What Does a Well-Behaved Child Look Like?

The other day, we stopped at a coffee shop before setting out for the day. The boys happened to be standing still and quietly waiting for our drinks to arrive (a rare occurrence). A woman with her two children (a couple years older than the boys) came over to us and said, “Your boys are so well-behaved, mine are never this good when we go out.”

The old me would have probably just politely thanked her and moved on, but I couldn’t do that this time.

I answered her, “My kids just happen to be quiet right now. Most of the time they are moving and asking questions- and just being curious. I think that is healthy.” She seemed genuinely surprised and replied, “I never looked at it that way. I’ve always felt guilty if they weren’t being quiet and patient when we go out.”

 

 A 4-year-old isn’t an adult

Society tells us that well-behaved means behaving like a full-grown adult. We have set this into our minds and we have books teaching us how to “train” our babies. Compliments are given when our children are seen but not heard (are we living in 1912 or 2012? Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference).

Patience comes with age, but their little minds can learn at such a rapid rate that they get bored without stimuli. That is also why technology can overstimulate their brains. They need to be able to be active and learn what is going on in their surroundings.

Our children shouldn’t act like adults, that is not normal behavior for a 3,4,5,6…etc year old. We need to start teaching people what a healthy well-behaved child looks like in order to correct this potentially harmful information. We apologize for our children’s behavior all the time. We need to stop doing that, especially in front of them. I remember I apologized for Aram’s curiosity when he was about one year old and toddling over to a man eating at an outdoor cafe near us. I scooped Aram up and said “I’m so sorry…” The man stopped me, “NEVER apologize when your child acts like a child, view all chaotic aspects as a part of the joy and a blessing, because they are.” I’ll never forget that. I, obviously,  would not let Aram continue going over there to disrupt this man’s meal, but we don’t need to apologize in these situations in front of our children – an “excuse me” would have been appropriate. Gentle direction and positive encouragement can go farther in this situation than getting embarrassed and indicating to children that they should be ashamed of their curiosity.

 

 a 4-year-old isn’t a 2-year-old

So your child doesn’t act like a thirty-year-old at three? Good! When your child really is thirty, they will have a greater chance of being a well-developed individual because you allowed him/her to act like a three-year-old and not skip directly into adult behavior. Obviously, gentle direction is a good and necessary part of parenting. There is a reason that the boys are more likely at 4 and 5 to wait patiently at the coffee shop than they were at 2 and 3. They have been guided and encouraged to behave as 4-year-olds, which looks differently than behaving like a 2-year-old. But let’s just remember…so much could be missed if children cannot experience their true biological age.

Einstein on Racism: “It is a disease of white people.”

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On May 3, 1946, Albert Einstein was invited to the campus of Pennsylvania’s Lincoln University, the first black university in the U.S. to grand degrees.

meme1Even though Einstein rarely left Princeton at that point in his life, he accepted the request to take part in a ceremony bestowing him with the honorary degree of doctor of laws.

At the event, he delivered speech challenging the U.S. to lead other countries on a path to peace, by preventing war. He also made strong statements denouncing segregation.

Here is an excerpt of his speech:

“The only possibility of preventing war is to prevent the possibility of war. International peace can be achieved only if every individual uses all of his power to exert pressure on the United States to see that it takes the leading part in world government.

The United Nations has no power to prevent war, but it can try to avoid another war. The U.N. will be effective only if no one neglects his duty in his private environment. If he does, he is responsible for the death of our children in a future war.

My trip to this institution was in behalf of a worthwhile cause. There is a separation of colored people from white people in the United States. That separation is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.

The situation of mankind today is like that of a little child who has a sharp knife and plays with it. There is no effective defense against the atomic bomb – It can not only destroy a city but it can destroy the very earth on which that city stood.”

Child-Led Weaning Awareness Month: Geri

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Image and text by Geri Savage of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Hi, in currently bf my 19 month DS and 8 week DD. They’ve always been ebf on demand. They are both strapping, thriving children. Neither my siblings nor I were bf (im 39 and the youngest in my family). I’m very pro-bf and support/promote it where I can, especially as we have such poor rates of bf in the uk. I want my children to continue their bf journey as long as they want to, I think it’s important that they make the decision to wean. I will be sad when they do as I love nurturing them in this way, but bf side, I will nurture them forever.

 

April is Child-Led Weaning Awareness Month! If you would like to contribute, please e-mail your story and photo(s) to [email protected]

 

A VBAC Story

 

By Sarah Carroll

photo 2 As a person who craves order and predictability, the unknowns of childbirth are hard to take. I would never have imagined the birth stories of my children would turn out the way they did: #1 came from left field and was difficult to swallow, while #2 had to be fought for with dug-in heels.

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Rose and Roland: 50 Years of Love

Rose: We went to the movies, and my husband, they wouldn’t let him sit with the whites, but I could.

Roland: We came in hand in hand and the man told me, “You can’t sit up there, no, you have to go upstairs.” …. So, I thought, “Okay, we’ll go upstairs.” He said, “No, she has to go downstairs.” I looked at the man and I said, “Wait a minute…her body is just as black as mine, and she’s my wife…”

Rose: So we went upstairs.

Mommycon

Hey, everyone! Dr. Jay and I are speaking at Mommycon in SF on April 12, 2014! We are going to be covering tons of parenting topics, and raising awareness about maternal health and the water crisis in Uganda.

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I’m not always this sad-looking. I just refuse to get a headshot taken.This was pulled from a random photo.

I am so excited about this event. Basically, almost everyone I love and admire is going to be in one room! My cousin Whitney is even speaking on the The Family Business panel that day!

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Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 9.15.09 AMSuzanne Barston, Kim Simon, and I are going to doing an “I Support You” talk. Suzanne is also going to be running a bottle feeding support workshop!

Saving some (top secret) news for last:

My good friend, who shall remain a secret at this time, is going to be the keynote speaker of the event! She is one of the most brilliant human beings on this earth; her view of parenting, and just life in general, is so so inspiring. (Can you guess who it is?) ** Update- click here to find out who it is!**

Basically, this is going to a gigantic party… get ready!

Click this link you buy your tickets and use the CODE: MAKEWAVES to receive a discount.

And to celebrate the event, we are launching a Beco carrier giveaway!

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Enter below to win!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Food Coloring on St. Patrick’s Day (God Help Us…)

The big news today is that St. Patrick was a murderous asshole, but that is still largely up for debate.

As much as I’d love to know the truth about Ireland’s patron saint, I’m actually more concerned about how the U.S. celebrates March 17th by dying everything green- including food that isn’t supposed to be green!

It’s green insanity!

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St. Patrick’s Day Earthquake

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RIP, mirror.

I woke up this morning to an earthquake. Brian had already left for work, which made me the only responsible party in our home, and because of that I think I totally overreacted.

I jumped out of bed and ran into the boys’ room and started screaming, “Fire! Fire!”… I would like to think that it was because I have read that people react the fastest to the word “fire”,  but I honestly think I was still half awake and couldn’t articulate what kind of emergency we were having. I was also buck naked. The events of this morning seriously have me contemplating pajamas.

After we were all safe, I texted some friends to check on them. Apparently, a lot of my friends also sleep in the nude, because almost every single one of them said they ran totally naked into their children’s rooms yelling various things. I wonder how many kids in Los Angeles were woken up by their terrified naked parents.

I guess I wasn’t the only one who overreacted to this earthquake. The best reaction has to be from this KTLA anchor:

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