Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Path of Least Resistance Parenting

I have always taken the stance of path of least resistance parenting. I’ve weaned Landon during the day – mostly because I felt I was done pumping, but he still nurses at night and in the mornings. I expect to be having these conversations fairly soon. But I'm not going to wean him, I'm going to allow him to self wean, whenever that is.

I don’t intend to potty train him until he’s ready – he may be 2, he may be 4. I figure there’s no point in pushing him into doing something when it will just make both of us miserable. I don’t force him to eat anything he doesn’t want to, but keep offering it.

I try to abide by the “Safe, Respectful, Kind” rule of thumb. It’s easy. It what he’s doing safe? Is it respectful? Is it kind? If so, then he can do it. If it breaks even one of the three, he doesn’t get to do it. One rule covers everything. Easy Peasy.

I’m a pretty lenient parent. He plays with a lot of things that are not “toys.” Things he finds in the cabinets, which I haven’t baby-proofed. I think of his exploring of cabinets as a form of learning, so I let him do it. Things that are truly unsafe are not in those cabinets anyway. Bowls, trivets, spoons, the top of the air popcorn popper, are among those things. I try to gather up the stuff he pulls from the bathroom cabinets before people come over, but otherwise if it won't hurt him, I'm not concerned. Tampon drumsticks are funny to me, but I'm not sure everyone sees it that way.

This morning he was playing with the phone. He likes to push the button that tells you how loud the phone will ring. I heard him in the bedroom. I was cleaning his bottles, so I could leave him at the baby-sitter’s. And then the phone rang.

Landon had made his first phone call. He called Shane. I assume it was a redial hit. Shane, I hope, was already up for the day. Maybe Landon just let the phone ring and then hung up, maybe Shane answered and no one was talking and he thought he had a bad connection, whatever happened, he hung up and called back. While talking to him, I walked into the bedroom to see Landon, phone to his ear. I guess phone play will have to be limited to only when supervised, because I’m pretty lucky he didn’t call 9-1-1.

I guess we’re starting early; my mom didn’t have the pleasure of discovering my first phone call until I was 4 and invited Lisa over. I thought she knew what I was doing. I very plainly had asked how to spell her last name; I looked her up in the phone book. And I called and invited her over. Her mom called back to ask if it was a legitimate invite. It wasn’t actually, but she still let her come over.


The Modernish Father said...

We were very fortunate with The Boy. He just decided on his own around his first birthday that bottles were for chumps and hasn't touched one since.

There's no point trying to potty train boys on any type of schedule except for their own. If they don't care, it ain't happening. End of story.

nonsoccermom said...

Good call on the potty training. My husband is absolutely right. Trying to potty-train a boy is a frustrating exercise in futility. If you wait until he's ready, he'll pretty much train himself.