aussie parents

The Origin of the Child Leash

Seems to be quite the hot topic with a lot of parents. To leash, or not to leash. Fuck’s sake, some kids I see running wild could also use a matching mussel, perhaps Hello Kitty will bring out a range for Christmas this year. One can only hope.

In all seriousness, I am not a fan of the leash. I don’t even really like to tether the dog, but have no choice as she isn’t quite as up on the English language as our 4 year old human.

After reading some rant today on Facebook about a child of a leash I got to thinking about the lighter side of child abuse. One of the posts was carrying on about some old lady pulling a kid along like it was a resentful pug unwilling to take a bath. Disgusting to say the least. Another post started raving on about how we have not needed leashes for children in the past, so why all of a sudden do we need them now.

Hold that thought….. Have you ever asked yourself the question: What is the origin of theLouis15 child leash?……

If not then never mind, I did all the work for you. Turns out there is actually some kind of circa 1990 style HTML homage to the history of restraining your toddlers. From what I have determined, this whole leash business started early in the 17th century, perhaps late 16th century. (Although this website makes note of telling us they have found no evidence in the 16th century yet).

Take a look at this baby. It is a painting of a young Louis XV with a child leash on. I highly doubt the leash is of any consequence that young Louis pictured here would turn out to be
known as Louis the Beloved, but perhaps being restricted to a one meter radius around his caregiver  fostered a sense of empathy.

Hell, good enough for the French, good enough for… ummm…. Just don’t bind your child folks, it isn’t a dog.

Oh yeah, after almost a year without so much as a whisper on the blog, I am back. 🙂

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Insulted by a Toddler v2.0

Such is life, I used to be a pretty active person. I have never felt the need to step foot in a gym, but we both joined the local gym last year. True to form, neither of us have been yet. (6 months later)

I did make a news years resolution to go to the gym. But this is still yet to eventuate. I am pretty happy with how I am, but you know, I miss the physical activity and I do feel it. Life just gets in the way as I’m sure you all know.

Our toddler, in all his wisdom managed to insult me again the other day. I am starting to think he does it on purpose.

So, I was getting dressed for work in the morning. He was in our bedroom with the dog, going about their usual morning routine. Now, I am the kind of person that can’t be ass’ed un-clipping my belt, un-zipping my pants etc, I just pull the bastards up and be done with it. As I begin to wriggle into my pants, he begins to laugh.

‘Dad, your butt’s jiggly’

‘It’s like jelly’

Of course, met with laughter from my partner. The fuck kid, did you just call me fat?!?

Once again, insulted by the 3ft tall midget.

Time to make good on that new years resolution…… My butt looks like jelly, god damn.

There will likely be a lesson for him out of this. Something along the lines of…. NEVER SAY THAT TO YOUR MUM dude… 🙂

Handling Toddler Tantrums – Soothing the Savage Beast

Tantrums are just a part of the deal when it comes to toddlers, and kids in general. We are lucky enough to have a pretty ‘good’ kid. Or so I’m told by my partner. Honestly, I The-definition-of-a-toddler-tantrumhave no experience with kids other than our one, so I take her word for it.

Dealing with a tantrum can be difficult. But, after this long I was pretty sure we had it down pat. A year or so ago it was much easier, but with increased mobility, vocabulary and attitude, it gets harder I think. Either way, he is generally pretty chilled, and rarely gets into full swing. In all honesty, I had seen him go maybe twice in a year.

Up until about three weeks ago.

There has been a lot of change in our house in recent times. Toddlers, like most humans, seem to be resistant to change. Maybe resistant is not the right word, but if you have one you know what I mean. A simple break in routine can cause unforeseen issues, or create a strange habit that wasn’t there before. I find it rather interesting how dramatically they can be effected by what appears to be such a small thing to us grown ups. Anyway, coupled with some changes at home, he has also just started pre-school. Exciting times.

Pre-school is more for the sociability aspect. He does not get a lot of time with kids his age, mainly cousins older than him and adults. Which is all good, but I notice when wecandh do take him to a toddler dominated environment, he is a bit hesitant. With pre-school we hope that will be addressed as he moves through life and into big school. 🙂

Anyway, back on point. Around three weeks ago, the tantrums started happening more frequently. So be it, we can deal with that. Although, something was different, they had this odd, almost violent streak to them. The screaming, the general behaviour, not like the usual stuff. This had us both understandable worried, and at the same time scratching our heads.

