Learn to Swim in the Deep End thumbnail

Learn to Swim in the Deep End

3 Things by Dina Freeman, BabyCenter

3 Things by Dina Freeman, BabyCenter

Truth

I’m afraid of many things: snails, heights, the dark… not being within driving distance of a Starbucks.

But one thing that doesn’t scare me is change.

Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”  I think the “Great One” was on to something.

Looking back over my life, I can pinpoint several moments in time when I made the deliberate choice to resist fear and embrace change.

Whether it was moving to Los Angeles by myself when I was 21, quitting a great job to pursue my acting dreams — or starting a whole new career once I realized my dreams had completely changed — each time I shut out the voices in my head telling me to stay put.

And I’m so happy I did.

Each experience fulfilled me in ways beyond what I could have imagined and made me who I am today.

Since then, I married a wonderful man, changed jobs, moved across the country twice, and became a mom to the two coolest little boys on the planet. The lessons I learned early in my adult life taught me that being thrown in the deep end is a gift — as long as you’re calm enough to breathe and take things step by step.

As a parent, I want to instill the same sense of fearlessness in my kids. That it’s not about whether or not they succeed, but that they dream big, try hard and take chances.

And that no matter what happens, they know they can always come home.

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Tip

I have a brand new tip I just learned from a child psychologist that I’m dying to share!

I asked her for ideas on how to get my 4-year-old to stop hitting when he gets frustrated. She said it’s likely that he feels like he doesn’t have control over life in general, so his instincts are to lash out. This makes total sense because he is constantly getting overpowered by his older, bossier brother.

So, we decided to implement Boss Night.

Each child gets to be “the boss” one night a week. They choose what we’re going to eat, where everyone sits at the dinner table, and one family activity like taking a walk or playing video games. The one rule is everyone has to follow orders.

It’s been fascinating to see how different children handle being in control.

When we started, our 4-year old was uncomfortable with it and didn’t have too many ideas and the 5-year old had a list of demands a mile long. But after a few weeks, it’s evening out.

The little one is learning to exert himself and the older one is learning how to follow someone else’s rules. They’ve both learned to take others into account when making decisions, which will serve them well in everything they do.

Find

Aquaphor!

One night during my son’s first week at home, he gauged himself with one of his itty bitty fingernails. It was pretty bad, so I grabbed one of those little tubes of Aquaphor you get at the hospital and put it on the cut. The next morning it was gone.

Seriously.

It was so freaky that I thought I was hallucinating, but my husband confirmed I wasn’t crazy. Since that day, we put it on every cut, scrape, bite or dry skin patch we can find, and it works every time.

Bonus tip: You know those awful price tag stickers that are impossible to remove? Neutrogena Body Oil! It’s like magic.

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Contributor: Dina from BabyCenter
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Follow her on Twitter at @babycenter or @dinadingo.
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