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Teaching Kids to be Gentle – Got Any Advice? |
Larry and Moe dish out some Anneka-style tough love to Curly. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 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