To Spank Or Not To Spank

Zen-and-the-Art-of-Child-Discipline

Zen-and-the-Art-of-Child-Discipline

A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics stated 3 year olds who were spanked were more likely to become bullies by the age of 5. Researches from Tulane University studied 2500 children and their mothers and determined that those children spanked frequently, were more likely to show aggressive behavior.  In lieu of spankings, researchers have determined we should be giving our children positive reinforcement and praise.

The researchers at the Yale Parenting Ccenter and Child Conduct Clinic, out of Yale University, have been studying behavioral influences on children for the past several decades.  What encourages a child to behave well vs. the motivation for malcontent?  Time honored research has determined that praise, not punishment is the key to well mannered children.

But not just any old praise will do.  When our children complete a task, or do as they‘re told, we as parents must extol them with all the pomp and circumstance of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader.  When they bring home an A on their report card, heck, even a B+, we must eulogize them as if they were the second coming of Albert Einstein.

As far as going into raptures every time my kid does something he’s supposed to do, I can see the short term benefits; he feels loved and satisfied that he’s not just doing a good job, but that he’s AWESOME and doing a FABULOUS job.  He can also be secure in the fact that he’s not just smart, but his work is BRILLIANT, it shows INTELLIGENCE beyond belief.

I however, have one problem with the long term effects.  When he’s in his twenties, and has his first big job and his boss comes along and pats him on the back and says, ‘nice work son’, will he be satisfied or suicidal?  Will a smack on the ass once in awhile keep him grounded enough to handle his future or turn him into a serial killer?

Is it really smart to overstuff a child’s ego, then send him out into the real world where private cheerleaders don’t exist?

Reposted courtesy of:   http://www.inthepowderroom.com

Advertisements

Parenting Faux Pas

The Tooth Fairy Sleeping on the Job.

The Tooth Fairy Sleeping on the Job.

So the tooth fairy didn’t show up last night.  Can you believe the nerve of that bitch?  If she could have only seen the look of sadness and disappointment on my son’s face.  God, I wanted to strangle her.  Who could do such a horrid thing to an innocent young boy so filled with the anticipation of reaching under his pillow first thing upon awakening, sliding his hand under to grasp that crisp dollar bill, or shiny gold dollar coin, only to come up empty handed?

One can only imagine how he lifted up that pillow, thinking to himself ‘this must be some kind of mistake’, while shaking the pillow several more times to see if the money somehow got caught up the pillow case.  Still empty.  Checking the sheets and duvet, thinking to himself maybe the money was just lost somewhere in his bed.  Nope, not there either.  Dejectedly, he walked down the hallway and into our room.  “Mom?” he shook me awake, eyes cast down, voice soft, “The tooth fairy didn’t come last night.”

Horror, panic, humiliation, settling into my emotional consciousness, and all before my first morning cup of coffee.  Please tell me this is just a nightmare.  Please pinch me so I can wake up and not have to see that look on my son’s face.  I look to my husband with eyes that say, “Didn’t you put the money under his pillow goddamnit?”  To which his eyes responded, “No, I thought you did it!”  Holy crap, how am I going to get out of this one?

‘Think fast!’ I thought to myself.  ‘You have to make this right, you have to make that look on your sons face go away.’  So I jumped out of bed and told my son, “Look, there must be some mistake, wait here, I’ll be right back.”  I ran as fast as I could downstairs to a change jar where I keep the one dollar coins.  I chose this because I never use coins, only dollar bills, and you can’t do a coin trick with a dollar bill now can you?  I ran back up the stairs and called to my son to meet me in his room.

And with all the magic of Santa Claus, I slipped that coin between his mattress and his bed frame, and voila!  Well, his eyes lit up and his mouth gasped in sheer delight, for the tooth fairy hadn’t forsaken him after all.  All was right in the universe again.  That’s the beauty of children.  They want to believe, so they do.  And so did I.

