Today’s Parenting Dilemma

I’m down for the count today–a gorgeous, sunny, in the high 60s kind of a day–with an awful case of “the cold,” as my 4-year-old describes it. (If “the cold” is like two dozen little elves in my head, poking my ears with spears, yes, that’s what I’ve got.)

How come my day alone–a prize for any mom–is filled with illness, cold medicine, and an overwhelming desire to sleep? I so wish I felt well enough to tackle the mess in the guest room…

What I do have enough energy for is (chocolate chips and) reflecting on my latest parenting dilemma….
The other day, I met the parent of a child my child has been mentioning in his “how was your day at school” stories. The parent was funny, we had things in common, and he was interested in a play date for our boys.
Then, I watched the boys interact. Maybe they were being silly preschoolers, but I didn’t like it. The words–why, oh why, do boys like the word poop so much! The poking and pushing. The generally not behaving well, or not in a way in which we approve. I had to intervene a couple of times when a fork was pulled out to poke my child. And, interestingly, at this event, my son didn’t want to play with the other kid, nor did he want the play date the other parent inquired about.
So, what do you do when you’re not necessarily a fan of the child your child spends time with–especially when you can’t really change anything about it? And, your kid seems, at times, unhappy with that other child–but, other times, thrilled with him or her?
My instinct is to stay focused on teaching my kids about good and bad behavior and treating people with fairness and kindness; to really, really hold the line on what television they watch and the other media to which they are exposed; and to, for now, hold off on that play date. Perhaps most importantly, my instinct is listen to my children. My son always asks, “Mom, can I tell you something?” as he’s about to introduce a new topic or show me something in a book. And, I always answer, “Baby, you can tell me anything.”
All other ideas welcome!
One Response
  1. March 19, 2012