Dude’s teeth?! CLEAN!
We spent the last few weeks brushing, morning and night, flossing, when they remember (let’s keep it real here people, flossing is a beast), and using the heck outta their Listerine mouth wash for the Listerine Sweet Smart Challenge.
Actually, the mouth wash has been sort of a big deal when it comes to them staying committed to their oral hygiene. Because honestly, they were pretty sketchy about brushing their teeth before this stuff made its way to their bathroom. They would say they brushed when they didn’t
little liars, they would brush all fast like so it really didn’t even count, and they would act all ugly about having to do it before leaving to catch the bus in the morning. Because, obviously, NOT having yuck mouth wasn’t reason enough for them to keep the inside of their mouths clean.
Getting to swish and spit though? All the motivation they needed. They haven’t missed a single day of brushing and swishing since we started this challenge a few weeks ago, and #2 actually put mouthwash on his list-of-things-he-needs-from-Target.
Want to know what else has worked for us lately?!
3 Things That Work on Kids and Some That Just Don’t
1. Teaching them to eat healthy. By giving them healthy junk over and over and over again. I’m not gonna lie, there are things that my kids just don’t like to eat, and you know what? I’m cool with that because I don’t like to eat
peas gag those things either. But, I also make sure to give them a balanced diet of healthy items on a regular basis because I want them to learn healthy habits. I’m not a zealot about it and they do get to enjoy treats on a regular to semi-regular basis. Okay, they get a treat every day. But, drop a floret of broccoli or a pile of squash in front of these Dudes and they are gonna eat it. Because they know that, if they want their banana split for dessert, said healthy bits better get in their guts first.
What doesn’t work: doing that whole sneak the peas in the spaghetti sauce bit. Then they wind up hating peas AND spaghetti sauce. Plus, even if it does work, it doesn’t really teach them to make healthy choices does it? It pretty much just lets them know that if they get buck at dinner time, Mommy will find a way to be sneaky and creepy about serving them dinner.
2. Letting them work out their own problems. By punching each other in the face. Okay, that is a little bit extreme perhaps and, when it comes to blows at our house, I do put my foot down. And yell. Long and hard. But, before people start hitting and clawing, I like to give them a chance to solve their own problems. I don’t encourage tattling and I don’t listen to whining and their he-said-he-said junk either. If they have an issue amongst themselves they are expected to solve it amongst themselves because when Mom gets involved, things get real. And people wind up in trouble.
What doesn’t work: Fixing every little problem they have for them. The awesome thing about having a sibling is that you also have a test dummy for the real world. You learn how to interact with people (even when they are the most annoying human ever created), you learn how to solve conflicts (with and without busting someone in the junk), and you learn about how the things you say and do affect the people around you and the relationships you have. If mom and dad spend a bunch of time managing that then they don’t get that learning. They need that learning.
3. Being respectful. To your kids. I know, it sounds crazy because they are supposed to respect you, right? But kids are human too and they deserve the same respect you’d give any humans you encounter on the street. Plus, they learn by example and all of that.
What doesn’t work: Yelling. If you follow me on Facebook (um, click the link and do it now if you don’t; I’ll try not to be mad that it’s taken you so long to get on board), you know that one of my major parenting challenges is NOT yelling at The Dudes. And, if you’ve been to my house you probably also know that my kids don’t listen unless I yell! Yelling is totally disrespectful and I hate doing it. I hate that I let them frustrate me to the point that I feel like it’s my only recourse. I am working on getting them to listen before I get to the point where I feel like I need to yell. Also, if they would come home, serve themselves a snack, do their homework, clean their rooms, and start dinner without me having to say anything I would stop yelling entirely. In the meantime, I’m working on other yelling avoidance strategies that seem to be making a difference (how not to yell at people you love blog post coming soon!). .
Feel free to let me know what works at your house, myself and my Facebook friends could really use some tips!