Sunday, December 4, 2011

You Better Not Pout...

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When your child doesn’t get her way does she cross her arms, squint her eyes, scrunch her face then sink abruptly into a slump?

Ugh! Don’t you just want to say “.. I hope Santa doesn’t find out or you’re gonna be in trouble!“ Say the last part kind of singing and she might just look around nervously and collect herself into a model of cooperation.

Well, I’ve decided I am going to experiment with embracing the pout. After all, we’re Americans. We perfected the pout. In fact, this whole idea came to me the other night watching the news. A group of protesters were sitting in front of a government building bobbing signs telling everyone why they were unhappy.  Passers-by sometimes commented in favor of or against their cause, but as long as they were not breaking any laws, nobody sent the pouters to their rooms or took away their TV time.

That's when it occurred to me to turn the whole "you better not pout" song up-side-down.  I got so excited at the possibilities here that I almost wanted my child to pout.   What if we allowed children to pout or more specifically to air their grievances in writing or drawing in the form of  "pouting posters".  They would take a piece of paper and draw or write how they feel.  Maybe it would be, “I wanted the blue one," or "I don’t like my sister ’cause she won at Go Fish," or even, “mom‘s unfair”. We could even  help them tape the pouting poster to a stick and show them how to bob the sign meaningfully. No Santa threats, no lost privileges, just freedom of expression. It may or may not not change why the pouters are pouting, but they will get a chance to make their feelings known. They might even get so busy creating their signs that they forget all about  pouting.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying pouting should be encouraged. Many kids don’t pout and are thoroughly annoyed when others do it. But, I guess if I had to choose between whining, a tantrum, swinging arms, or a pout I would choose the pout. Besides they’re going to learn sooner or later that pouting is protected under the United States Constitution (kind of?). So, I say, in the spirit of an American tradition, don't suppress the pout, experiment with it as an opportunity for your child to express herself”  Free printable  "pouting posters"  at then go to freebies

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