Friday, March 6, 2015

Discipline for Mommy

When Jon and I were first married I was a nanny for a two year old.  She was sweet and shy, but also full of things to say.  She loved to read books and loved arts and crafts.  She also liked to go on walks and swing.  I watched her for just over a year because Jon and I moved away.

To be honest my least favorite age is 2-3 years old.  It's a hard age.  I like doing more advanced puzzles, games, and activities.  My favorite ages are 4-6 years.  For some of you that might seem like not much of an age gap, while others know exactly what I mean.

But when I was a nanny I didn't mind her age at all.  Her personality was more like a four year old.  She was well behaved and mined her manners.  She was also fully potty trained.  Her and I had a lot of fun together.  She is such a sweetheart.

Now what?

"Must get this phone off!"

I have a two year old.  In about a month my daughter will be the age of the girl I watched.  Ellie is so different.  I'm not sure where she fits on development or communication in comparison.  But that doesn't matter.  However my daughter isn't anywhere potty trained.  She persists to "go" in her diaper.  She behaves well for others, but gets angry with me.  She screams and hits me constantly.... just because she wants to.  Or because she's mad about something.  Or because she's two.

(No picture of the hitting. My hands are full.)

I was so glad to hear that her teachers at church tell me she behaves well for them.  She is a delight to have in their class.  That blessed me, because she can be horrible at home.  Jon and I look at each other constantly and ask "now what?"

Discipline is such a hard thing to figure out.  Toddlers need grace.  Toddlers need nurturing.  Toddlers need reassurance.  They don't know how to communicate.  They are incapable to understand consequences.  Don't spank.  Don't do time outs.  Don't shame your child.  Don't give in.  Stay consistent.

At what point do we know the correct way to parent our child(ren)?

So many years I spent taking care of other people's children during the day.  I saw different kinds of parenting styles.  Some I disagreed with and some I was blessed to witness.

But at what point do we stop trying and start doing?  What will make the difference?  What is going to change?

We need to take our energy and place it in our hearts.  We need to encourage one another that we are not alone.  That sometimes goldfish for lunch is okay.  Because the more we spend on questioning our parenting the more we lose track of who our child is becoming.

Singing Happy Birthday!

Jon and I are both introverts.  We are pretty calm people.  We don't bring out drama, but we knows there's a time and place for it.  Our Ellie is not like that at all.  If we try to spend so much time on forcing her to be "like us" what will she become?  Ellie gains so much excitement from being around people.  She has lots of energy and says hi to everyone she sees (and continues to say it until you respond).  Her gifts of being more outward is a blessing to us.  Some day that will be a great gift to have.  Meanwhile how do we help her face her anger and frustrations when the world comes her way?

Ellie's here!!

Today we have to figure out the boundaries of where our discipline lies and her personality freedoms drive.  Let her be herself without disrespect.  Enjoy the blessings she gives us for who she is and not what we wish she could be.

Our daughter is a blessing and they are overflowing.  Some days I just need that reminder.