14 February 2007

If your kid's learning, who cares if you look like a dork?

A must-read post at Thingamababy about a new series of PSAs reminding us about those everyday "teachable moments." Who among us hasn't done something like this?

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Love it! You never look like a dork when you're teaching a child.

Am I a sap or what? I got all teary eyed watching those! Yeh, I'm a dork! (And and EcoMom according to Blogging Baby.) And proud of it. http://www.ecomom.com/become/become.html

I think they same goes for entertaining or playing with a child. Looking like a dork is the matter of course.

I posted a couple of my restaurant entertainment tricks to the multiple spoons post on Parent Hacks http://www.parenthacks.com/2006/06/extra_spoons_as.html

We're also big believers in the value of sound effects:

I am also known to make a complete ass out of myself in public to entertain (or calm a wailing child). One of my favorite things to do with my son is borrow his hat (a long pointy one with soft dinosaur spikes running along the ridge) and throw it up in the air so that it catches air inside it and inflates open. Usually I make lots of rocket sound effects and have a count down (or count up... he now says "un.two.ree.fo." pretty distinctly). I know I look totally stupid when I do this, but we're both having a blast and it isn't hurting anyone.

I'll have to combine all of our tricks into a more coherent post to Baby Toolkit someday.

I have had a couple of older women come up to me at the store in the middle of this revelry and say "That's just wonderful, my husband never would do that with our children." I thought, "poor kids." Another said, "It's great how fathers are more involved these days." I agree. I don't think it is an across the board thing, but it seems like they are. Are dad's more involved or was I just not aware of this before because I didn't have kids? I guess that's likely too.

How are you guys dorks in front of your kids?

"Who among us hasn't done something like this?"

You are most likely right about the readers of this blog -- but we work with parents who don't interact with their infants at all except to provide minimum care (rationed diapers and propped bottles) and who rarely speak to their toddlers and preschool children except to give commands ("get over here, you little bitch") or discipline them for misbehavior ("you're an asshole, just like your father"). We have 3YOs who don't know any colors, 4YOs who don't know their last name, 5YOs who can't count to ten. A campaign like this is a great idea in theory although I wonder if it will reach the communities of parents we serve.

Do you know where/when the PSAs will air?

Sophie: Thank you for your sobering comment. I don't know where/when, but I have a feeling they aired a long time ago -- according to the description in YouTube they were released in 2005.

On those rare occasions when I'm not out with my 3.5-yr old, I find I talk out loud to myself. "Well, this kind of soap is $1.99, and this is $2.99!" etc. etc.

This comes, of course, from talking non-stop with him all day long. I can't help myself - I have no inner monologue left.

In fairness I wish I had added that our clients are parenting as they were parented, that their day-to-day lives are filled with violence and uncertainty, and they are coping with malnutrition, over-crowding, ignorance, filth, mental and physical illness -- all the hallmarks of extreme poverty.

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