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Letting Kids Be Kids

By Jodie Lynn


I have a five-year-old son who has way too many sport activities on his plate. It seems like his dad is trying desperately to groom him for some type of all-star athlete. If I try to bring any calmness to the situation, all we end up doing is arguing, which then upsets my son. How can I get his dad, my ex-husband, to slow down and just let our son be a kid?


I had the same challenge with my ex-wife with our six-year-old daughter. She kept her in constant motion jumping from one activity to another. Sometimes I thought she did it so my daughter and I would have less time together; other times, I thought she was living her life again through our little girl. Either way, my daughter was growing weary of having to be somewhere everyday except Sunday. If I tried to talk to my ex-wife, she became very angry. Finally, I sat down and talked with her mom, who provided more insight into the situation and talked with my ex-wife about everything. If you are still comfortable talking with your son's paternal grandfather or grandmother, ask them for help in improving your son's life by speaking to your ex-husband about it. - Z. A. in Sacramento, CA


Unfortunately, it's almost gotten to the point of normalcy for children as young as eighteen months old to have a plateful of activities. There's little time to just be children and take part in leisurely, no-pressure games or to enjoy a simple walk in the park for no purpose other than the pure fun of it. In fact, once parents start this vicious circle of constant involvement and over-scheduling, it becomes quite difficult for the child to have a lack of such a schedule, which is terribly sad. It used to be that many parents wanted to have the smartest baby on the block. Now, it's the goal to have the smartest or most talented kid in the state. Personally, I think the previous suggestion from the reader above sounds excellent. Talking with your ex-husband's parents about your concerns pertaining to their grandson should prove to be quite beneficial as long as you do not point any fingers or stir up any guilt or blame. Believe me, they have way more influence on him than you might think. It will also help to alleviate the whole good guy, bad guy interpretation being placed squarely on your shoulders. Just be sure not to talk about it when your son is around or within earshot. Keep it a private conversation.

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My three-year-old daughter screams at the top of her lungs if she gets even one little scratch anywhere on her body. This is terribly embarrassing if we are out in public. How can we get her to understand the difference between a simple boo-boo and a more serious one?

To share parenting tips or submit questions, write to: Parent to Parent, 2464 Taylor Road, Suite 131, Wildwood, MO 63040. Email direct2contact, or go to which provides a secure and easy way to submit tips or questions. All tips must have city, state and first and last name or initials to be included in the column.

© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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