Teaching Kids to be Gentle – Got Any Advice? |
One of my favorite minor accomplishments as a parent so far is teaching Anneka how to be gentle. She's an enthusiastic and very upbeat little girl, and she shows it by being physical. She uses her hands a lot, and had an early tendency to slap the hell out of everything in a frenzy of friendliness. Cats, kids, stuffed animals and especially dad were frequent targets of her happy slaps. I could very easily see her growing up to be a member of a Three Stooges reboot ... probably as a new version of ringleader Moe - definitely not an imitator like Shemp or Joe. I addressed this with her stuffed pets and Karma (aka FluffyWhite), the neighbor's cat. Every day, I'd pick up a stuffed animal and tell her to pet it. Sure enough, she'd smack it silly. So I would say "gentle" and pet the stuffed animal myself. Then I'd say "gentle" again and take her hand, showing her to pet it without knocking its poor little glass eyeballs right out of its head. We also started making visits to FluffyWhite. I'd