Friday, October 24, 2008


Okay, somehow, somewhere, somebody switched my sweet baby for a pod-person. It has been two days of: What is up with you? Then, I remember. I have a preschooler.

My local family network, a lifeline as I began this stay-at-home mom gig, recently held a parenting workshop titled: Why does my preschooler act this way? Do I need to mention that it was a pretty full house? One of the fliers cited a study which said that most 2, 3, and 4 year olds:

Pay no attention to what they are asked to do.
Say "no": refuse to do what is expected.
Are pokey: time wasting dressing and washing.
Leave tasks undone. They start, but don't finish.
Wriggle around. Don't sit still.
Laugh, squeal, jump around much of the time.
Refuse to share with other children.
Grab toys, shove, hit and attack others.
Ask for unnecessary help.
Cry easily, sulk.
Pick their nose.
Stay close to adults.
Seek attention by showing off.
Go to adults with criticisms of others.
Boss others.
Stay awake at naptime.
Refuse food.
Speak indisctinctly.
Are hard to reason with.

One-third to one-half:
Grumble and whine.
Chew objects, twist hair and suck their thumb.
Are shy and fear strangers.
Won't play with other children.
Are jealous.

More than one-fourth:
Bite nails, twitch, handle genitals.
Break toys, tear books and mark walls.
Have temper tantrums.
Wet self during the day.
Fear animals and loud noises.
Secretly take things that belong to others.

Of course, none of the 555 children did any of these things all of the time. But, all of the children did some of these things some of the time. Large percentages did some of them almost daily.
credit to: Exit., Agricultural & Home economics, University of Wisconsin.

Parents at the workshop were able to share tips and tricks that had worked for their families. In a big way it's simply reassuring to be able to think: It's not just me. The mom of a younger child recently asked me about things getting easier now that Daniel is 3 years old. I replied along the lines of: It's a new challenge every day.

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