Many behaviours we see in children, and think as normal, would have been considered signs of anxiety in previous generations. ‘Common’ has come to mean normal and therefore OK. So what’s changed?
At our house, the singing santas came out two days ago. Actually, there’s only one santa with a gnome-thing and a snowman. This is not just significant for the ritual (1st of December and all) but also because most days our children have access to no electronic toys or screen entertainment. Before long, I was reminded why.
We had temper tantrums. We had overwhelmed sobbing. We had tapping feet, mad running-about (as opposed to purposeful running about) beeping noises and we had baby-talking older children. We had children who made silly choices and who wanted to be entertained. They also lost all their ability to negotiate and communicate with one another. Simply put, we had children who showed they were overstimulated and anxious. It was exhausting to parent them. (And, just quietly, I didn’t like them very much.)
So yesterday, we had no singing santas. And pleasant children who were great fun and easy to manage.
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