April 8, 2016
I read this article yesterday about how to help kids cope with stressful situations. Now, I know the point of this article is learning how to calm an upset child. And I’m sure the person who wrote it has much more experience than I do when it comes to kids. But, and I’m about to go into full “back in my day” mode, can’t we just let kids get upset?
The key phrase this woman has come up with to help the little tykes deal with disappointment is “I wish you a thousand…” For example, if I kid is upset about moving you would tell him, “I wish you a thousand new friends at your new home.” If they’re upset about a bad grade on a test you’d tell them, “I wish you a thousand A pluses.”
(This is what happens if you wish a thousand ice creams to a kid who drops his cone)
I think the reason I found this article off putting, while being very written, is how many posts focus on making sure our kids are always happy. Hey, I’m not a monster. I want my kids to be happy but I have no intention of going to ridiculous lengths to prevent them from realizing a fundamental truth about life that works much better than wishing them a thousand of something they can never have. SOMETIMES LIFE SUCKS.
In third grade a girl passed me a note that said, “Stephen, I love you, I love you, I love you.” I read it, looked at her and said, “Gross!” For the record, I became much more sensitive to women’s feelings as I grew up. Do you think that girl’s mother told her after that incident, ” I wish you a thousand Steve Hurley’s.” Good God, I hope not. I’m pretty sure she just said, forget about that little asshole. And that girl wound up doing great! In fact I have seen her on facebook. She married a guy who’s much more handsome than me. They live in a beautiful house and have lovely looking children. She realized that day in third grade that “sometimes life sucks,” moved on and thrived. She should send me a thank you note!
Look at this photo. Do you think Arthur wanted to get stuck with the blue car? It’s not nearly as nice as the red car. I didn’t wish Arthur a thousand red cars with cool white stripes. I put him in the blue car and let him cry for three minutes. Cause sometimes life sucks. That’s my mantra. Life doesn’t always suck. Just sometimes.
I’m sure a lot of you are thinking, “Hey Steve, you’re full of confidence with your sometimes life sucks mantra. What are you going to do when that doesn’t stop you’re kid from crying.” It’s a fair point. That’s why when they’re upset and my mantra doesn’t have an immediate effect, I’ll simply give them a big cookie and walk into another room. That way I only vaguely hear the muffled sobs of disappointment as they choke down a decadent treat.
No one will ever be happy 100% of the time. It’s a fruitless pursuit. And if you’ve ever met someone who’s happy more than 75% of the time, I guarantee you that they have nothing of interest to share with you. The most interesting people in the world usually have the 50/50 split and are great at putting a humorous spin on the bad percent. And it’s always because they learned early on in life that sometimes life sucks and figured out how to cope.
I want my Boys to be prepared when someone calls them gross. I want them to be able to deal with daily disappointments. If the goal is to make every kid happy and well adjusted let’s not treat them like incredibly huge pussies. Sometimes life can suck and there’s nothing wrong with that. It just makes you appreciate the non-suck times.
And for anyone who has wasted three minutes reading this rants, one thousand apologies.
Least Favorite Child Results
April 2- Least Favorite is Arthur. Arthur’s learning that sometimes life can suck, especially when you’re teething. He’s taking us down the suck path with him by reminding us two or three times a night around 2am and 4am.
April 3 – Least Favorite is Charles. My wife and I still can’t understand how we are responsible for creating a “morning child.” He doesn’t look much like either of us and hospitals make mistakes all the time. Honestly, my mind wandered at times in the delivery room. I can’t be sure of anything.
April 4 – Least Favorite is Arthur. I went to smell his diaper and he farted right in my face. Normally, I’d say this was just bad timing but he giggled as well.
April 5 – Least Favorite is Arthur. He crawled toward me with a delighted look on his face. Then proceeded to crawl right past me toward the dog. If only I had a wagging tail to charm the diaper off this kid.
April 6 – Least Favorite is Arthur. Not his fault. Charles has learned to take his finger to his lips and make adorable sounds. Arthur can’t compete with that.
April 7 – Least Favorite is Charles. Have you ever got a tittie twister from a ten month old? You wouldn’t think it would hurt as much as it actually does.
Total Days As Least Favorite Child
Charles – 126
Arthur – 117
Days Tied – 1
Days since Neil Patrick Harris received my post and hasn’t responded – 248