Tag Archives: parenting

Sleeping Difficulties

She looks innocent, doesn’t she? That was her at the playground earlier today. She ended up going to bed a bit late tonight, but she spent two hours moving around, talking, and making a poor attempt at sleeping. I’m tired.

Anyone else have trouble getting their kid to bed?

My Daughter Amazes Me

Now more than four and a half years old, it’s hard to believe it’s been so long since she was a non-verbal baby. Now, she talks. She talks non-stop! It doesn’t matter if it’s in Japanese or English, she will continually talk until everyone is hoping she’ll be quiet for a few minutes.

The rate at which she’s acquired English is amazing. She’s become conversational in English, although her grammar is still odd. That’ll sort itself out over the next year, I think. She still lacks vocabulary, but she’ll learn quickly. School starts in September for her, so she’ll have a great opportunity to speak more.

But there’s something I’ve noticed this week. She can negotiate. She’s a bit manipulative. She’s stubborn. And she is very strong-willed. She wanted something to eat, and she asked for three of something (I don’t remember what!). But that was too much. We said just one. She settled on two, and we said okay. And tonight, while going to sleep, she was being so incredibly cute, I would’ve loved to have had the conversation on camera. She wanted to hold our hands, then she wanted my wife and I to hold hands. She said she loves us, and we’re her best friends. She was very happy to have us cuddling with her. She was happy to just be with us.

We’re doing something right. She’s actually quite generous. She’ll ask for some gummies, candy, or something else, and she’ll give everyone a piece. She likes to share. But she can be bull-headed and refuse to do things when we ask. I always have to talk to her about not listening to us, and she always apologises. Have to be stern with her sometimes. But in the end, she’s happy.

She’s my best friend.

My Daughter Will Be a Rock Climber

My daughter is a climber. She’s fearless. She will climb anything, and will get up pretty high. She has a very strong grip and sure footing. I think she’s going to be a rock climber.

Although she’s only four years old, she seems to have little trouble getting up anywhere. She played with a boy who was about a year older than her, and his father had him wearing a bicycle helmet to climb onto anything. But I noticed that my daughter climbs faster than him, and has far better technique.

You may ask if I’m afraid if she’s going to fall. Sure, I’m worried about if she falls, but I can’t hover around her. She needs to learn to be independent on the playground, make friends by herself, and resolve conflicts on her own. I’m not going to be the kind of parent who micromanages his child. I’ll make sure she knows when she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing, like throwing sand or pushing other kids. I’ll let her climb up the slide backwards. Lots of kids do that, and it allows her to use the playground equipment in her own way. I’ll let her make her own mistakes. If she falls and gets a scrape, this only helps her learn. I sit back and just watch.

I want her to become independent, use her own judgment, and learn how to take care of herself. And maybe she will become an amazing rock climber.

The Kindergarten Follow-Up

We went, we played, we cried. Well, my daughter cried.

So, everything went well at my daughter’s school at first. She tried playing with a lot of toys. Amazing how she just picks something up and starts playing with it. About halfway in, the kids went to the library where the kindergarten teachers did story time. The parents went back to the kindergarten classroom to listen to the Principal talk. Nothing new, but some parents asked questions. That’s when it happened.

The kindergarten teacher brought our daughter to us. She was crying. Why? Because we were gone. She had no idea that we’d left her there without us. Well, the meeting was over anyway, and it was time to leave. But she didn’t want to go. She cried again, saying she wanted to keep playing. I explained to her that everyone is going home, so we can’t stay. She was angry.

Hopefully, when school starts, she won’t be crying when it’s time to go home.

Resurrecting a Blog

Now that I have some new ideas for my YouTube channel, I have some ideas for my other YouTube channel and a blog I haven’t updated in quite some time. You see, those two go together.

My other YouTube channel is dedicated to my daughter and I, and I may start using it for parenting talks, as well as fun stuff my daughter and I do. My other blog, Foreign Dad in Japan, was created to show what it’s like to raise a daughter as a foreigner in Japan. But now that we’re going to Canada, it’s kind of a strange title to have for a blog. I’m going to start using it for parenting issues, especially about being a father. I’ll probably update weekly with something, and with my new project with my daughter, learning to do her hair, I have some things to talk about very soon.

