On Her Flying Trapeze

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some Bumps in the Road

becidedOkay, Dawg. I’m watching American Idol as I type this. I think this is the 7th episode I’ve watched this season. I’m sort of an “idle” Idol fan. If I happen to be avoiding certain growing mounds of festering house chores on any given Tuesday night or I’ve spent so much time “parenting” my 3-year-old that my brain is rattling around loose in my head, I turn on the tube.

Maybe it’s just cathartic to watch someone else get ripped on. I don’t know. We’ve been having a few parenting “issues” lately. Every time we think we’ve got things pretty much figured out, Laylee throws us another curve ball. If nothing else, parenting is making us humble.

Okay. American Idol is over and there’s nothing not-icky on TV so I can continue to type this. First, I must say that Katharine McPhee was hands down the best performer tonight. I don’t know what type of crazy corned-beef hash-pipe they’re passing around at that judges table.

So, the parenting. Laylee’s been getting more confident in her ability to exert her own authority and only do something if SHE “becides” it’s a good idea. Our instincts are to get all authoritarian-I’m-the-boss-of-you on her and verbalize her into submission.

However, our advanced verbal skills are no match for her lungs, stubbornness and flailing appendages. How do you “make” someone go to sleep (in a “they”-won’t-take-your-kids-away-from-you sort of way)?

I spoke with a family therapist who is a follower of Adlerian parenting philosophies and he suggests not fighting back unless what they’re doing is a real hazard, thus taking the “sails out of their wind” when they have nothing to push against.

So two nights ago when she was dancing naked in the hall with the light on and a washcloth on her head at 11:00pm, we ignored her. At 5:00am, Dan found her out of her pull-ups with a big mess on the floor. I consider that a hazard. She had also stacked up several containers, forming a precarious tower with which to scale her tall dresser. Also a hazard.

Yesterday I started madly reading the first of four books our therapist friend had suggested, Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen. I was seriously nervous that it would be one of those hippy-dippy, positive-at-all-costs, feel-the-love method books. “You just kicked Mommy in the head, darling. What did I do to make you feel that way? Please stop causing Mommy blunt head trauma, sweet little muffin-bum, child of the earth.” I really annoy myself when I speak in third person.

We’re not major authoritarians but we definitely believe that children need limits and we serve them better acting as parents than pretending we’re all just buddies, hanging out in this little frat-condo we’re so lucky to cohabitate.

So far I really like the book, shockingly so. Dr Nelsen talks a lot about showing respect for your children and expecting it in return. She also talks about natural and logical consequences, kindness and firmness at the same time, mutual respect, encouragement, and the role of chores and responsibility from an early age.

One good point she brings up is that traditional “punishment” just makes a child feel resentment, desire for revenge, rebelliousness or retreating with a possible reduction in self-esteem. How do you feel when someone corrects or berates you, showing no kindness or respect? Children feel the same way. They’re human too...well, most of them. SURPRISE!

I also like her because she says that if any of her suggestions go against your parental instincts, don’t do them. I love a parenting book that takes into account that I am a fully developed adult-type person with a brain who has actually met my children and might know what they need. I will keep reading and let you know what I make of it all.

As for this moment, I should probably attempt to clean up some of the dresser drawers and their contents that are currently strewn about my home. I removed the hazardous dresser and tall bookshelf from Laylee’s room and have been shuffling furniture around for the safety of all concerned.

Every surface in my house is covered in books, clothing, the personal effects of several Disney princesses and Desitin…which brings me to a point – American Idol. Isn’t there ANYTHING else on TV right now?

airwalks(For a little fun, I’ve included a picture of the outfit she “becided” to wear to her playdate today. It’s a little too WWF for my personal taste but it did look fairly smashing when she added her bouncy pink Airwalks.)

48 Comments:

Blogger Regina Clare Jane said...

Again, I am so lame in this department because I don't have any kids so no practical experience to speak from, but, I have found that sometimes you have to "match the resistance" as it were- gently, but letting the child know that there are limits to how far she can go and that you will not allow her to do anything that may actually, in some way, be a detriment to her, whether it be not getting enough sleep or making a mess for others to clean up.
That's as far as my expertise goes-I do think reading parenting books are a great thing, though. That's why they're there- to help!

4/05/2006 2:17 AM

 
Blogger Jeana said...

Surely by "playdate" you meant runway? It GORGEOUS, dahling!

4/05/2006 3:59 AM

 
Blogger Undercover Angel said...

The books by Barbara Coloroso are great too. She also has some videos.

4/05/2006 5:16 AM

 
Blogger Heth said...

