“Yep, you told me that!” she stated proudly, “Different is special!”


Who knew that Rudolph was so profound? There is a growing trend for more detailed children’s shows to teach inclusion and diversity. Adults go through specialized cultural competence training to learn how to not be mean. Shouldn’t we have all learned this from the Christmas classic? Simply put, “different is special.”

Of course, it is easy to see that the young reindeer learn this lesson and that, as children, we all felt sorry for poor little Rudolph. However, I never really caught one point that Clarabelle brought up….the parents!

Why are parents not teaching their children to be nice? Why are they not teaching them that different is a good thing? Why are they depending on the television to teach them and then being horrified at what is being taught?  Do they not realize that the children are listening when they are speaking out against this group or that individual and then mimicking these behaviors?

Why are we not all shocked that the adult reindeers not only allowed but also participated in this behavior?

Perhaps, it is because we, as a society, are still doing this! We don’t need specialized training to be decent human beings! We just need to be nice!


Niceness is a classic, too!



When Night and Day Conspire: The Boys in Action

Polar opposites without a doubt, Braxton and Elliott spend more time trying to get the other one in trouble than they do trying to stay out of trouble themselves. It takes every eye possible to determine if anyone actually touched the other or if they just want to see how far they can push it. It is a riot! For instance, Elliott will be sitting on the couch and Braxton across the room and Braxton will start screaming and pointing at Elliott as if he had caused the tears. If we tell Braxton to calm down and walk away, Elliott will then run up and try to get him to cry but typically get caught as we turn back around. The two of them are quite the duo!

Mostly because of Elliott’s injuries during infancy, we only use time out for punishment. We know that he was too young to remember the abuse and that spanking is different than abuse, but it just doesn’t make sense in this family to teach a child to not hit by hitting. Granted, every family is different and I am not here to judge anyone’s choices, just preempting the next part of this story.

We use time out and, as I have noted in previous blogs, timeout typically meant going to the room full of toys without the other children. Well, this did not seem to have any effect on their behavior so we moved to a timeout chair. Well, the other children would simply talk to them or they would watch what they were doing. Finally, we went for the wall. Now, most people would say the corner but I had one of those grandmother’s who collected EVERYTHING and Ashley, at around 4 years old, was sent to the corner there one day when we were visiting. The poor thing walked around crying and when asked what was wrong, she said, “I can’t find a corner!”  It was true. There was some shelf or basket in every corner so we found a spot on the wall to stand!

Now, even though Elliott and Braxton get along as well as oil and water on most days, they feed off of the other one for attention. For instance, if Elliott is throwing cars at the girls and gets sent to the wall, then Braxton will immediately do the same thing. Elliott, notably, stands more than a head taller than Braxton despite their only 3 month age difference so, to see these two next to each other trying to look at the wall is about the cutest thing I have ever seen. They hear us chuckle and, yep, they begin to do some cute little wiggle and off the wall they come!

They know exactly how to get to us. They know that they are the cutest duo and that I cannot resist them. If I didn’t know any better (which I do not) I would swear that the second one to get in trouble does so just so that they could work together to set the first one “free” from the wall! These two are going to be trouble one day!

A morning chuckle makes the day a brighter place! I hope you enjoyed!