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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Health Note: Cayenne Pepper Stops Bleeding

Yesterday I chopped off the very tip of my finger--the chunk of skin that I found on the counter was about 1/4" diameter. The bleeding was impressive for such a small cut and it wouldn't stop. I wrapped my wound in a paper towel and twenty minutes after it happened I was shocked to see blood still rolling out of my finger. I googled it to see if I should go to the ER and get stitches. What I found was a site that recommended sprinkling cayenne pepper on the wound to stop the bleeding. I didn't like the sound of that but after fifteen more minutes decided to give it a try.

I sprinkled barely any cayenne pepper, sure that it would sting and not work and I would be sorry. But what happened was AWESOME. My wound was still producing a large droop of blood every half second. I sprinkled almost no cayenne on the wound. It stung; I swore. And then I watched as a scab formed. In about five seconds I was no longer bleeding and my finger was covered in a shiny scab. It was insane to watch since it happen so fast.

Anyway, cheers to the internet and free, natural cures!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Non-Coercive Parenting: When My Toddler Won't Get In His Car Seat

When my toddler, Anders, doesn't want to get in or out of the car, I don't make him.

The other day my husband, our friend Ryan, my son Anders and I went out to eat. When we parked at the restaurant, Anders wanted to hang out in the car. I explained the situation to Ryan thus: "If Anders were another adult friend who turned to us and said, 'Hey guys, I need a few minutes to collect myself before we go into the restaurant. Would you mind waiting?' We would say, 'Sure, no problem.' And we would all wait. I see no reason we should not wait for Anders." Anders hung out in car for about five minutes and then told us he was "all done" and the four of us went happily into the restaurant.

At the peak of Anders's desire to spend time in the car (17-19 months approximately) about half an hour before I wanted to leave to go somewhere, I would invite him to get into the car. When he was done researching all the nooks and crannies in the front seat, he would climb into the back, get into his car seat and call me. Then we would leave. I loved this as I got a lot done in that time!

Often we when we did errands, he would want to get into the driver seat and do some exploring before heading home as well. At first this annoyed me, and then I thought, "What am I rushing home for? So that Anders and I can be together... at home? So that we could go to the park? There is nothing more important that I need to be doing than being with Anders."

It was an easy switch: before we went home, Anders would sit in the front seat pressing buttons, happy as could be and I would sit in the back seat, getting my email on my phone and reading, happy as could be.

Because Anders gets to go at his own pace so often, he is very respectful of the times when I want to rush. Whenever I tell him we are in a hurry, he gets right into his car seat or right out with no issues.

To be clear, I did forced Anders into his car seat about twice in his life. Both times I felt horrible and both times involved me choosing to use force against my toddler rather than to "disappoint" someone by "being late." Though I am rarely late for things, if given the choice today I would choose my relationship with my son over the imagined offense of tardiness.

Kohlberg's theory of moral development comes to mind here--in stages four and five we "follow the rules". We would never want to be bad boys and girls by breaking the social rule of not being on time. But in the final stage of moral development, we follow our own inner sense of right and wrong and welcome others to do the same. We know that being late isn't shameful and that people with high self-esteem will not feel slighted if we run behind schedule. In my experience, people are usually happy that I feel it is important to show respect to the distinguished visitor I have traveling with me who just wants some time to do what he sees me doing so that he can learn to be competent at life.