Velociraptors, Fences and the Rigors of Parenting

April 12, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

“Cloften, with a title like that, this had better be a good post…no great post…hmm, how about just better than mediocre ramblings with an obscure pop culture reference.”  Sorry Reader (intentionally singular), that’s exactly what this is.

You ever have one of those days where one of your kids is just relentlessly pounding you? Or they keep doing the same bad thing over and over again or they are consistently nagging/hounding you? (”Can I ______?” “No” “Please” “No” (repeat indefinitely or until all of hair has fallen out))  No, of course not.  Only other people’s kids do that.  Well, you can still read this, so you can help other parents.

I have dubbed this Velociraptor mode.  This comes from a great scene in Jurassic Park. (Now listen, I consider myself pretty interweb-savvy, and Utoob savvy.  I looked for this clip and couldn’t find it.  If you find it, I will insert the link and I will dub you Dork of the Week)  In this scene, Robert Muldoon (the creepy/super-cool park ranger guy) is explaining to the scientists how the velociraptors conduct themselves in their electric pen.  They systematically go around from one section of the fence to another ramming it full force.  They get knocked out, and then another one will do the same to another section.  The scientists ask why and he says they are testing it for weaknesses.

If you have a child that is over 2, then the analogy is pretty clear and we should just close in prayer. “Dear God, Please help me not put down my velociraptor. Amen.”  If it is not apparent, let me help.  Your kid is constantly testing the borders and weaknesses of the boundaries and rules that you have.  They act like there is no fence there, they don’t care if they are about to get electrocuted (metaphorically of course).  They want to know if there is any weakness in the fence.

So here is the (semi) rhetorical question, will your fence hold? Here’s another one, should your fence hold? Or is the Velociraptor phase, an indication that you have built your fence in the wrong place? Is surrender a good idea?  The idea of surrender is clearly tested most at Wal-Mart.  (Here’s a theory. Actually 2.  The put something in the air at the mall to make men exhausted.  They put something similar in the air at Wal-Mart to make kids throw tantrums)

The fence has to hold.  If you have put good, healthy boundaries on your kid and they start fighting, you have to hold firm.  Kids will do fight, test and rebel.  I can tell you that at ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 that they will.  I’ll let you know about 14 next year, though I’m pretty sure I have solid idea already.  You need to hold strong, and here is why.  Kids want and need the fence to hold.  They are safe and secure there.  The most anxious, angry, fearful kids I know are the one with little or no or variable boundaries.  They are never safe and never at peace.  There is no structure or boundaries to protect them.

I know it’s hard.  I know you are tired.  I know that it is just easier to let them have cake for dinner, go to sleep in your bed and throw rocks at the house. Trust me, in their heart they need to know that you are protecting them.  That’s why the boundaries are there.  That’s why they don’t get to play around the stove or run with scissors.  Similarly that’s why they need a nap and need to eat some fruit (shout out to my mom there).

I promise you that if your fence hold even in the hard times, both you and your kids will be happier and safer in the long-term.

But watch out, Newman might be deactivating the security system during a huge rainstorm and be trying to steal some dinosaur DNA.  If that happens, you are in trouble no matter what.

(If you haven’t seen the movie you are 100% confused.  Only 40% confused if you have)


One Response to “Velociraptors, Fences and the Rigors of Parenting”
  1. matt says:

    Money Newman reference. Oh, the rest of the post was spot on too.

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