Laylee is a superstar. Gemma has those happy, stripey, rainbow tights too. I wish they were in MY size, they make me smile. (I'm sure if I wore them, they would make other people "smile" too)

The most recent parenting book I'm running to for some answers is Kevin Lehman's "Making Children Mind without Losing Yours" He speaks of letting reality be their discipline. I really like what he has to say.

Happy parenting!

4/05/2006 5:58 AM

 
Anonymous slawebb said...

I'm new to your blog but I just have to make a comment. I am going through the exact same thing with my 3.75 year old. It's been going on for awhile. Boy is it tough. We are seeing a therapist and she has brought up many good points. we use the reward system with a sticker behavior chart to earn pionts. That has helped with the tantrums. We still have them and they are aweful, but we have fewer or them. We also are readinga great book called "Raising your Spirited Child." It is just the book I need to understand my child. Spirited kids are different then other kids and needed to be treated and raised differently. The ignoring thing didn't work for us she just got louder and longer. My brain just about exploded with all the lack of sleep. I'd love to email you some of the hand outs for the circle of security that our therapist gave us if you're interested. But the clothes she wears, well just like Laylee, I don't fight with my kid over that. She comes up with some really interesting outfits! Fun for me. Email me if you want. super2webb@yahoo.com

4/05/2006 6:09 AM

 
Blogger Gabriela said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing your struggles, it makes me (also a mom to a 3 year old) not feel so alone in the adventure of trying to raise a person who will one day be prepared to function normally in society.

Side note: I read your post with him on my lap and he wants to know why Laylee doesn't have any eyes.:)

4/05/2006 6:18 AM

 
Anonymous sarah hart kingston said...

I LOOOOOVE those tights! I WANT those tights. Are you sure they don't come in adult sizes. I like the idea of a "spirited child," but honestly, are there any who aren't? Mine sure are. We are currently working on getting our 4.25-year-old to stop climbing in bed with us at 6:00am (or 5:30, or 2:30) by telling him it's just "not allowed." I know, so creative. So this morning, I woke up to find him curled up on the chair in the "live room" just waiting for us to wake up. Success? I don't know. I'll tell you in 13.75 years.

4/05/2006 6:46 AM

 
Blogger owlhaven said...

I've GOT to have those tights!!! wHERE can I find'em?

Mary, mom to many

4/05/2006 6:57 AM

 
Blogger Ginger said...

Oh My Word about the outfit!

Jane Nelsen has done a positive discipline book for classrooms as well. Just a little tidbit for you in case your child's teacher should ever need it. :)

Having said that, I did wonder what the logical consequences should be when the lunch supervisor dragged in Theo The 1st Grader to me (the vice principal) with the sad tale that he had mooned the other kids at the lunch tables....

4/05/2006 7:09 AM

 
Anonymous Amber said...

Every time I lament about my 22-month-old daughter's tantrums, I remind myself how much tougher it'll get down the line when she can actually fully express herself! Good tips on the books. I recently bought the "Love and Logic" one, which will also hopefully shed some light on our little sometimes-humans. :-)

4/05/2006 7:45 AM

 
Blogger HLH said...

cute little outfit. I got 1/2 way through the Disipline Book by Dr. Sears, it has some practical information. The best piece of advice my mom gave me was to give my children choices. Give them 2 choices, both of which you can live with and then let them choose. It lets them feel they are in control and teaches them how to make good choices. Oh you have to spell out the consequences to so they understand BEFORE they make the choice.

4/05/2006 7:46 AM

 
Blogger HangerMom said...

Oh wow! My daughter has those tights, but we've not yet worn them as pants. (The WWF comment cracked me up!)

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your thoughts on the book you're reading and the others recommended to you. My 2.5 year old is challenging as well, though I wouldn't say it's anything unusual. The only couple of parenting books I've tried reading were definitely not for me, so I'm feeling a little disillusioned with the available resources.

4/05/2006 7:47 AM

 
Blogger Grammy said...

"This too shall pass!"

I agree with Sarah. All kids are spirited (some just a little more so than others) and I think those personalities have to be taken into account. (A lot of people have had good success using the book that Slawebb suggested.)

But I have to admit that I absolutely HATED working with the parents of my kindergarteners or pre-schoolers who let their kids get away with ANYTHING by saying, "I can't do anything about it. MY child is SPIRITIED." They didn't do their kids any favors by giving them a blanket exemption from acceptable behavior. It was also interesting that those same kids had no problem in class where accepable behaviors and consequences were clearly defined, but were out of control, where they were not. {OK, I'll climb down off of my soapbox. That just hit a nerve!)

I know that Laylee has a mind of her own. You did, too. But I must say, that you and DYD are doing a fantastical job with both of your kids. I think you are very wise to try to find the balance between "laying down the law" and "free-for-alling"'. And you are absolutely right! Respect is the key. I am convinced that what we get back from our children when they are teenagers is a direct result of how we treated them in their toddlerhood.

