Most of my parenting skills were taught to me by my oldest child. It is funny, with your first child, you think you are an amazing parent. Then you add the second child, and you realize it wasn’t you. But now you have to figure it out and quick!
My children were awful nappers, which made me an exhausted mother of two. I admit, when things got rough, I put in a Disney movie. One of our “go-to’s” was Dumbo. My
oldest decided that when the “Baby Mine” song came on, I was required to stop whatever I was doing and rock her in the rocking chair that my grandma rocked me in.
In the film, Dumbo’s mother, Mrs. Jumbo, an elephant locked in a circus wagon, cradles her baby Dumbo with her trunk while this lullaby is sung. It was an ingenius idea, because whenever daughter wanted attention, she inserted the movie, Dumbo. Then a little while later, all activity stopped and I focused on her for a whole 2 minutes and 5 seconds.
When I later attended a behavioral parent training, I realized that this does exactly what they tell you to do. Focus on the children, when they are doing something right and reward that good behavior. Instead, most parents ignore the kids until they are doing something wrong and then have to yell and scream.
So all of my best parenting skills, I learned from my oldest child…..and Dumbo.