He had his dollar, I had his tooth, and peace of mind that I just avoided one of the biggest parenting faux pas to ever come my way.

My husband looked at me from the doorway and his eyes said “Nice going!”

I smiled back in agreement.  I’m not much of a magician, but if I didn’t make that moment right, I would never have been able to live with myself.  And as for the tooth fairy, well she’s just lucky I didn’t have to strangle her.

The Coal Fairy

The Coal Fairy

From now on when my son loses a tooth, I tell him we have to hang up a sign to remind him to put his tooth under his pillow at night.  Little does he know it’s really just a reminder to that pre-Alzheimer’s tooth fairy to keep her act together.

We’re parents and we’re human, and this was my faux pas.  Care to share yours?

Reposted courtesy of:     http://www.inthepowderroom.com

Night Shift

List of common nocturnal animals:  Skunk, Badger, Raccoon, Bat, Owl, Cat, Beaver, and Nurse.

Night Nurse Vol 4 Marvel Comics

Night Nurse Vol 4 Marvel Comics

It’s true, I’ve made the list.  I’m officially a part time nocturnal creature.  I stalk the night, creeping quietly along dim lit corridors, treading lightly on wooden clogs.  My ears are alert to the sounds of my watch, my pupils the size of a Philippine Tarsiers, my blood coagulated with over brewed caffeine; these are the physical changes which signal my evolutionary adaptation that, like my fellow nocturnal brethren, give me advantages to nighttime survival.

Philippine Tarsier

Philippine Tarsier

It is not truly human to be nocturnal.  We are not born this way.  The fossil record will no doubt show how the night nurse evolved in order to circumnavigate her intrinsic circadian rhythm, and flip the switch on Mother Nature herself.

Like the grey wolf, we nurses of the night shift travel in packs; each pack leery of the other.  I belong to the ICU pack.  We’re a bit of a rough bunch, but you have to be in order to survive.  Getting through a twelve hour night shift requires certain skills not for the weak.  Our pack is smaller than the day shift, so we have to learn to do more with less, it breeds cohesiveness.

One key to survival is our food supply.  Dinner is important, but a steady supply of sugar is imperative.   4 a.m. is my breaking point.  If I don’t have a cookie and cup of coffee then there’s a good chance I might tear someone’s head off, or fall asleep at the nurses’ station.

Our risks are great working the night shift:  obesity, breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents, and excessive bitchiness.  Why?  Because we’re too fucking tired, (except for the breast cancer; I’m not quite sure what that’s all about…yet.)  Maybe our breasts are also too fucking tired, I know mine seem a little droopy by the time I get home in the morning.

Despite these risks, I carry on, skulking through the night, poking and prodding at my critically ill patients; if I’m going to have to be awake all night then so are they.

This my friends is why your loved ones are sleeping all day.

We wake their asses up every two hours to turn them, every four hours to get a temperature, every hour to check their vital signs, every two hours to check their neurological status, then there’s the pain check, pee check, poop check, skin checks, tube checks, breathing checks, and just when they look comfortable I’ll check that too.  Talk about iatrogenically induced ICU psychosis.

This is the night shift, and all for an extra $3.00/hour.  Well maybe all that extra money will help pay for my breast cancer treatments in the future.

So take care when you see us out in the daylight, like a rabid animal, you want to approach with caution.  Our cars may weave and stagger, there may be a little bit of foaming at the mouth, and a general sense of confusion on our faces.  Let us pass quietly by as we crawl into our dark dens, shutting out the light with thick paneled, black out curtains, and eye masks that read ‘do not disturb’ (and we mean it…don’t!).

When light fades to dark and the moon rises with the glowing light of a halo, it will be time for us to emerge once more, vitamin D in hand, we return to our nocturnal family where we begin yet again …the night shift!

Photo by Donna Andrews Managing Director/Bear Curator North American Bear Center

Photo by Donna Andrews Managing Director/Bear Curator North American Bear Center