5 Things I Learned About Parenting in 2015


Sorry for the delay in updates. Blame it on a combination of holiday buzz and a broken laptop. However, I am back!

For my last post of 2015, I thought it would be appropriate to do a “Year in Review” type thing. So here are some things I learned in 2015 about parenting…
Parenting Things I Learned in 2015:
1) Three is a Tough Age
Three is a difficult age. It’s the age where kids develop that wonderful “mind of their own” you hear so much about. They also develop an unbelievable ability to not want the thing you are suggesting, even if the thing you are suggesting is a free unicorn pony of their very own. Some parts of three are really neat. My daughter has become extremely into art, artists, and painting. It’s great to watch her explore the things she is into, and to see her grow so much as a little person.

The less enjoyable parts are the massive meltdowns over minor things. Unfortunately, this is very common at this age, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. Most days it is not a huge issue, but the days where everything is a meltdown causing indiscretion do leave you exhausted and wondering about your overall prowess at this whole parenting thing.

2) Dad’s Need More Support Outlets

I wrote about this a month or two ago, but it bears repeating. There are a lot of support groups, sites, etc. for moms out there. It is great that these exist, and I would just like to see more of this for fathers. The overarching issue is that a lot of men, myself included, tend not to talk about feelings. We are taught to bury anything difficult and just move on. This may work for most things, but it doesn’t work for raising kids.

Parenting gets extremely hard sometimes. This can be for a variety of reasons, but the “Why?” is largely irrelevant. There are problems that only dads face, just like there are problems that only moms face. Some of these issues are fairly minor, but some are huge emotional life changing issues, and there is simply a void in our culture when it comes to support for fathers. Hopefully this is something we can work on improving going forward.

3) There is a Hierarchy of Kid’s Shows

We try and limit my daughter’s TV time to mostly weekend mornings. I don’t believe that all TV is bad, or it is a complete waste of time. I actually think it can be a decent gateway for kids into figuring out topics they really enjoy, or vice versa. For example, my daughter is art obsessed, and there are a few shows that expose her to art, and various art styles.

With this in mind, there is absolutely a hierarchy of kid’s tv shows. I’m never really upset if my daughter wants to watch Creative Galaxy, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, or a few others. However, when she start’s requesting Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; I let out an audible groan. That’s not even the lowest tier, there are shows like Caillou (does that kid ever stop whining?) that are just banned in my house. I never thought I would have strong opinions on which kid’s show is less mind numbing, but I absolutely do.

4) Don’t Get Too Attached to Material Things… Because Your Kid Will Break Them

My daughter is pretty non-destructive as far as three year old’s go. That being said, being the least destructive three year old is kind of like being faster than me. For those that don’t know me, let’s just say it’s not a major accomplishment. Therefore, although my daughter doesn’t destroy everything in her path, she still manages to do a number on various things around the house. The crowning moment of this year being when she managed to turn my relatively new laptop into the world’s most expensive brick via an unscheduled shower.

I really didn’t even get upset with her. She wasn’t doing anything inherently wrong, and getting mad at her for being a kid seems kind of counterproductive. The point is basically that kids will break things. Hopefully not too many things, and preferably less expensive than a laptop… but make no mistake, they will break things. Just try to take a deep breath, and as long as it wasn’t done with malice or wanton disregard, do your best not to lose your cool over it.

5) I Have a Really Good Kid… You Probably Do Too.

My daughter does all sorts of three year old things that nobody in their right mind would qualify as “good” behavior. She throws fits, argues completely inarguable things, says way too honest things to strangers, etc. However, at the end of the day, she is a really good kid. She has a big heart, is constantly learning, and really is turning into a wonderful little human. I have seen really difficult kids (usually, not always, but usually accompanied by really questionable parenting), and my daughter just is not one of them.

When we have days that are complete disasters, I try to focus on this. I encourage other people to do it as well. I won’t pretend that I don’t go to bed frustrated sometimes after a particularly challenging day, but it really is good to focus on the positives. In the great scheme of things, I have a pretty awesome kiddo, and I would be willing to bet that most parents reading this do as well.



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