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The Influence of Other Children…

Posted Feb 26 2013 8:02pm

We are still sick over here. Unfortunately, Keenan woke up with a hoarse voice and a slight cough this morning, so he is coming down with the same thing as what my husband and I have. Ugh! I feel a little better today, as I don’t have a headache or sinus pressure, but now things have moved to my chest and I have a horrible cough. Oh, the joys of being sick! Once we are all well, I’m going to do some serious sanitizing throughout our house!

On a more fun note, my brother and niece flew in last night from Montreal, to stay with my parents and us for the week. My brother has work in the area, so he decided to bring my niece a long. When Keenan woke up this morning, he was SUPER-excited to play with her (despite not feeling 100%)! They started the day off with a big hug and then played non-stop until lunch time; it was too cute! They are like brother and sister, playing together nicely one minute, but having a few sharing issues the next. They both enjoy playing together and are very sweet to each other, so it’s fun to see them together (especially, since it’s only a few times a year). When my mom came to pick up my brother and niece, Keenan was already sad to see them go. I am hoping we all get better soon, so Keenan and I can go down to my parents’ house later this week.

Cousins!

Cousins!

Speaking of playing and toddlers, as Keenan is playing with other children at play dates, the gym, with his cousin, etc., I’m starting to see the influences of other kids (both positive and negative). I knew this would happen, but I guess I didn’t expect this to happen so soon. He’s definitely learned some positive concepts, but they’ve come hand-in-hand with negative things, too. In the past month, he has picked up different phrases, such as “Stop that,” “Don’t do that,” “I don’t want to talk about that,” or “I can’t!” They might not seem that bad, but he has learned to use them in situations that we don’t like, such as when we are disciplining him. Sometimes when we use distraction to talk about something else, if we can see a meltdown coming down the line, he will say, “No, I don’t want to talk about that!” It can be so frustrating because this is not what we have taught him, nor behavior my husband and I condone. I’m not sure if what my husband and I are doing is the best approach, but every time Keenan says something or behaves in a way that is not what we accept, we tell him that what he is saying and doing is not how we behave in our house and in our family. Fortunately, it isn’t too often that this occurs, but I do find myself correcting his behavior and saying that to him at least a few times a week. I can only imagine what it will be like when he is in school! (My husband grins and says, “Wait until he’s a teenager…”)

Just last week, Keenan learned the word “gun”, and how to make one from legos. Although my husband hunts and I grew up with my brothers and dad hunting, I am having a hard time with him using the word, “gun.” I am not afraid of guns, since I grew up around them, but since Keenan is only 2, he doesn’t understand the concept of them. Though my husband has been very careful about not letting Keenan see his rifles and shotgun, yet, and all weapons are properly stored at our house, he and I worry that Keenan’s belief that guns are “fun” and “toys” could lead to a dangerous situation if he’s ever around firearms in an uncontrolled setting. My husband thinks he might need to have a “these are ouchie, so never touch them, and tell Mommy or Daddy if you see one” talk, but he’s not sure if it will even be effective, now, or just make things worse. I’m struggling with how to handle this. Do I correct him and tell him not to make a gun out of his legos, or do I just let it go? I know boys will be boys, so it’s almost inevitable that he will pretend to play with guns, but Keenan just seems too young for it.

Our silly little guy enjoying his Rocky Mountain Popcorn (review coming soon!).

Our silly little guy enjoying some Rocky Mountain Popcorn (review coming soon!) yesterday for his afternoon snack!

I know that what I am describing is so minor compared to when kids are school-age and being influenced by other kids on the playground or what they see at other houses and on TV, but it is still frustrating. My husband and I are raising Keenan to be a confident, honest, genuine and sweet boy, and it can be so aggravating when we see him play with other children who are already exhibiting bullying behavior at a very young age. I know that everyone has different values and morals, but I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make when raising your own child. These are the times when I wish I could just keep Keenan in a bubble, but then, that wouldn’t be the best for him either. We both agree that he isn’t some Perfect Angel that will never do anything wrong, and we’ll always work to make him understand what it means to be a nice person, and to play and live well with others. He needs to be exposed to different situations (as much as I might not like it!), learn how to deal with other people, any conflict, and life in general. As a parent, I need to set boundaries on what is acceptable behavior and what is not, provide guidance, give him the right tools and most importantly, give him the confidence to be himself when interacting with others.

Questions:

- For all of you veteran mommies out there, how do you handle the influence of other children (positive or negative)? When your child picks up a negative word or behavior from other children, how do you address it?

**The winner of the Health Warrior Chia Bars Giveaway is: Jordan Dunne! Please email me your address at melissa@fitnwellmommy.com, so you can receive your bars!

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