So, stay tuned and watch for updates!

The Trouble With a Three-Year-Old and Video Editing

This is my three-year-old daughter.

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Cute, isn’t she? Well, she’s three years old, which means that she’s wild, often uncontrollable, and has a huge attitude. Yes, a threenager.  She’s at that age when she thinks she can do what she wants. She doesn’t have the rules down yet, and demands everything. Tonight, we went to the local festival which is near our apartment and watched a bit of entertainment. When we left, she became incredibly angry.

We ate dinner at home, then we went back to the festival to watch more. However, she decided that she wanted to get on stage with everyone. I told her that she can’t, and she became very loud. She started shouting that she wanted to go on stage (at this time, there was an old guy doing a traditional Japanese song). She kept on shouting over and over, so we had to leave, because she was disturbing the entire festival. And she became extremely angry again.

Threenagers, what can you do? Also, she’s in this phase right now where she refuses to sleep until well after midnight. She was doing so great during summer, going to bed at a decent time. But now, she tends to get only about six or seven hours of sleep at night. She gets up extremely irritable, which is understandable. However, she will not go to bed until she’s so sleepy that she can’t stay awake. I don’t know what to do about this.

Second, I’m going to start using a video editor on my computer to edit videos (obviously). I’ve already taken a couple of videos in the past twenty-four hours, and need to do some editing. Watch for them to come soon on my YouTube channel. And please subscribe to my channel! I’m refocusing what I’m doing on my channel, and I’d like the videos to look a bit more professional. The YouTube editor does a decent job, but it doesn’t look great.

With the “relaunch” of my channel, I’ll be doing a lot of videos about Japan. My sister is coming to Japan next month, so I’ll be taking videos anywhere we go, and putting them up on YouTube. I’ll also be doing the Life in Japan posts in video form. And I’ll make videos about our immigration efforts. So, look forward to seeing those soon.

Blog Spotlight – All In A Dad’s Work

One of the top commenters and newer member of Authors Answer, this week’s spotlight is on Eric Wood’s blog, All In A Dad’s Work. He’s also known as stomperdad in the comments. On his blog, you’ll find his writing, as well as a lot about being a dad and parenting.

allinadadsworkAt first, you will likely notice the large stuffed animal header image. I think you’ll realise that his blog has a lot to do with children, as he has a couple of sons that he frequently talks about. He has a nice simple layout and a deep red background that gives it a warm feeling.

Let’s look at the menu first. Of course, we have the usual Home and About, but we also have Links and 100 Word Stories.

Going to his About page, you’ll see he talks about himself and his family. It’s simple and straightforward, and you immediately get to see what kind of person he is.

Next is Links.  It’s not a long list, only five items, but he says they’re his favourite places to go on the internet. His first link? Here! Why, thank you, Eric!

And then we have 100 Word Stories. Here you can find a few of his very brief stories of only one hundred words. There are ten to read (at the moment), so enjoy going through them.

But I think the main thing is that he blogs a lot about various topics. Just browse through his posts, and I’m sure you’ll find some things you enjoy. He posts frequently, so you’ll always have something new.

Personal message to Eric

Thanks for being such a great commenter this year. You’ve become one of the most dedicated people to spend their time here, and I agree with what you said on your links page, if we lived near each other, we’d probably be friends. Thanks!

Dear Teacher

It’s that time of year. The kids go back to school. I thought I’d share a post made by Eric, aka stomperdad. He’s a parent who understands what teachers go through.

All In A Dad's Work

Dear Teacher,

Today is your first day of school, again. Though, I know today really isn’t your first day. You have been at inservices enhancing your teaching methods. Those inservices, which use up your precious classroom time. A time you use to get your classrooms in order. Figure out your desk arrangement and where to sit your new, eager learners even though you nothing about them. A time you use to decorate your walls, bulletin boards and chalk boards. This, I know, is no easy feat. But you’re creative, you’ll have no trouble. Your walls and boards will be adorned with bright colors and all things educational. Regardless of the all meetings and inservices, your classroom will be open, ready, and eager for new learners.