Is there something wrong?
Once again, as parents in our generation seem to do, we turn to the internet once again. Surely, we are not the only ones. Well, this activity kind of raised more questions than it answered. We are both discuss the toddler times pretty actively all the time, and this one had us both searching for a solution/answers. Was something wrong?

A while ago, prior to all this going on the tantrums were getting a little more frequent. So we sat down with him one day and discussed what his ‘punishments’ should be for said behaviour. My partner has always said giving him choices is a good thing. To which now I tend to agree, I think it works well giving him some control over what goes down. Anyway, the rules were set and agreed:

1. He says sorry. If the behaviour continues, move to 2.
2. He goes to his room for a short time out.
3. If he refuses to go to his room, he is taken. And must stay a little longer.

Pretty simple stuff really, but it has been effective. Should note, ‘sorry’ means he must also explain WHAT he is sorry for.

28ggdarcy-2jpg-39f615ff5416bbcaThese rules were not helping with these new age tantrums. Nothing was. He once screamed and banged on the wall etc for a good 25-30 minutes. Something had to be done.

We filmed him
Much to his distaste, we filmed him going off at full pace. Later on when he had calmed down, we showed it to him. ‘That’s not me’ he said. I think even he was a little shocked at his rage. I am pretty confident making him aware was a good step.

The Glitter Jar
Pinterest had paid off again. My partner found ‘the glitter jar.’ Designed for such uses as time out, with a spin. So one day while I was at work, they got to making one. It is simply a clear plastic jar with glitter glue and water inside. The principle is the same as an hourglass.

When he is raging, he goes to his room and shakes the jar. (bit of physical outlet) Then sits there and watches the glitter float around. When it stops, it is time to come out again.

He is a little resistant to it, but when he has used it the effect is great. Watching it soothes him, and I think being able to shake it, and have the jar as his own, still gives him control over SOMETHING. When he is no longer able to control his emotions.

For Now
For now, it is back to ok. We have also made a conscious effort to avoid things that set him off, good old misdirection etc. But at least for now, the mean streak is gone. I know it won’t be for good, but we shall see.

I think giving your kid something of their own, that they alone control, helps. The jar is a simple solution, but seemingly effective.

How do you calm down the raging beast?

Talking Toddlers

We often get asked questions like, ‘when did he start talking?’, ‘when did he start having conversations?’ etc. Truth is, he has been having conversations with us since he was one and half.

Some people are astonished at his pronunciation, and his already developed understanding of English. No, i don’t think my kid is a genius. Although, i don’t think he is a dummy either.

The reason he has developed rather quickly in this way is because we actually engage with him. I don’t just mean a ‘yeh ok, whatever’ kind of thing either. I find a lot of parents that seem to think children are best seen, but not heard. We did attend a play group a year or so ago, and my wife has been to a mother’s group in the past too. We found most, if not all the parents, would rather be drinking their coffee’s and talking about some boring adult G rated bullshit.

Sure, i also love my coffee, and my adult conversation. But i have been having those for years, and will have many more to come.

At these groups, and in general, i often see this situation. The kids are off doing kid things, and when they approach the ‘adult table’, they are met with one word answers, or a frustrated parent getting out of their seat to get a drink or something to eat for the child.

I am no saint, i am also guilty of this at times.

However, we have taught our little boy to come over to us, if someone is talking, he places his hand on the shoulder or arm of the person he wishes to address, and waits for the speaking to stop.

He will then announce his intent. He is met will full eye contact, and total focus, like any other human would expect when they are speaking to someone.

He is also met with a meaningful conversation in return. If he does not understand something, it is explained.

The adults can wait. Adults are used to waiting. 🙂

My point is, you get out what you put in to your kid. We devote time both together, and one on one with him to play, actually play. Engage with him, draw, paint, read, or just, talk.

It is hard at times, and i would rather be doing something else sometimes too. But, you indeed see the results for your efforts in time.

Right now, our little guy is 3 and half. He has just been signed up for pre-school this year. We took him in the other day. The teachers went over what would be learnt. Numbers, alphabet, colours etc. To which he already knows well. He has even began writing.

I am proud to say he can write his name, my name, mum, and dad.

He can also write a few other beauty’s:

Poo
Bitch
Fart
Butt

Hehe…. got to have a little fun right?

I may be winging it through fatherhood most, if not all the time. But i do know, treat your toddler like any other human. Not just a 2ft tall nuisance, even though, he or she might be exactly that. 🙂