Shuck It: Parenting Dilemmas

by Greg on August 28, 2010

Do you need some pearls of wisdom in your own life? Having trouble with your relationship? Parenting? Home repair? Need to split the atom?
Simply email shuckit@tellingdad.com to submit your question!

Click here for more Shuck It Pearls of Wisdom

And before you ask, yes, all questions are real. 🙂

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Q: “My toddler likes to play with her poop. Literally, she will cut it up with her toy knives and forks, put it on a plate and stick it in her toy microwave! HELP!”

A: Honestly, I wouldn’t worry too much about this. Toy knives and forks are manufactured to be quite dull so there’s really no chance of her hurting herself. It’s when she discovers your silverware drawer that you’ll need to be careful.

I also wouldn’t be too overly concerned about the toy microwave. They don’t emit nearly the same level of radiation as your traditional microwave oven, and even if she does use a real microwave, odor and substance explosion would be your biggest risks. It’s not like she’s going to grow a third arm or anything.

With regard to playing with poop, relax. While it’s a strange behavior, I’ve read that it’s actually quite common. Although I’m pretty sure I was reading a book about monkeys.

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Q: “I can’t seem to get my boys to play outside for more than 10 minutes, can you help? I’ve even set the timer for 1 hour and they’ll stand at the door waiting for the timer to go off!”

A: Your first mistake is using a timer. Let’s do an experiment to demonstrate. The next time you have an opportunity, place some mice in a box and release a nugget of cheese through a door whenever your timer dings. You’ll notice that it won’t take long for the mice to realize that they can just huddle outside the magic door and await the anticipated reward.

Sound familiar?

Today’s children have far too many sources of stimuli inside the home. They know that through that magic door, gaming systems, cell phones, Blu-Ray players, computers, and HD televisions await. Faced with this range of instant gratification, nature doesn’t stand a chance.

To break this pattern in mice and encourage activity, scientists will simply move the location of the door. Borrowing from this knowledge, the next time your boys go outside to play, relocate the door. I know it sounds like a lot of hard work, but just imagine the exercise they’ll get as they scurry about trying to find the magic door again.

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Q: “At what age should I send my boys to the Men’s bathroom by themselves instead of making them go into the ladies room with me?”

A: Don’t gauge it by your son’s age or maturity. Gauge it by the looks you get from other women. I’m not sure where the line is drawn so just test as you go. I’m pretty sure that if you walk in to the Ladies room with a three year old in tow, other women will smile at the two of you. But walk in with your teenage son and women will probably mace you both.

The rule of thumb is simple: When the smiles are replaced with furled eyebrows, it’s time.

If your boys are asking to partake in this rite of passage towards manhood, there are three criteria that must be met before you should even consider it.

First, they must be able to reach and operate the door locks. The last thing you want is the distant call from a trapped child. Not because he’ll be in there all alone, but because it’s only a matter of time before he starts reading the walls while awaiting rescue.

Second, bring hand sanitizer and tell them to not wash their hands when they’re done. I know this sounds nasty but it’s for your own protection. To a young child, all the faucets, soap dispensers, and hand dryers provide a bountiful playground of water, suds, and noise. Heed this warning or you’ll never get them out of there.

Third, you must be willing to retrieve your child. Most worried moms just shout their childrens’ names from the hallway. All this does is instill the belief in your child that every minute they’re in there without you is a minute of untethered freedom. It’s like ‘home base’ in a game of tag. You need to eliminate any thought of a safe zone and be prepared to extricate them like a battle-hardened Marine when necessary. Recon!!!

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Do you need some pearls of wisdom in your own life? Whatever your dilemma, I can help. Best of all? My advice is FREE! And worth every penny.

Simply email shuckit@tellingdad.com to submit your question!

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August 28, 2010 at 9:46 am
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{ 17 comments }

Lisa@Gardenofmany August 27, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Oh my Greg, Awesome I really needed this laugh tonight ! Great post as always , Thanks

Shasta August 28, 2010 at 12:42 am

Awesome job Greg! Can't wait to see what questions are asked next! Hilarious as usual! You even had my husband laughing (that's hard to do).

Alison August 28, 2010 at 12:45 am

Haha move the door! Love it! RECON!!! I will now know how to gauge when he is old enough. Good thing he is 3 so we get the cute smiles thrown at us right now.

Not So Average Mama August 28, 2010 at 2:36 am

Ha you rock at this!

Cheryl August 28, 2010 at 3:03 am

I think you're one of the best parenting experts out there. 😉

trisha August 28, 2010 at 3:09 am

thats good advice on the hand sanitizer part! charlotte will stay in there FOREVER.

Yakini August 28, 2010 at 4:11 am

Oh my gosh, hysterical!!! LOL!!!

New follower here! 🙂

one cluttered brain August 28, 2010 at 7:40 am

LOL! Hmm…Questions….

I'll have to think about that one!

🙂

The poop ? was great!

Amanda August 28, 2010 at 7:44 am

I love the last one! I have retrieved my older son from the men's room. I opened the door slightly, yelled "Mom coming in to get her son who's taking too long!" and went in to get him. He was in fact playing in the sink. A common problem even in our own home.

Mimi August 28, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Your expertise in parenting advice is 2nd to none. Dr. Spock, take note. You have competition!

Aunt Kathy August 31, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Awesome, I love a man who isn't afraid to speak his mind. bravo can't wait to read your next post

one cluttered brain September 9, 2010 at 4:10 am

We love you Greg! Me and Gena anyway….

We were just talking about you…

Maybe i need to send you a question so you can answer it…

SEriously…Are you ALL moved in yet again?

how did the move go?

🙂

Miss you!

Deal-ectible Mom September 22, 2010 at 6:51 pm

That is some seriously sane advice..

Brandy October 2, 2010 at 3:05 pm

So awesome!! Glad you are back at it!!

Stefanie October 5, 2010 at 9:12 am

Where did you go? We all miss ya!

Amanda December 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Love this!!! Thanks for the great parenting advice I will be sure to keep this in mind next time my kids are trying to come inside after 10 minutes.

Italian Mother June 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm

You pearls of wisdom are really interesting 😛

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