I didn’t have this issue growing up as growing up in a family of four siblings there was always one to play with or terrorize, so to speak. We always found things to do even at a young age without running to our parents telling them we were bored and there was nothing to do. I can’t say honestly that it didn’t happen, it just didn’t happen as often as what I see it today with our daughter as well as those around us.
I want to first tell you that yes our daughter is spoiled, however, she is not a spoiled brat.
These are two different things in my mind as we spend money on her that most parents probably would not with their child but we don’t let her get away with being anything but friendly and as easy to get along with as we are.
The reason and point to this article is to tell you how we have managed to keep our daughter on the straight and narrow without any difficulty from a very young age.
I truly feel that we mold our children into not who they will be, but whom they have the chance to be in the future and no I don’t profess that my way is “The way”, it’s just what worked for us and as far as anyone concerned that meets her, she is very easy to get along with.
When she was first born, as some children do, she was very sleepless. We would at the most get between 2 – 4 hours of sleep, I say we as I would never allow my wife to do more than half of the engagements as that is what bringing up a child is all about, and I’m so glad at the time I was able to put the time in. We went the first three months through this sleepless time until I came upon a lady whom her daughter had been going through the same thing with their son. It sounded completely strange at first and we thought, how can this work for a child this young and we had doubts but it was the best $36 we ever spent.
It was a program Called Sleep Sense by Dana Obleman. Long story short it’s about taking props away from children that they use against you as a sleeping aid and training their mind to be able to put themselves asleep without them.
You may ask why I’ve gone back as far as this, and the way I see it is this was the turning point for us to be able to start the teaching process early. I know that it is said that you shouldn’t believe everything you read and people have issues with this process, but let me tell you that when it comes down to getting no sleep for 3 months and you wake up thinking you have your child in your arms when you don’t, it was time to do something.
That being said our daughter from that point on slept from 6:30 pm until 8:30 am and guess what….unless it’s a school day, she still does.
Fast forwarding through what are called the terrible two’s and the troublesome three’s and so forth, whenever we had an issue that warranted discipline, she was placed in the corner for a timeout on her knees and was told that the longer she cried and didn’t apologize for what was done, the longer the punishment would be.
At an early age of course, you don’t let them stay in the corner any more than a few minutes, just long enough for them to get the point.
As parents, we were both spanked growing up and I personally don’t disagree with it as I feel that it is not abuse if it’s handled properly, but we chose to go with the timeout method instead and it has worked for us.
Our daughter being seven years old now and an only child finds herself telling us she is bored and has nothing to do, I can assure you that this isn’t the case with wall to wall toys, gaming systems, etc. she has more than enough to keep herself busy.
So how do we get around the, “I’m bored” phase you may ask?
Thinking back to what your parents did when we didn’t have access to the toys that she would have today… I give her three choices: 1)Pick some toys to play with 2)Go outside and play and get some air and always an educational one 3)Read a book or practice her numbers, do some artwork..
I have found it very important to add in the educational option as a lot of times she will pick that one.
The way I see it is that our children are not bored, and we know it, so what is the issue?
The issue is that it all comes down to sometimes just needing guidance as their minds are sometimes confused as to what it is that they want to do and just need that little nudge to decide that they want to go forward.
I’ve seen firsthand what happens if you leave it alone and don’t make the suggestion as frustration kicks in and then you have a harder day than you both want.
Eventually, of course your child will grow into the idea of making these decisions by themselves using the same logic as you used with them, but as mentioned for now they just need that little nudge for help.