After my son’s cub scout meeting this evening he was super excited to play Skylanders Superchargers, as the Easter mom brought him a new hero and car. Unfortunately, he had to wait for the Xbox to do its update, which took forever. So, being bored and unable to leave the TV, he started to pick his nose and declared, “I just wanna pick my Schnoz!” after I told him to get his finger out of his nose. I laughed, but then I started thinking, and as per usual, thinking always leads to Googling.
After much Googling, it turns out the only good way to get your kid to stop picking his nose is peer ridicule. Essentially, what I took away from the articles, was that no matter what the consequence, peers making fun of you is way more effective than any mom consequence.
Peers have more sway over my six year old? That’s pretty crazy. I try to remember my youth, but like most realistic humans (that sometimes see the glass as half empty, or the glass in need of more liquor and may at times be referred to as pessimists), I tend to recall all the negatives of my schooling experience. I read once negative experiences are easier to take with us whereas positives are easier to forget, and as much as the statement bothers me, it certainly proved it’s point by sticking with me. I mean, I saw a boatload of kids movies growing up, yet the two that stick out most in my mind are Hellraiser II and the original Poltergeist, as both had scenes that were absolutely terrifying to my small child self. I still hate mirrors at night, and don’t even get me started on maggots. Ugh, skin creepy crawly little bastards! It was fourth grade when I realized I was different than so many of my peers; we were standing outside in the snow, the girls all huddled up to ward off the cold, and I felt so awkward, so different, so unable to say anything that wasn’t stupid sounding. My best friend stood next to me, so outgoing, and I thought to myself, ‘I will never be like that.’
I cried a lot in the privacy of my bedroom. Had my first black phase in fourth grade. Slept through days at a time because no one called and I felt there was no good reason to get out of bed. Fought with my mom about the stupidest bullshit. And school was a lonely, landmine of a nightmare. Most days I went unnoticed aside from my academic achievements, but other days I was not so lucky. Funny side note: in high school, the people you hang out with don’t always like you. Sometimes a friend group is a default and despite not being liked, the alternative is worse.
And I wonder, what will my child take with him into adulthood? Will he be shy, awkward, and overly analytical of every word that comes out of his mouth? Will he outwardly disregard the norms of his peers and inwardly yearn for acceptance? Will he be pushed until he breaks and finally punches the bully like his father did? And how do we ensure the best possible scenarios for our children?
I mean, I guess we just have to do the best we can with what we know, right?
Don’t pick your schnoz, and don’t be super upset if you get caught picking your schnoz and someone makes fun of you. These words have left my mouth. My child knows it is frowned upon. I told him eventually someone will notice and might make fun of him, yet he absolutely refuses to blow his nose.
I wonder what my kid is going to remember about his childhood, about his school experiences, the friends he has and the kids who were mean to him?
Will he remember the declaration, “I just wanna pick my schnoz!”? Well, if he does, my biggest hope is that he turns it into a kick ass punk rock song.