TEN ANNOYING BEHAVIORS
THAT SHOW YOUR CHILD IS OK
As you are raising your children, here's one thing that no one prepares you for: There are behaviors that are both annoying and nerve-wracking to live through that are part of perfectly normal child development. Let's bring them out in the open so that you don't have to worry in private that you have given birth to a weird kid. In fact, it is time to start worrying if none of these things happen.
1. Before the first birthday, your sociable little darling suddenly begins to scream when confronting an unfamiliar face--which may include Grandma if she hasn't visited recently. All this shows is that true attachment to parents has occurred--hurrah!
2. About 18 months, your child lives to dump---anything, anywhere. Dumping food or the sugar bowl is every bit as much fun as dumping blocks--even more so is the satisfying howl from the nearest parent. Physical exploration leads to understanding.
3. By two years, your child yells "Me! Mine!" when asked to share a toy with a visiting playmate. While this doesn't make for smooth play dates, it is about as normal as you can get.
4. When you send your two-and-a-half-year-old to wash his hands before dinner, it takes a full half hour and the bathroom resembles the aftermath of a cyclone. Water play takes precedence over cleanliness or obedience any time.
5. Around age three, you can count on her spilling milk at the lunch table every single day. I vividly remember despairing that we were raising a complete klutz. But just consider the number of things that are competing for her attention at mealtime.
6. When your child is about three and a half, you can bet that most of his or her waking hours will be spent in character and costume as "Spiderman!" or "Wonder Woman!" There's just something about those powerful images that captivate the imagination of someone who has little power beyond choosing a breakfast cereal.
7. Don't be shocked when you discover your child-- about age four--exploring bodies with a friend or two. This doesn't indicate deviant interests but a perfectly normal curiosity about other children's anatomy.
8. Somewhere around age four and a half, you will wonder if your child is heading for a career in competitive sports or politics. Children at this age become preoccupied with "winning," being the "biggest" and the "best," even competing on whose dad is the strongest. Not a problem--how else do you begin to figure out where you measure up in relation to others?
9. The five-year-old who is sweetly amenable to most adult suggestions becomes a virtual tyrant when there are younger children nearby to boss around. Again, it's not too difficult to figure out. About this time, children have to comply with adult guidelines for behavior in school and at home. It's natural to want to exercise a bit of authority over someone younger.
10. When your school-age child comes home after a long school day, don't be surprised to hear a muttered "You're not the boss of me" when you make a simple request. It's kind of the equivalent of getting out from under the control of the supervisor at work.
See? Your child is really just as normal as all the others of the same age. And you'll both live through it.