Sunday Evening Thoughts

Hello friends, how was your weekend?
For the most part, I had a great weekend. I'm up late tonight winding down, getting ready for the week to come.

I've been thinking a lot about parenting the past few days and had some thoughts I wanted to share. Burl and I spent most of the weekend over at my parents house on Whidbey Island. My mom and I took Burl to the Choochokam Arts festival on Saturday.

Burl's behavior this weekend was difficult, which made it hard to enjoy the festival. He has thoughts and ideas and opinions that are strong and very important to him. Sometimes his ideas clash with mine. And sometimes he wants things I don't think are good for him. Like climbing big trees with big kids, or eating candy, or running down the street, or being naked the entire weekend. And if I don't handle the situation correctly, the melt downs happen. But his perfect little mind is developing, and his behavior is very age-appropriate.

I've been thinking about how I feel when I have an idea that I pose to someone close to me. How do I feel when my ideas are belittled, or ignored, or patronized? It really frustrates me. And Burl most certainly feels the same way.

A while back I watched this video. I love this man. This weekend helped me more fully realize that the tantrums, the melt-downs, and the arguments between Burl and I are so easy to diffuse, if I handle the situations correctly. Burl loves when I listen to his ideas, and he's good at listening to mine, and I know he understands so much more than I'm aware of. I've learned that if I don't resort to the standard American parenting tactics - losing my patients, time-outs, letting him cry, spanking, locking him in a room alone to work things out, etc. - most situations can be turned around into a positive experience. I just have to get really creative sometimes to think of something to redirect his attention.

I'm also learning more and more that his negative behavior can be corrected with just a little bit of tender attention between the two of us. For example, if he's getting rough while playing with other children, and I take him aside, snuggle him and tell him a little story, explain why it's important to be gentle with others, he calms right down. I love what Dr. Neufeld has to say about giving attention - Why is it so wrong if a child needs attention?

So those are some of my rambling thoughts on being a mother. My experience has been that Much negative behavior in toddlers can be corrected with more positive, loving attention given to the child.

Have a good week my friends, I'll be back in the morning. xo.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. I have friends with toddlers and they say the same thing, that gentle correction and understanding go along way. When they react negatively then it all gets out of hand. Something to keep in mind when my husband and I have our own children. :)

Natalie said...

Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that i like to discipline with a loving attitude of patience and understanding. It makes me and my kids happier. But, lately my little Abby, my two year old, does not obey for the life of me I have tried everything, seriously. I know that sometimes when people tell me that I can't do this, can't do that, I don't like it too, just like my two year old. But then I have to remember I am her parent, her guider, to be kind to others and to teach her (she teaches me too) But I have had to resort to timeouts and stern voice and removing her from what she is doing, b/c she does not obey hardly, and its when she is doing something that could harm her or is dangerous or against what we believe in. I have never spanked any of my kids until Abigail, twice only, but she never ever did it again, I did not do it really hard at all, but I felt terrible. I was not angry when I did it though, just tried positive reinforcement, rewards, special time with me, gentleness, loving warnings, taking away what she wanted, prayers, sitting with her for timeout, HELP AMBER, what do you think I should do? She is responding better now after the two spanking times, now I just have to say no sternly, not angry or loud, just serious and she is stopping. It's for things like going in the street by cars, sticking things in plugs, trying to cut things herself, trying to hold our baby and covering her up by herself (which I know she is not trying to be bad or do something wrong, she is just loving and sweet and curious and fun) You are fabulous!