Monday, February 27, 2012

I am a Western Parent

I am going to do something I typically don't do- write a book review because this was a topic I found to be very intriguing. Just finished reading this book called, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" for our ward book club. Boy! What an interesting read! Ever wondered why Asian kids seem to be good at EVERYTHING and are not just good, their always #1 and top of the class? I sure have, and this book certainly clarified why! Amy Chau writes about raising her two girls the "Chinese mother(or a lot of other Asian countries)" method in America, where the "Western Parent" dominates most other parenting methods. 

Instead of the attitudes we "westerners" have where the kids choose to go after whatever their interests are, Chinese parents give them a hobby (i.e. piano or violin) that will give them the best  chance at success. The children of Chinese parents practice way more than a typical American (3-4 hours vs. half hour piano practicing) and are expected to achieve near perfection.

This book made me realize that a lot of western parents seem to give up on their kids instead of sticking it through the hard times to make it to success. I am reminded of my own piano lessons and practicing where I HATED doing it, but my mom said I could quit once I got to level "XYZ". My mom was a pretty smart lady because once I got through all my books with every intention of quitting and finally made it to level XYZ, I was good enough then to enjoy piano and I continued on my own. However, I did not practice nearly as much as most Asian kids and therefore didn't come close to winning any competitions or anything of that sort. I have to argue with the Chinese mother parenting style a little bit because how many of us can all be child prodigies or win awards? If that's how everyone parents over there, how does anyone win anything at all? What happens if you don't get first place? From reading this book, not earning anything but "exceptional" is not tolerated nor accepted by the parents...but not everyone can be #1--so then what?

Anyway, although I don't exactly think my kids need to be scholars or child prodigies, I do feel like when they (or I) do choose an event to participate in, that I want them to not give up the second they don't like it- at least stick it out until they're at a point where they can clearly make the best decision. I would highly suggest reading this book even if you're not considering converting over to the Chinese parenting style, because it does give some insights as to how other cultures parent- which I'd never really put much thought into prior to reading this. I feel that as Americans, it is healthy and important for us to learn from and about other cultures in all aspects, and that if nothing else, it helps us to be more understanding individuals. If you do read it, I hope you learn and enjoy it as much as I did!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Transition Time

We've been undergoing a lot of changes around here as of late! Adelyn is now in a "big girl" twin bed and Dallin is finally in her crib- not the pack 'n play. Addie still doesn't do all that well in her bed, every night comes with requests of several drinks, stuffed animals, change of clothes, and her crib. And we usually get a good crying  fit with the door closed before she gives up and falls asleep. Nights have been the worst- it's like she's reverted to being a baby again where she wakes up several times a night and needs our reassurance for her to go back to sleep. Not enjoyable. But we have hopes that with constancy comes results, and therefore are NOT looking back to much happier days with her crib.

Dallin on the other hand is doing great- except he is sick so that comes with extra nightly wake up calls than usual. Needless to say, if our family is a little more irritable than the norm, you can understand why! He also turned 7 months and is so fun at this age! Every age brings new challenges and excitements, but I have to say that 6 months to 10 months are probably my favorite during that first year of life. The exploration they experience is just so fun to watch! Dallin can crawl, but still does a alternation between scooting and crawling to get to places. He loves to play with whatever Adelyn is playing with and so the sibling confrontation begins!

We also got a grey tabby cat. It was sort of a Valentines gift to Jared since he's always wanted one and our friends were giving it away. It's been good so far- the cat's really well behaved and the biggest problem we've had with it is naming it. We finally settled on Toodles. The kids really love it- Dallin crawls after it, and Addie tries to pet it constantly and when it finally tries to get away from her, she chases after it saying, "there it goes!".

 If you haven't already heard, Jared's company cut all their employee's hours down to 32 hour work weeks. As stressful as that's been financially, it's been a very sweet blessing in disguise. Jared works about the same hours during the week with the exception of having Friday's off. How wonderful that's been! It's great to have that extra day of family time that we have been feeling like is lacking in our lives. We try to take that day to do something fun together and go somewhere where we can enjoy each other's company. For example, one week we went to the zoo, but usually it's somewhere like the park or mall.

For my personal record, I want to add that Jared and I went to see the play, Wicked on Saturday and it was amazing!!! Jared got me the tickets for Christmas and it was a wonderful idea- wouldn't mind if I got tickets for a play every Christmas! (.....and birthday and anniversary and Valentines....haha). Also as a side note, my sister got engaged on Friday night! Whoo hoo!! They will be getting married in California in June, I'm glad she found such an awesome guy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Drama Queen

We have a little drama queen in our house lately. She knows what she wants and most of the time knows how to get it. Addie likes to state her recent found independence by changing her outfits frequently throughout the day. I guess this is one of those things I deserve since I hear that's all I did at her age too. Sorry mom and dad....I already had enough laundry before, and I'm sure you did too. The thing that just kills me is that our generous neighbors just gave us a bunch of their daughters outgrown clothes. They are super cute, but the only item in there that she wants or will wear are these hot pink princess jammies. And no, we don't wear them to bed- just everywhere else. If you've seen us lately, I'll bet 10 bucks she was wearing them.

We are also extremely verbal about everything these days I suppose that's about the only advantage/disadvantage about a chatty 2 year old. She talks non stop!  Some of the funny things she says or has said are:
"I not!"
"I not going!"
"I won't go!"
"I want to go to the mall"
"I won't wear these pants...their too busy!"
"Hey stinky boy" (Her usual greeting to Dallin)
"No Dallin! That's not for you!"
"Daddy gave toots!" (She likes to announce that whether or not it is indeed true :D)
"Addie can be Belle, Daddy, you be John? Mommy be Wendy? Okay, Dallin be Peter Pan"
"What is it?" (for EVERYTHING)
"uHHHHH.....Whats wrong Addie??"
"Which one do you like, mommy? Which one do you like, Addie?"
"Me try on these panties? Okay, you can wear them"
"It's not scary, just pretend"
"They're all clean now!" (usually referring to her dirty princess pants)
"Look what I found!"
"I want to watch something. Okay! Just a little second, you can watch it"
"Aw bummer"
"It's Addie's turn to pick a movie!" (can you tell she likes TV?)
"I don't like this song, it's not my favorite"

And we sing EVERYTHING! I wish I could record all the songs she sings all the time, but to name a few: Popcorn Popping, I am A Child of God, Little Einsteins theme song (below), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme song, "How does She know that You Love her?" (song from Enchanted), Mary Poppins songs, Book Of Mormons Stories, "Like a Love Song" by Selena Gomez, and other songs haven't figured out the titles of yet. We love this new- found independent, funny, spunky two year old!