Those inservices that use up your precious planning time. You get very little of it in a normal day. So little, in fact, that you…

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Living With a Threenager

What’s a threenager? You know the terrible twos, right? Well, a threenager is someone who acts like a teenager, but is only three years old. That basically describes a three-year-old. They have attitude, but no control over their emotions. They are either happy or it’s the end of the world.

Here’s some of my three-year-old’s attitude.

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And she’s already demanding a driver’s license, while talking on a cell phone. Okay, so it’s a radio, not a cell phone.

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These pictures were taken on Sunday, and she had a lot of fun in the indoor playground. But after four hours, it was time to go. The world ended. Scream, cry, and run away. That’s what she did. When I picked her up, she kicked, struggled, and tried to get away. She did not want to leave at all. She still say she wants to go, and she wants to go now.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed posted a list of 23 Things All Parents Of Threenagers Understand. Let’s go through them and see how my daughter’s doing.

1. They’ve suddenly got OPINIONS…lots of them.

This is true. It’s mostly her telling us she doesn’t like something, though sometimes telling us what she likes. She knows what she likes, that’s for sure.

2. All hell breaks loose if you serve their food in a slightly different way.

Not so much, really. She’s actually pretty flexible with a lot of these things, but she often requests a certain number of breadsticks. They come in bags of six, and she says she wants three. I give her one. She gets upset. But you see, she usually eats parts of the three, takes the chocolate chips, and leaves chunks of bread from all three sticks.

3. Handling disappointment isn’t their thing.

Disappointment is too mild of a feeling. She doesn’t get disappointed. She goes ballistic.

4. Not even Jack Bauer could get them to tell you what happened at preschool.

This we don’t have much of a problem with. She offers the information without us asking. Just the other day, it was raining, so they couldn’t use the pool outside. She told me so. And she told me that she was playing with her friends, including their names.

5. “Why?” “Why?” “Why, Mama?” “Why?” “Why?” “Why, Dada?” “Why?”

She asks us why, definitely. She’s in that phase, but it isn’t so bad. I tell her why, and much of the time she takes the answer and doesn’t bombard me with “Why?”

6. They’ve probably wiped off one of your kisses.

Yup. She does that.

7. They often lose toys that they MUST. HAVE. RIGHT. NOW.

Not just toys. Clothes, too. Recently, we had to wash one of her favourite dresses, and she wanted to wear it as it was drying. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She needed to wear it now.

8. They’ve started to say sassy things like, “Are you kidding me?”

Not really. At least not in English.

9. They’re too small to walk at a decent pace, but too big to be carried.

Yes! She tends to take a long time to walk anywhere, and when she gets tired, she wants to be carried. She’s 15.5 kg now, and while it’s fine for a little while, she starts to feel too heavy.

10. They have no filter.

She says what she wants. If she gets punished, she tells everyone she got punished. She also walks up to complete strangers and introduces herself and my wife and I. She often tells us to be quiet, too.

11. They’re either recently potty trained or are potty training, which is awesome for you! (sarcasm)

Sigh. Just as I was starting this section, she took her diaper off and handed it to me. It was filled with pee. We have a deal with her. She stops peeing in her diaper or training pants, she can go to a swimming pool, waterslides, and Canada. She wants to go to them all very much. She knows how to use the toilet, she knows when to use the toilet, but she just gets lazy.

12. This little phrase can trigger a tantrum/meltdown: “It’s time to go.”

Yup. Happened on Sunday. It was a major meltdown. It happens every time we’re at a playground, too.

13. Bedtime is drama, and they’ll do anything to avoid it.

If we force her to go to bed, she won’t stay. She will only go to bed on her own terms, which is only when she is sleepy. She usually falls asleep around 9 or 10 pm, but any earlier, and she won’t do it.

