Saturday, July 16, 2011

Just a "typical mom" blog post

Home alone with Kiana today.  Just had to put her in her crib to cry it out (I don't like doing that and have only ever done that 2 other times.  Tim and I don't believe in letting her cry it out.  I always lay down with her until she falls asleep.  But she won't go down for a nap today and I need a break.  But if she's screaming and crying in there for more than 5 minutes I will go get her.)

I read this yesterday 7 Discipline Mistakes All Mom's Make ( ).  Here's an excerpt: 

We're too negative.

"Don't hit your sister!" "Stop pulling the dog's tail!" The number of things you tell your toddler or preschooler not to do is endless.

THE FIX Ask for the behavior you want to see. Nobody wants to raise a child who doesn't understand limits, but "parents say 'no' so frequently that kids become deaf to it -- and the word loses its power," Dr. Borba explains. Moreover, "we often tell kids not to do something without letting them know what they should be doing," notes Linda Sonna, Ph.D., author of The Everything Toddler Book. So save the naysaying for truly dangerous situations (think: fork in the electrical socket or your child eating the spider plant), and focus on telling kids how you would like them to behave. For example, instead of, "No standing in the bathtub!" try, "We sit down in the bathtub because it's slippery." Later, when you notice your kid splashing away in a seated position, offer some praise ("I like how you're sitting!") to reinforce her good behavior.

Before she reached the toddler stage I thought I could do this, that I wouldn't be one of those mom's who said "no" all the time.  But, (ha!) now I'm thinking is this even possible?   Yes, maybe Tim and I could cut down on the "no's" (I think we started doing it without even realizing it), but turning a no around into something more positive sure does take a lot more work, a lot more thought, and a lot more words.  I tried this today.   I do pick my battles and let her get away with stuff that's really no big deal, but some days I feel like I'm saying no all of the time.

Today I got to the point where I started throwing away toys.  She has this little cheapy plastic duck (looks like a Happy Meal toy) that she started scraping on the wall.  I asked her to stop, that we don't scrap anything along the walls (she's made marks before so we have a rule that nothing touches the walls; that it is not ok to color or make marks on the walls.).  I told her that the toy is to be played with on the floor and if she scraped the wall again I would throw it away.  (I had taken it away from her a few days ago for the same reason and she found it again today so this time it was getting thrown out!)  So that is what I did, after having to chase her around the living room to get it.  That brought tears. 

Last week I bought those magic Crayola no mess markers that only show up on special coloring book paper so that I wouldn't always have to supervise her every time she wants to color; a coloring book I could just leave out for her to get to on her own.  Well, the past few days I've caught her sucking on the tips or putting it on like lipstick.  Yes, I know it's non-toxic but I still don't want it in her mouth.  If I allow her to put them in her mouth what is going to stop her from putting a Sharpie in her mouth if she finds one of those in the house?  So I told her that if she did that again I would throw it away.  It went in the trash!  

It's hard at this age because she's still kind of too young to understand.    I think I need to find a mom's group or socialize with more moms so I can talk about this stuff and get ideas.  This is all so foreign to me and I know this is all normal toddler behavior, but I'd like to know that I'm not the only mom ready to pull my hair out.  How do mothers of 3 or 4 or 5 do it? (Or does it get easier with 2?  Anyone with more than 2 under the age of 5, or a single-mom is a "super-mom" in my book.)  Some people must have amazing patience!  Or maybe they let their kids run wild?  Or maybe they are yelling and screaming all the time?  Or maybe their kid is in front of the t.v. all day?  Some days are exhausting.

And the thing is, I believe I was blessed with a pretty easy child.  Most friends that baby-sit her are amazed by her.  The morning went very smoothly.  She doesn't need constant attention, she plays quietly and contently on her own while I'm preparing meals and cleaning up.  She's a very happy girl.  Very pleasant and sweet. Not high maintenance.   It's mainly in the afternoons, when we are both tired, that I notice her testing her boundaries more.

Anyway, Kiana is now asleep. Didn't take long. 

btw:  I got out of changing a poopy diaper today because she went in the toilet.  yay!

*** And yes, I did notice that the title of the article contained the word ALL. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Toddler Years

I don’t know how I am going to survive.  I thought I was a very patient person but I’m discovering that having a toddler takes more patience than I might have... and definitely way more energy than I have.  Some days I feel like either breaking down in tears or screaming,

Kiana is 20 months and is getting to the age where she is testing her boundaries, climbing on everything, getting into everything, not listening, and throwing tantrums.  I read up on toddler discipline: to be consistent, to pick your battles, to be patient, to stick to your guns.  But soon, if not already, she’s going to discover that mom can’t catch her and I’m afraid she’s going to take advantage of that.  

I’m not sure how I am going to approach this.  It’s not like I can just easily pick her up and remove her from the situation or room  Or if she gets ahold of something she’s not supposed to have, I can’t just chase her around the house (fyi: dangerous things are far from reach or in locked drawers).  Or what about time-outs?  How am I supposed to get her to the time-out chair?  I’ve considered doing what all mom’s do, counting one-two-three, but then I wonder what can I physically do once I get to three?   That is going to be ineffective because she’s going to learn that I can’t do anything once I get to three because I can’t pick her up or I can’t catch her.

This is going to be frustrating for me.  Sometimes after I’ve taken her off of the counter top or table three times in a row I feel like just giving up (I have to sit in a chair to remove her because I don’t have the balance to remove her while standing), but letting her on the counter top to get into things she’s not supposed to is not only dangerous but also inconsistent when I tell her no the first three times.  

Any other physically disabled mothers have any pointers for me?  What worked for you?