Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I defy you, modern parenting!

O.k. So maybe I am a bad mom. What brought this on? Toothbrushing. I am having a difficult time getting Jackson's teeth brushed and barely manage to get the brush in his mouth before he goes into wrestling mode to make it stop. And I have let it go on too long.

This is not what makes me a bad mom. I am good in that I have spent an hour or so googling to get advice on how to brush a physically resistant and determined toddler's teeth. I am a bad mom because I don't like the answer. And I may be unwilling and unable to do what the majority of parents are doing.

The overwhelming advice of parents? "Make it fun!" It seems that twice a day parents of small children are making fun, theatrical, multi-faceted entertainment extravaganzas out of the simple necessity of tooth brushing. And I am not going to farking do it.

I am not exactly sure why I can dance around the living room singing and playing with Jackson but won't do the same to accomplish a hygiene goal. Actually, I am sure why. Because there is play time and there is hygiene time and tooth brushing isn't supposed to be an entertaining endeavor. It is a habit you develop to avoid social and physical pain. And I don't want to make what should be a few minute ritual into another event that must be made fun so that your child will decide to go along with your idea of brushing their teeth. It isn't an option and I am balking at the idea that you must beg, plead and trick your kids into doing what you want them to do.

I don't want to make tooth brushing fun. I just want to make it mandatory and second nature. Do I have to put on the purple dinosaur costume in sacrifice of dental hygiene? I don't think so. Jackson will just have to learn that he doesn't get his way all the time and this is one of those times that, just like getting dressed and diaper changes, he can protest all he wants, but I am still going to do it.

1 comment:

Ronni said...

Thank you, Marsha.

This constant pandering to toddlers is a very large part of the problem of selfishness we are seeing all over, IMO. Nobody is willing to make a child cry. Hence, the purple dino suit approach.

Go for it. You can outstubborn a toddler. I know you. So what, if he screams a bit! He will stop eventually, and when he does, he will have accepted that he sometimes has to do things he doesn't like. That may be a far more important lesson than the hygiene!