Sometimes I need a filter between my brain and my mouth.
This is not the way to get one.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Naughty and Nice

So I had some time off last week to get a bit more organised with the relocating etc. And to try and get some quality time with my baby girl to get a better understanding where all this upset, tantrum-ish behaviour is coming from.

I mean, I know it's because there's been a huge upheaval in her life. And considering she's only 19 months and this is house #3 for her (although, we moved from house 1 to house 2 when she was 4 months old!) the change in scenery and new rules around stairs and whatnot are obviously causing some angst.

So much so that when I dropped her at daycare this morning she had a meltdown like it was the first time I had ever left her there.

It broke my heart, and it does every time I hear her cry, and no matter how many times I said I loved her and I would be back for her in the afternoon, it made no difference to how she or I were feeling. Just craptacular.

Rewind to last Thursday and I wasn't winning any 'parent of the year' awards then, either. I used the naughty spot for the first time. Twice. In 20 minutes. And the subsequent howling resembled the sound I think someone would make if their left leg as being torn off by a mulcher. But I'm just not prepared to let her bite.

They have been the longest 1 minute intervals of my life. And I had to forcibly stop myself from turning back and picking her up off the naughty spot and cuddling her and telling her I was sorry for trying to teach her right from wrong and from now on she could do whatever she likes.

But then 2 images entered my head....an image of being a biter (like her charming little friend whom she picked it up from. And he's a product of 'gentle parenting'. I believe the term his parents are looking for is 'Can't be arsed' or 'Letting him do whatever and hoping the rest of the world does the teaching for me'. I'm sorry, but it really shits me when parents use the term 'gentle parenting' and unlike the actual application of it, make it a free-for-all and their kids have no boundaries, never learn there are consequences for actions and the parents then have the nerve to get cranky with others for trying to defend their children from the attack of their out of control banshees! A good example is a post from Bad Mummy on kids in the playground...and I think it showcases parents who don't care and have never bothered to teach their children the right thing...but I digress - sorry!!) and an image of a chainsaw weilding maniac. It was then I realised that unless I wanted to guide her along the path to having unrealistic expectations of life and getting really pissed at the world for it not allowing her to do whatever the hell she wanted when I always did, then I needed to be firm and consistent. I don't want her to be responsible for exacting a terrible revenge on an 'unfair' world when really it was lessons she did or didn't learn when she was younger that caused her to become Marilyn Manson's evil twin.

And so she stayed on the spot. For 1 whole minute. And at the end I went to her and knealt on the floor with her and explained why she was on the naughty spot, asked her to say sorry to me and then ended the event with a kiss and a cuddle and an 'I love you' just to try and make her understand that I do it because I want her to be a kind person - not a fruitcake.

But hello, we are now almost a week later and there hasn't been a sigle bite from her.

So excuse me if I do a little dance and pat myself on the back. I am feeling SUPER about having something non traumatic work so well for my little Peanut. It got the point across and that's all I wanted.

I feel like I have just climbed the highest mountain of my parenting journey so far, and did it with oxygen to spare and my Tibetian guide and his Llama still alive.

1 comment :

  1. Yay for no biting! Hopefully she'll keep it up and another YAY for you too.

    Being consistent is something that's been really hard for me. I tend to have a lot of days when I'm more or less tolerant of things than I should be...

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment - it helps validate the fact that I'm not just talking to myself.

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