Welcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!
I tend to get really anxious when my 18-mo daughter is around other little kids and such, because I have no clue what proper “playground etiquette” looks like. Take yesterday: we were playing at the library, tons of other kids around, and a young girl (four-ish?) had made a tower of blocks. She turned around and started playing with some other stuff, and my toddler went up to her blocks and gingerly removed two from the top and handed them to me. She continued doing so and I didn’t say anything. When the other girl turned around, she saw my daughter with blocks in hand and flipped the eff out. “Those are MINE! MIIIIINE!!!” My daughter looked confused and a little scared. I gave the girl her blocks back, but my daughter didn’t understand, so she tried to take more blocks. Now the kid was really flipping out. I finally just picked my daughter up and left, and although I can see where the little girl was coming from, all I could think was, that little bitch screamed at my sweet innocent toddler! What do I do, Eve?I just realized yesterday I have NO IDEA what is normal conduct in public kid places. I also don’t know what to do about touching…is it okay if another kid hugs my daughter? What if she touches another kid inappropriately without realizing it? (She’s tried to pull on another girl’s skirt before, and I do my best to stop her, but again, toddler. She doesn’t know any better). HALP.
Sharing is stupid. Do you share all your shit with other people? If I came over to your house and asked to borrow your mascara (How unhygienic!) or your money or your husband (How inappropriate!) would you let me? I don’t know why we teach our children that they must share. It’s bullshit. As a grownass woman I have no interest in sharing my shit with anyone. I consider myself a generous person and I will gladly give you the shirt off my back, but no, I am not sharing my cake with you. Go get your own. I think what we want to teach our children is cooperation. And if we need to do it under the guise of sharing that’s fine, but in reality when we all grow up it’s not like any of us our going to lose our shit in public because someone borrowed our office stapler. The kid at the library sounds like a total brat and I probably would have put on my HAPPY CHEERFUL HELPFUL PARENTING VOICE and said something like:
Can you share the blocks? I’m sure your mommy LOVES it when you share and play nicely! My daughter is little and she just wanted to help you play and it’s nice when we share things!
All the while looking around for this little monster’s parent so I could give them the crook eye.
As far as your daughter getting her hug on has it really come to this? Are we all so politically correct where we have to police our toddler’s hugging because we are worried they will all grow up to have no idea about the concept of consent? I hate telling you to make your toddler stop hugging her friends because kids hugging other kids is ridic cute. At your daughter’s age she really doesn’t understand personal boundaries or space and if it worries you – you can start introducing these concepts at this age, but don’t expect her to always follow them. If another child approaches your daughter and starts hugging her you can say something like :
We should always ask before we touch someone in case they don’t want a hug or if they have a cold or if they don’t like being hugged.
But I sort of hate that, because I would rather a tiny kid learn on their own by seeing if their affection is reciprocated or not. Because if a kid does not wanna be hugged, they will usually shove your kid down and more often than not, the other kid will hug back. When your kid is older, at around five or six, you can start explaining to them about how it’s nice to ask if before we touch someone, but the reality is, and I think this is sort of what it comes down to – people don’t grow up to be rapists because they hugged too much as toddlers. Personal space, consent, physical boundaries – these are all concepts your kid will learn as they grow older and encounter other kids on the playground, until then I think being able to experience hugging and other forms of affection without an inner dialogue of if it is “okay” or not is far more important, and adorable, at your daughter’s age. As far as the skirt lifting, just tell her “no” and distract her, the same way you would if she was trying to stick a fork in an electrical socket.
And the next question is sort of the same question, but a lot of you mamas out there want to be able to get your game on without your kids bothering you or stealing your iPads and cell phones:
The short answer is NO. You get to have no fun unless your kid is napping or at school or asleep for the night. But okay, sure, you can be allowed to do what you want to do for an hour or so while your kid watches their Adventure Time or whatever. I have no games at present, other than fighting with rape-apologists on Twitter, and recently my co-worker Amanda Low introduced me to some terrible game called Candy Crush Saga that took all my monies because I kept getting this awful image:
and my daughter took my cell phone and deleted the game because it was upsetting me so much. But then I downloaded it again when she went to bed. Kill me now.
I hate kids on any electronic devices, and I think parents should totally limit their use of computers and Kindles and iPads and what not. They can decide between watching TV or playing on one of these and then set a time limit. That being said, I like games the family can all play together as a group on the Wii-U or whatever, and I see no difference between this and watching TV, except playing a game together is more inclusive and you will probably laugh a lot more.
And next we have an excellent question that I will leave up to you all to reply to, because I cannot decide if it is sweet or creepy:I have a question about the mom, rather than the child. Up until now, I hadn’t paid much attention to my wife’s monthly cycle. It just happened and I blissfully went along with the mood-swings, ensuring that there was chocolate in the house somewhere. It sounds silly, but I think a lot of guys just aren’t proactive when it comes to “grown-women needs”. Now, with the advent of internetz, I can visually see what lies before me. Is this creepy? I’m still trying to correlate behaviors with timing, but I think it’ll give me more insight into why the most-important-woman-in-my-
This is sort of true with anything: If you have to ask if something is creepy, than it usually is. I mean, yay for you caring about your wife and her menstrual cycles and using an app to try and predict her moods, but it sort of sounds like you are doing it under the assumption that your wife is going to at some point during the month become a raging moody she bitch chocolate monster. I can say that if I still had a uterus and I found out my husband was tracking my cycles I would find it creepy and invasive and a bit sexist, but that’s just me. Let’s ask the readers and see what they think!
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