Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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January 5th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Social Commentary

It’s dad versus kids again at The McLane Household in Brooklyn. So it’s time for another installment of Tips For Dads.

Both Nodari and Sofia have had an exciting Christmas (part one that is because Orthodox Christmas and New Years starts this coming Saturday), and it’s time to get back to routines. And that means a certain, gentle, testing of wills.

First Nodari.

With an 11 year old who has the cognitive abilities to understand positive and negative reinforcement it’s fairly easy. Bring home bad grades or misbehave, we take something away. To inspire you to behave and get good grades, we generally use the carrot and the stick approach. For instance, going to the schoolyard to practice field goal kicking or letting his friend sleep over and watch Kung Fu movies. I just came up with another great idea – the first annual Kings Highway DUMB OUT. This is a competition wherein which we’ll pit the kids against eachother to see who can withstand the most SpongeBob Squarepants episodes in a row.

spongebob dumb out

spongebob dumb out

Pretty clever huh?

With Sofia I have been learning on the fly.

My friend David told me that it’s generally not a good idea to let the kids watch TV until they’re two years old. And for the most part we’ve stuck to this. Except my Aunt Maxine got a Baby Songs DVD for her first birthday. With songs like “My Mommy Comes Back” and “Piggy Toes”, the DVD has a long history and list of fans who sware by it. And it’s true that when this DVD is on, Sofia loves it – she’s almost hypnotized. I once blogged about MIFFY on PBS Kids being somewhat of a savior while I was studying for my Life and Health Exam and Shorena was at work (see previous post).

The downside however is that now she points to it almost everyday and we’ve had to deny her. Sometimes we’ll play Teletubbies in bed to get her to go to sleep but the same thing happens, everynight she’s pointing at the iTouch.

Tonight though I wasn’t going to give in and decided to use my iPod Nano but as a different means to an end.

First I flipped the script on my daughter with Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” The sound of Ian Curtis’ voice and the hypnotic synths in the background stunned her. Then I gave her a little Bruce Springsteen (Atlantic City – Acoustic Live) followed by Simple Minds’ “Belfast Child.”

Now when I picked her up her head went right onto my shoulder. So I went for the take down in two words…. Elton John.

I was prepared to go through the whole playlist which included such great songs as Butterflies are Free, Someone Saved My Life Tonight (notice a pattern with all these songs? They’re all slow and moody). But she didn’t make it past Rocket Man, Bennie and The Jets and was done at Philadelphia Freedom.

Here’s a complete playlist for all you dads with particularly tough cases.

Rocket Man
Bennie and The Jets
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Philadelphia Freedom
Goodbye YellowBrick Road
Candle In The Wind
Someone Saved My Life Tonight

You should be good by this point. Sleeping like an baby.

Daddy’s little angel, Mommy’s little cupcake. Yummm.

Sofia McLane falls asleep listening to Elton John

Sofia McLane falls asleep listening to Elton John

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One Comment so far ↓

  • Dua

    Hi Brian,
    I like read what you write. Such great job. You are great dad and hopefull every dads is like you:)

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