14. Once bedtime starts, it is — how should we put this — a process.

The process has changed many times over her short life. When she was still using a crib, she would only fall asleep if she was holding our hand. Now, she will only go to sleep if she’s sleepy, and that’s the only time she’ll brush her teeth, as well. At least she knows how to do that now. Any deviation from this makes it impossible to get her to sleep.

15. Getting a threenager out the door takes forever.

Actually, we don’t have this problem. She likes going out, and she’s the first to the door with her shoes on.

Short intermission.

Back to number 7. She wants to blow bubbles outside right now. It’s raining. She’s upset that it’s raining, but still demands to go out to blow bubbles.

End intermission.

16. Despite their epic slowness, they’re also epically impatient.

Absolutely. It takes forever to get her to do many things, but then when she wants something, she wants it now. She wants to go to Canada right now, actually. Every day, she demands to go to Canada.

17. They will say, “I’m tired!” when you ask them to do anything.

Not really. She’ll do things if we ask her to do them, but when she doesn’t want to do it, she just flat out refuses. “No.” She only uses the “I’m tired!” excuse when she doesn’t want to walk.

18. They’re guaranteed to frustrate you when eating at a restaurant.

Worst place for us to go! I love eating food in restaurants, but when we have our daughter there, she usually makes a mess. Last time we went with her, she poured a full cup of orange juice over her clothes. And she had to go home like that. Sticky. Ugh. And she’ll often ask for something from the menu, then refuse to eat half of it, wanting whatever we have.

19. They’re maddeningly stubborn and insist, “I do it myself!”

Absolutely. This is what she wants to do by herself now: put on her shoes, put on her clothes, dry herself after a bath/shower, use the toilet, wash her hands, put toothpaste on her toothbrush, and so on. The toothpaste thing would turn into a disaster. She doesn’t get to do that.

20. That is, when they’re not begging you to do it for them.

She often comes to me to get me to do her puzzles for her, as well as draw something instead of her. Sometimes, she hands me her spoon or fork and wants me to feed her. I guess she’s still a baby at times.

21. They’re scared of a lot of things.

She’s scared of bugs (sometimes) and heights (if she can’t hold on to me). Not much does scare her.

22. They have very specific ideas on how they want to look.

She likes to choose her clothes, but she often chooses clothes that are too hot for summer. She also likes to have her hair done in a certain way. It’s either Anna, Elsa, Ika Musume (it’s an anime, English title is Squid Girl), or Precure (another anime, Pretty Cure).

23. They’ve become firmly anti-nap.

She rarely has a nap now. When she falls asleep at 5pm, she sleeps all night. She doesn’t wake up from that nap. And just as I was typing this, she fell asleep. It’s almost 6pm. I’ll see if I can get her to wake up later.

I’d like to add one more to this list.

24. The only way to get them to do anything is through bribery.

Want her to sit down on the bus? Candy. Want her to sit down in her stroller to be a counterweight for all the shopping we did? Toy. Want her to use the toilet? Pool, waterslides, and Canada. No matter what we try, we can’t get her to cooperate unless we bribe her.

Anyone with kids have similar experiences?

The Attack of the Canker Sore

I was about to go to bed nearly an hour ago when my daughter started crying. That’s unusual, because she normally sleeps through the night. I went to find out what the problem was, and it took about fifteen minutes of trying to get her to settle down for her to finally tell us she’s hungry. She wanted yoghurt. So, I got her some yoghurt and she had a little water. She was hungry. Now she’s asleep again.

What does this have to do with a canker sore? Well, at dinner time, she wasn’t very hungry. She kept saying something hurt in her mouth, so I checked. She had a canker sore. I think it’s her first ever, and I understand how it can make it difficult to eat done things. You see, she had ketchup. It’s acidic, so it bothered her. She didn’t eat much, but had two containers of yoghurt and nothing else. She didn’t want anything else. It wasn’t very much.

So fast forward to an hour ago, and she was hungry again. All because a canker sore wouldn’t let her eat much earlier. At least she fell asleep again. Time for me to, too.