I've frequently mentioned Positive Discipline as a parenting philosophy that Kitty and I are trying out. Mostly because it's funny to think that we have a "parenting philosophy" when it's all I can do to remember which floor I've parked on at work, even though I've been parking in the exact same spot every day for almost 9 years.
We attended a Positive Discipline workshop at Jena's a couple of weeks ago (free booze), where I learned that I am a parent that "loves too much". Great, right? Turns out it means "pushover".
In my case, this manifests itself in me doing whatever Finn asks, provided he throws in a little whine. I mean, have you seen how cute this kid is - especially when he's wearing my shoes? Who could let an angel like this be unhappy for just one second?
This mindset is apparently not a good thing. During our workshop, I was reminded to not just focus on making Finn happy now, but to focus on the type of person that I would hope he becomes. Which, as it turns out, is not a person that spends 75% of his day whining.
Unfortunately, that's the road on which he's currently headed. He has developed his whining skills so well that he is now in demand as a speaker at environmental rallies and [insert political party] conventions.
What happened to the kid that was walking around at ten months and bolting down the slide by himself? That's him over there in the corner crying about how he can't get his jacket zipper down.
Have you ever read The Little Engine that Could? Boy, is that book repetitive. I'd like to punch that "funny little clown" in his red nose, but I can't because that book is now a teaching aid for us to reiterate to Finn the importance of continuing to try, even if things don't work out immediately.
It kind of works, in that he'll repeat "I think I can" while crying at the foot of the stairs because he doesn't want to walk up them. That's about as well as my counting lessons have worked, insofar as he can now count to five. However, "one-two-three-four-five" is the answer to any question that includes the words "How many?"
Of course, my teaching aid for counting was my Simpsons UNO deck. Maybe the question of "How many Chief Wiggums do you see?" is a bit advanced.