Why I Take My Kid Everywhere
It started when T was 5 months old. I was getting pretty close to my pre pregnancy weight and started putting myself back out into the dance world. I got a call from a music artist at around 6pm asking if I could attend a rehearsal later that night. I explained that I had a 5 month old and would have to find someone to watch him. She said bring him. This is the impetus that caused me to take my kid everywhere.
Since having Tyler, he has come with me when I choreographed numerous musicals for high school, college, and community theater. He had come with me when I teach dance class. He recently went to see Star Wars in the theaters. He comes out to dinner, parties, weddings, and various other events.
This is great for me! I don’t have to always find a baby sitter. I get to spend time with my son and expose him to what I do. He has been able to experience live music and theater at a year old. On breaks, we get to eat and play together. And I of course get to show him off. What can be better than that?!
This is also great for T. At an early age he has been observing how to act around adults. He doesn’t shout or scream. He isn’t climbing on tables or running around restaurants. He doesn’t disturb fellow movie goers. He has learned how to act with adults in social situations.
Now I won’t tell you he is perfection. There are times when mommy is teaching that he wants mommy now. And there a few occasions when he hasn’t napped and can then be super fussy. I can count on one hand the number of times we have had to take him outside to calm down. But he has learned that if I say wait and then I will help you, I actually will. So he has slightly more patience than he would otherwise have.
He has also learned to be more comfortable around strangers. Of course, if he walks into a room full of loud college kids at rehearsal, he starts out shy. But he quickly warms up. If we get to rehearsal early and the kids trickle in, he is a ham. He also plays with the people I teach. If I’m working with one group of dancers, he is OK playing with the rest without me having to be there playing with him.
I truly believe that exposing him to adult social situations early on has taught him how to act around adults. We don’t have melt downs in restaurants, we don’t have talking in movies, and we have a kid that friends actually want us to bring to parties and social gatherings.
An added bonus is that my 3 year old is now also very cultured. He sings show tunes, has been to various museum exhibits, he quotes movies, and makes various pop culture references. He understands humor and makes conversation with adults. We couldn’t be happier or more proud.
Tell us how you expose your kids to proper behavior around adults.
Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven. Feel free to send Emily a message using the email me tab above.