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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

8 Modern Day Parenting Challenges With Toddlers

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog

Are there any toddlers out there that are not terrified of the self flushing toilets? Or the loud no touch hand dryers? If your toddler is one of the few that happens to not be terrified, I am extremely jealous!! My daughter is potty trained, yet, at the moment, she's in a phase of being terrified of using public restrooms. Why? Because one too many toilets has flushed on her preemptively, while she's still sitting on it! We've all had it happen at one point or another. As an adult we just find it gross. You can't possibly get up fast enough to prevent the toilet from splashing all over you, and you feel so dirty. I'd rather kick the flushing lever with my foot like we did in the good old days then have my rear end splashed with dirty water! My daughter doesn't think of it that way, but it scares the living daylight out of her. Once this happens, it takes me a good month to calm her down to the point where she can use a public restroom again. Anyways, it got me thinking. With all the "luxuries" of modern day life (such as self flushing toilets), there are some drawbacks as a result, when it comes to parenting toddlers.

1. Self flushing toilets: This one is just big on my list right now. Sure, it's nice to not have to kick the lever, and it's nice that if someone "forgets" or just doesn't care about flushing, the toilet will do that for them... but as a parent, I HATE these toilets. I hate the challenges that it poses with a toddler. It makes going out a huge challenge. I'd much rather have to flush the toilet myself.

Genius Parenting Hack: Put a post-it note over the sensor to prevent flushing! This hack is brought to you from Bloggersaurus.

2. Hand dryers: In general, I am not a fan of these simply because most of them don't work well. I always get impatient and just wipe my hands on my pants so I can move on from the whole process. As a parent, I am definitely not a fan. Again, this is something that simply scares my toddler. If someone is using it and she's trying to go to the bathroom, all of her focus is on the loud noise. She'd rather bolt out of the bathroom and hold her pee (or have an accident), then take the chance of hearing the loud noise again. We aren't even to the point where she's having to wash and dry her hands in restrooms yet. That definitely won't be fun if the hand dryer is our only option. Good luck getting your toddler to USE the dryer!

3. Full day of Kindergarten: This challenge is obviously a completely different direction and focus from our discussion of public restrooms, but I feel it's important to bring up. When I was growing up, Kindergarten was a half day. Some parents chose to do preschool, but it wasn't as much of a necessity as it is today with full day Kindergarten. In 1977, only 28% of the programs were full day, whereas in 2013, 77% were full day (I'm assuming that number is much higher now)! This shift is huge, and whether you agree with it or not, there has been no support added (in the form of free preschool) to help children ease into a full day of Kindergarten. Parents are now feeling the need to pay for some sort of preschool so that their child can simply be ready for the physical demands of a full day of school for an entire week. Preschool is insanely expensive. In some cases, more expensive than college! Yes you read that right. Academically, I don't feel the need to send my daughter to preschool, but to prepare her emotionally and physically for the demands of a full day of kindergarten, I do. I'm lucky to have found a program that's less than $1000 per year, but that's a rarity!

4. Cell phones: This challenge is one that lasts until you finally break down and get your child a cell phone or invest in an alarm service. Now that we love our cell phones, and most of us no longer have house phones, there is NO way for our children to call 911, without finding and using a cell phone. I'm guessing you have lots of important information on your cell phone and things you don't want your children (or a stranger that finds your phone) to have access to, so you probably have it password protected. Yes, there is an option for emergency dialing now, but your child also has to know where your cell phone is. And, guess what? It's not always in the same place like a house phone used to be. They'd have to know that you left it on the table or on the couch, or that it's in your pocket.

5. Safety items: All of those safety proofing items that many parents use today (outlet covers, baby gates, cabinet locks, etc), can actually draw attention to the area. Many children end up focusing all of their attention on what they aren't allowed to do, and try to pull the outlet covers off, open the cabinet locks etc. Not only that, but when they go out of the house to areas that are not baby-proofed, they haven't been properly taught how to handle these safety concerns, because the tactic in modern day houses is to remove all threats, instead of teaching how to handle things. 

Another mom brought up the frustration of car seats that I hadn't even thought of related to safety. This is a HUGE safety advance in our society, but it is a frustration when you are trying to drive multiple kids somewhere. It is incredibly difficult to install 3 car seats or booster seats into a normal sized car. Obviously, we all know it's best to use them, and it's now the law...but it doesn't come without frustration and extra expense of buying a van so you can use everything properly. Not to mention if you are trying to carpool with another family, or have grandparents pick children up from activities, etc. We now have to arrange a time to install the car seats in a different car, or invest in an extra set for the other car. 

This frustration is brought to you by a mom in the MOC discussion group!
  
6. Helicopter parenting is becoming the law: Are you playing in the yard and need to run in for a split second to grab something you forgot? Perhaps you are driving your children to preschool and one of them is sick. When I was a child it was ok to leave the sick kid in the car, and run the other kid in. It was ok to step inside for a moment and grab something. It was also ok for children to be outside playing with no adult supervision! Now, you'll have the police called on you and have CPS informed. 

This frustration is brought to you by Fennell Seeds.

7. Antibacterials are everywhere: Antibacterials are forced on our children and it is incredibly unhealthy. I know this feeling is only going to get worse as my daughter gets older and enters the school system. I feel like I am going to be the mom fighting on this topic, and I'm the minority. Most people still think antibacterials are great to use, and they are transferring that misinformed knowledge, and overuse of the product, to their children. It's dangerous, and I am going to do everything I can to teach my daughter why antibacterials are not good to use. Just another challenge to face.

8. Pinterest: This one so doesn't even need explanation. Modern moms are held to this insanely high expectation of being the "pinterest mom". It's shoved in our faces daily- hourly. It's almost worse than the perfect skinny models that we see in every media outlet. Now we are judged on our ability to be the pinterest mom that does it all. I even felt it today when I brought my store bought Valentine's to my daughter's school. She's 2 mind you. I'm guessing we'll be coming home with all sorts of fancy pinterest made items and baked goods. Just a hunch. I'll find out soon if the other moms are all going home to judge my store bought Dory Valentine's- or perhaps they will get it home and wish they'd had the balls to just do something store bought, or maybe everyone had the balls and the jokes on pinterest!! ;)  

Don't get me wrong, I love my cell phone, love a good idea on pinterest to spark creativity, and I appreciate that safety proofing items also have their advantages...which is why I use a few of them (gates on the stairs, and outlet covers). I just try to minimize the use of baby-proofing items, and up my teaching on the safety aspects even with the use of these safety proofing items, since my child will need to know for other environments that aren't baby-proofed. 

Just a few modern day headaches, from a few modern day mamas trying to stay sane! At the end of the day, most of us are thankful for the new safety features in our lives, but boy are we cursing those self flushing toilets and hand dryers. Good thing Starbucks is conveniently placed at all Targets so we can calm ourselves, even if we can't calm our children! 

What are some modern day frustrations or challenges that you experience as a parent? I'd love for you to share in the comments!!


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Hey guys! I'm Katrina (aka Mama)! I love country music, snuggling on the couch with our dog, and playing with our daughter. I am a fibro warrior, a former chemistry teacher, I love watching college football (go aggies!), and I love being a SAHM. Connect with me on Facebook for more adventures!

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