Friday, 23 September 2011

Domesticated Dogs and Free-Range Children

Free-Range Kids in Wikipedia.
Free-Range Kids on the interwebs.
Child Restraint "Leashes" Harness, Backpack.
And I assume you all know what a domesticated dog is:

Are we all up to speed now? Good.

One of the recent battles in the so-called "Mommy Wars" is the use of child restraint harnesses that just so happen to resemble a common pet leash. Though not worn around the child's neck, these products come in a myriad of other styles such as backpacks, shoulder-to-shoulder figure-eights, chest straps, and wrist straps. The general idea is to rig one end to your offspring and the other to yourself, thereby preventing your child from being more than three or so feet from you at all times.

Who would have thought they would create such kerfuffle?

Those in favour of child leashes argue that they offer a measure of protection for a child who may decide to bolt into traffic, or a safe option for a willful toddler who refuses to hold mommy's hand. They report they're also a great alternative to popular-but-isolating baby containment devices such as strollers or wagons, allowing the child to be a part of the world and getting excercise instead of passively watching the world go by from his little wheeled bubble.

Those opposed say leashes are for dogs.

I say the gap between how we treat our children and how we treat our pets is rapidly shrinking - and in some ways reversing - so if you're getting bent out of shape about this you'd better just go lie down now.

From a product standpoint, there's a noticeable overlap:

They make diapers for dogs.

They make chew toys for babies.

They make strollers for dogs.

They make crates (er, cribs) for babies.

They make outfits for dogs.

They make puppies for babies.

They make bottles for dogs.

They make fur coats for babies.

And judging from the products on the market, there's a distinct trend of treating the dog (pet) like a child. There's even a term for it: Fur Babies.

Directly juxtaposed with that, there's the movement for what's become known as "Free-Range Kids" (see links at start of post). In free-range parenting, much like free-range chicken raising, ones chicks are encouraged to roam unrestricted. Sometimes metaphorically. Anyway, the point is that your dog is penned up and your kid is loose, or the dog is in a stroller and the baby's on a leash, or one of them is wearing the others' booties. They're also probably both drinking from the same water dish and likely sharing a biscuit.

This whole argument is like asking "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

If you treat dogs like people then you shouldn't be surprised to find yourself treating people like dogs.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Parenting 101: Things I lernt on teh interwebz

The rule these days is that you can't spank your kids because that is abuse and will turn your kids into serial killers. Additionally, a time-out in a corner apparently only serves to humiliate and segregate the child, so that's out as well. In this day and age it is clear that the only acceptable way to handle a temper tantrum from a rambunctious three year old is to take the entire family to a therapist in order to talk about what the three year old is feeeeeeeeling.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Looks comfy to me

Why yes, Finn, I *do* think you still need your afternoon nap.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Word Of The Day

Crapalanche: -noun

  1. A large mass of clutter, papers, knick-knacks, etc., detached from a larger pile of same and sliding or falling suddenly downward.
  2. Literally, an avalanche of crap.
  3. What happens when you open the door to my storage room.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

From the dictionary of Finnigan:

Faydeator'd: -noun
  1. A beverage containing carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and other supplements to help replenish fluids and nutrients used during vigorous exercise and sport.
  2. Gatorade.
  3. The stuff Finn will hunt. you. down. for - and you can't hide, he KNOWS when you have it.

Parenting is hard

Today I am faced with a parenting dilemma. My child said some things to someone in a position of authority that reflects very badly on my as a parent, and it was categorically untrue. Now, there's no way to argue it, because of course a parent would deny the things she said regardless of truth. In this case, things like squishing them in the back of the car without the legally-required booster seats, and having cats that "poo and pee on everything" (Which could only partially be proven otherwise; the meeting was at my house so clearly it was untrue at this time, but the meeting was planned so I had the advantage of knowing they were coming).

The problem is that Rachel has attention-seeking issues. People often say how full of 'personality' she is, and that "she belongs on stage". I've spoken to her repeatedly about the difference between being honest and being dramatic. But the moment she has an audience, all that flies out the window and she will happily invent stories that incorporate things she thinks her listeners want to hear. This quality should serve her well as an adult, but it's really making things sticky for me right now.

My dilemma is this:

Do you let your child know when you are angry at them? Is it healthy or unhealthy for her to know that I am quite angry with her for the lies she told to get attention? Not just disappointed, angry. I am angry at her. I am frustrated with her. I'm mad at her. Right now I'm staying away from her because I don't have anything nice to say and I'm not ready to forgive her or tell her it's ok. It's NOT ok. She's in deep shit.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place as to how to deal with this. I've grounded her to her room for the rest of the day (at least, I will revisit this when The Daddy gets home and is briefed on the situation), but does that reflect badly on me too? Could that be interpreted at punishing her for not saying what I wanted her to say (as if I'd coached her to say a lie, and what she said was the truth), rather than what it is - punishing her for telling bold-faced lies in an effort to garner attention for herself? She is by no means ignored, this is her personality 24/7/365, and anyone who's ever met her will attest to this fact.

She's seven, nearly eight. I get that her little brain is still completely self-absorbed and she cannot make the connection between what she's saying and the implications it has for her family unit. But I need to put a lid on this before she does permanent damage.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Monday, 9 August 2010

Learned my lesson

Today I decided to be productive and domesticated. I picked up toys, did dishes, wiped down the walls in the living room...

Right in the middle of simultaneously vacuuming the front entryway carpet, ironing a wrap, and doing laundry, all the power went out.

My husband would have you believe that I overloaded the poor breakers in our 1950's house, but I like to think it was a sign from God that I shouldn't be allowed to clean anymore.