With children, in general, they like to do the things that we do. In their little minds, we are superheroes. Therefore, everything we do, they want to do as well. That means how we walk, talk, sit, stand, speak…everything. This has good and bad consequences.
If you are having problems with your busy buggy, and you yell, scream, pout, etc…they will do the same. If you are irritable for whatever reason, they will also mimic this. With some buggies, if you ask them why they are doing it, they will out right tell you they got it from you. (That would be something my Belly Bug tells me.)
This goes the same for the potty mouth. If you cuss like a sailor, a trucker, or whatever explains your excessive potty mouth, you will end up noticing that they come out of your buggies mouths too. And, I can promise you that if you’re sitting in the middle of a restaurant with your grandfather, it will come out then.
When Beanie was much younger, and Belly was just an infant, we learned this the hard way. We thought that we had stopped enough, or only said swears where she couldn’t hear. In the mean time, we often said things like, “What The!!!” And would leave it like that, thinking we didn’t cuss, so it wouldn’t be a big deal. When she was even younger, we figured she didn’t hear us or didn’t understand. But, lo and behold, in the middle of KFC, we had gone out with my grandfather. We were talking about something, although I do not remember what it was. I happened to react with a what the, and boy oh boy, loud as can be, Beanie finished my unfinished phrase and dropped the F bomb right there in front of everyone.
My grandfather was very angry about this, and I made it worse, because I laughed. Now, I didn’t laugh because it was funny. It wasn’t at the time. But, I was nervous and embarrassed, so it was that kind of laugh and it is often misinterpreted. So, moral to the story, everything we do AND say, at any time could be picked up by our buggies. Even when you think you’ve curbed it or just don’t think you do it where they can hear. A buggy can hear around corners, through walls, and in their sleep. It’s like a superhuman sense that we don’t seem to catch on to until they are older.
So, we know the downsides and possibilities of downsides, what about the upside? Well, I’ve talked about chores, in past posts, for your buggies. And, often we do not know where to start with these. However, our buggies will pick up our habits as well. So, if you are constantly washing dishes, like I am, then you may notices your buggies pushing chairs up to help you or want to take over entirely.
By letting your buggy help you with your daily chores, you will learn what they can and cannot do. You will learn their limitations, and how well they handle the rest as well. Eventually you will be able to tell them to do a specific chore, and smile and revel in the fact that it is one less thing you have to do yourself.
Also, when your older buggies handle things like, taking care of their clothes, putting away dirty clothes, picking up toys, and sweeping; the younger buggies will want to do the same. And, just because they may not do it well, does not mean they shouldn’t do it. I often sweep beside my buggies and, “do the job together,” making them feel well, and clobbering that horrible urge to correct them. The worst thing you could do at a young age is discourage them because they didn’t do it your way, which is the right way. Instead we should encourage them in the way to do it by leading or learning to let go of certain things.
One thing that my two older buggies do is put away their clean laundry. Oh boy, I about had a cow the first time I opened the drawers right after I let them do it. It wasn’t at all tidy. Half of them were no longer folded, and they surely weren’t in the proper drawer. I had to stop myself from redoing the entire dresser in front of them. I did, however, nicely explain that they do need to keep the laundry folded so that it fits better into the drawers, and we should try to keep things in the same drawers so we can find our clothes better. I even went as far as to label what went in which drawer.
Although the labels helped the oldest bug, the middle buggy didn’t seem to have a care, and she could find what she wanted provided she wanted to do it. So, again, sometimes we have to let go. We have to realize that there are some things we can teach and direct, but not everything is going to be exactly as perfect as we think it should go. Breathing room and growing room is required for independence. And, so long as they are not trying to claim the toilet as their dresser drawer, then really, socks and underwear may just end up in the same drawer.
While you are trying to clean and tidy up, do spring cleaning, rearrange rooms, and all of your basic chores, let those buggies help. It may take a bit longer, but it teaches both us, the parent, and them, the buggies, how to work through things. Eventually, you will be able to sit back and enjoy yourself a bit more often, as they learn to do more and more each day. It teaches them many things from independence, respect, work ethic, and more.
I’m definitely not saying you now have free slave labor. However, regular chores are a good thing to start with your buggies, even at a young age.
Good Luck, and tell me how it went.