My kids have been all "get out of my room!" lately - to the point where they are shouting and hitting each other. Driving. Me. Crazy. (and waking the baby which is not cool). So I gave them a safeword to stop the madness. And it's working!
You know how in S & M, the participants have a "safeword" to stop an specific action? (and to be clear - I know about safewords from an C.S.I. episode where Grissom was investigating a murder at Madame Heather's establishment...oh the things you learn when American Idol isn't on...) Moving on...
Really it was the hitting each other that took me over the edge (DD2 is smaller yet will tap first...it's always the smaller ones isn't it?!)
So I told them that if the other sister is doing something they don't like say "STOPLIGHT". And the other must respect that they have to stop whatever action they are doing to disturb the other.
Overheard: "Get out of my room - STOPLIGHT" (and the intruder left the room)
Overheard: "Please stop singing - STOPLIGHT"(and the singer stopped singing)
So far, the shouting and hitting have completely stopped. And I guess, on a higher level, this is teaching them to communicate with their words. And respect.
And I'm a little less crazy because of it. Now if only the baby would sleep...
Klout* released a list of 10 Dads who are influencing others on parenthood and dad life. That list made me think about influence and Klout and dads. The Dads we are born with and the ones we foster along the way...the Dads that are real and adopted in our lives.
Now I must give a shout out to the fathers on that #kloutdads list - well done men. On the list (and whom I follow via twitter) -> @cc_chapman @brucesallan @BackpackingDad. I much appreciate their sharing's on fatherhood.
With the birth of blogs came a tool in which dads could connect their parental experiences and other dads. Ward Cleaver never connected. He went to work. Came home. Kissed June. Shook his head at the Beaver. I bet if Ward had a dad blog he would have been a happier man.
I have a great Dad *waves hi*. He was good to guide me through my life and choices with unconditional love and support. He also taught me how to swim (I'm being literal and theoretical there).
My kids have a great Papa *waves hi*. He is good enough to teach the kids important things I can't teach them myself - like pushing your limits, stick-to-it-ness and rising above the challenge (I'm a very weak/give-in sort).
I also know men who volunteered to be big brothers. A commitment that paid off in smiles.
In generations gone by (like Ward's generation), men were heard but not seen in the world of children. Today, guys are hands-on, diaper-changing, school-lunch-packing Dads. They want, need and demand to be part of their children's lives. And it is damn attractive!
Tell me watching a guy push a stroller isn't sexy? Seeing him coach little league soccer? Or when he tells (or blogs) a dad experience? Modern day Dads are damn attractive (above and beyond the guy in the Old Spice commercial) - it's undeniable.
How do you measure a dad's klout? It actually isn't an online score. It's his influence on his kids. Real and adopted.
*klout.com measures on-line influence.
One of my favourite places to take kids is the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto. Kids are encouraged to touch and explore. Parents are inspired to read and learn. It's a win win family field trip because there is so much to see!
For kids 8 and under, Kidspark is the first place to go. It's a hands-on space where little fingers can explore with their 5 senses. Water play, building even playing in a rock band. All ages can enjoy the exhibits on SPACE, LIVING EARTH, HUMAN BODY and more. Daily live demonstrations of paper making and electricity are must-sees.
The IMAX movie theatre is additional admission fee, but well worth it if you are visiting with older kids. It should be noted that the IMAX show is not for babes in arms - though we did give it a try and I must say the Science Centre staff went above and beyond to help our experience - advising me the pre-show was loud and that I could wait outside with baby until it was over and they would let me in afterwards - that was much appreciated!.
The newest live performance “CSI: Live” is suited for older kids, teens and adults (scary situations, strobe lighting and loud sounds for little ears).
Our Science Centre family membership paid for itself in two visits and I get discounts on parking, food & gift shop...keep that in mind when you are visiting amusement centres this year...membership has its privileges!
It's air conditioned in the summer. Heated in the winter. And interesting all year round. And kudos for having healthy foods (at kid eye level) in addition to the regular cafeteria fare.
The Ontario Science Centre tops my Family Field Trip Friendly list!