My sons have a 5-year gap between them, so right now they are 7 and 2 years old. While I am still finding 2 a challenge (although now I know 3 is coming…cue ominous music) there are some things I no longer worry about that I thought I would share.
Based on my highly scientific sample of “kids in my son’s classroom and activities,” here are three things I worried about as a parent of a toddler that make no difference whatsoever.
Here’s the deal: I don’t lend my car to my neighbour because it is shinier than his. Nor do I regularly give up a book I’m reading in the middle of it because someone else wants to read it. And yet at two, I was trying to get my older son to share his toys whenever a fellow toddler approached.
In retrospect, I don’t think sharing (which is different from taking turns) was worth any of the effort I put into it at that age. I don’t think it made much difference in any of the kids at our playgroup. It was more about looking good as a parent.
2. Toilet training
All of the kids in my son’s grade 2 classroom are toilet trained. Yes, obviously as parents we have to do it but it will happen. I spent way too much time researching and worrying about this one.
3. How much they know about the why
With my older son, I ran a lot of monologues. Here’s why we put our straps on in the carseat. Here’s why we wash our hands. Here’s why we don’t drink out of the cat bowl.
It wasn’t until my son hit the age of four that I realized he is going to ask me every single question in the world incessantly later, so I can save the explanation and just state expectations clearly. In other words, yes, “because I said so” suffices. I don’t think the parents who explained changed the behaviour of their kids one bit.
What have you given up on lately?