Bad Mom Advice: Your Biting Toddler And Your Makeup Hoarding Teen Make Me Think You Need To Chill The Eff Out

largeWelcome to my weekly Bad Mom Advice column where I attempt to answer all of your parenting questions as only I know how — with zero degree in early childhood development, but with the experience of raising four kids and not having any of them in prison – yet! Plus, I back all my advice on numerous scientific research, which may or may not include me making fun of your dumb kid behind your back and drinking a bunch of wine! Welcome to Bad Mom Advice!

I’m so embarrassed to write this but you said we could be anonymous so here goes. My two-year-old son has started biting me and my husband when he is angry and frustrated. We have tried time outs but it isn’t working. How can we get him to stop biting us? He usually does it at bedtime or when he has to leave the park, any time we have to lift him up to take him somewhere or to bed. He doesn’t have many tantrums but the biting needs to stop. 

Because this is Bad Mom Advice I was hoping I could find a baby-sized mask like the type Hannibal Lector wore in the Silence Of The Lambs and just link you to that, but no such luck. I’m sorry your kid is a biter, but lots of kids are biters. They bite because they aren’t great at articulating their feelings, and because you are being a bitch and making them leave the park. God, Mom! Why you gotta be so NOT fun? The first thing you need to do is firmly tell your kid “No biting. Biting hurts Mom (or Dad). We don’t bite. What the hell is your problem?” Or if you aren’t a bad mom like me you can say “No biting, biting hurts. Tell me why you are upset.” You want to teach them to tell you why they are mad rather than resorting to taking a hunk out of your arm or wherever.  Explain to them the next time they bite that they will lose a privilege or put them in an age-appropriate length time out. You should never, ever bite your child in retaliation, all that teaches them is that hey, my mom can bite too, this sucks. If the stern reminder and the time out don’t work, you can place your hand over their mouth and remind them “We do not bite.” I’m sure as soon as your kid is able to better express why they are upset, the biting will cease. Until then, I suggest long sleeves. Made of Kevlar.

My daughter is 13 and I have told her I don’t want her wearing makeup yet. The other day I was putting away her laundry and discovered a cosmetic’s counter worth of drugstore makeup in her pajama drawer. When I confronted her about this she told me she goes to the drug store with her friend who lives in walking distance of one and that she uses her own babysitting money so I shouldn’t be upset. All of her friends wear makeup and she wants to. Advice? 

Oh man, I did the same damn thing and I’m sure you did to. All girls buy makeup in secret or steal makeup to wear from their own mothers or older siblings. I can remember my own mom totally busting me for wearing some really ugly frosty blue eyeshadow I had stolen from my older sister when I was about 12. I think a lot of moms don’t want our daughters wearing makeup until they are older, we feel they are beautiful just as they are, we worry about their little pores clogging, and how wearing a full face of black eyeliner and dark red lipstick can sexualize a girl who may not have even started her period yet. But overall, makeup is harmless as long as it is worn minimally and your daughter fully understands she doesn’t need it. I think 13 is a perfectly fine age to start experimenting with it. I’m not crazy when I see young girls wearing more makeup than I do. I just don’t think it’s appropriate. I don’t think it makes them “sexy” or any of that other slut-shamey logic, I just think they have their entire lives to wear makeup and they should enjoy not wearing it for as long as possible. That being said, it sounds like your daughter is already wearing it so I would suggest finding an agreement you can both live with, like limiting how much she wears, when she wears it, and how she wears it, so she isn’t leaving the house with gigantic surprised eyebrows or something. It is also the time that you can remind her not to share her makeup with others so she and her little pals don’t swap eye infections and all that. I can’t give you any advice for talking your daughter out of wearing it because I just don’t feel like it’s that big of an issue. It’s not like a little bit of blush and mascara is suddenly going to make her become knocked up at age 15 or something. As long as she isn’t emulating Courtney Stodden and asking for an increase on her allowance to take on-line “acting” classes, I think she’ll be fine.

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