Hang in there. You'll all be just fine!

BTW, I'm completely in love with the outfit. Now that's a sense of style!

4/05/2006 8:02 AM

 
Blogger Mel said...

The only parenting book I've ever liked was "Parenting with Love and Logic," by Cline and Fay. I think it's the only parenting book anyone ever needs to read. Really.

4/05/2006 8:03 AM

 
Blogger owlhaven said...

"Parenting with Love and Logic," by Cline and Fay. I agree with Mel-- great book!!!!! Eminently sensible advice.


I came back to find out about the tights...am afraid I'm going to forget later..

Mary, mom to many and craving cute tights for my 3 year old. As if she needs more clothes.

4/05/2006 8:23 AM

 
Blogger jessica said...

And I was hopign three saw the end of toddler rebellions. Not so much? Shot! Oh well, at least Laylee knows how to dress :)

4/05/2006 8:25 AM

 
Anonymous Heidi said...

Non-parent here, but I'd love to respond to Amber's comment: "I remind myself how much tougher it'll get down the line when she can actually fully express herself!"

A friend of mine found just the opposite--life actually got easier when her son found the words to express his frustation. I can't say the same will be true for you when you daughter hits, oh, thirteen or so though...

4/05/2006 8:41 AM

 
Blogger GiBee said...

So, do you think she'll "becide" to dress like that when she's 16?

Just something to think about!

4/05/2006 8:50 AM

 
Blogger Carbon said...

My kid is one of those "sprited" girls but that does not mean she gets away with things. She deals with consequences for her actions and there are expectations on her. It's a slow learing process but kids don't know "common sense" or what is right and wrong and have to be taught it. I like that book too.

4/05/2006 9:27 AM

 
Blogger Carbon said...

Geez, i sure made a lot of spelling errors!

I meant spirited and Learning not learing. gosh. Hopefully, i didn't miss or make any more!

4/05/2006 9:29 AM

 
Blogger Trivial Mom said...

I am a firm believer in discipline at a young age. We've been giving my daughter choices since she was 8 months old, and letting her deal with the natural consequences. If she throws a toy at anyone, the toy gets put away. If she pulls everything out of the kitchen drawer, she helps put them away. If she throws a fit, she sits in timeout until she's done. She is only 18 months, and I'm afraid we are barely getting into the terrible twos, but so far it's worked for us. (Check back with me in 6 months.) But I really think that the reason this method works for us is because we started at such a young age. She didn't really understand at 8 months, but she got the idea that every thing she does will have a reaction, whether it's mom not playing with her, or having to sit down until she's done crying.

The other thing that I really try to do is choose only to fight the really important battles. If she decides at church that she'd rather look at her books sitting on the floor, then sitting on our bench, oh well. She's being quiet, and not running everywhere, so okay. But on the other hand, if she decides she doesn't want to hold my hand in the parking lot of target, well then she gets picked up.

Good luck with laylee, and by the way, love the outfit, wings and all!

4/05/2006 9:39 AM

 
Blogger Kristen said...

Sounds like a great book and one that follows my own personal philosophies, so maybe i'm not messing my kids up after all. :-)

So, dawg. What did you think about country night? :-)

4/05/2006 9:56 AM

 
Blogger Erin said...

Our little 3 year old I guess had gotten to the point he doesn't know how to let his frustration out, so he has started to kick and hit, fortunately only us and not other kids.
As for things are TV there are very few quality shows out there. We have found a couple that are uplifting and make you feel good about humanity. Extreme Home Makeover on ABC Sunday nights, Miracle Worker on ABC Monday nights and Three Wishes on NBC originally on Friday night, but I think they are taping the second season so it isn't on right now.

4/05/2006 10:17 AM

 
Blogger SarahLynn said...

I have been reading your blog for a few days and am loving all your posts! :) This topic of parenting and American Idol is nothing new! I have a 4 and 3 year old daughters. One is very "spirited" and would get away with anything and everything were it not for someone telling me that no two people are the same. What I do to one child might not work for another. Find what works for your daughter and stick to your guns! My "spirited" one hates time out. The first time we tried time out, it took her a whole week to learn that she had to sit in one spot! Now it is very effective.
My other kids get no dessert, early bedtime etc...what works for one, doesn't work for others! Hope you find what works! :)

A new reader.

4/05/2006 10:19 AM

 
Blogger The Daring One said...

So, I will respond to your comments in the order in which they were received....listen to the nice Kenny-G music while you wait....

Thanks for the great suggestions and shared experiences. THIS is why I blog this stuff. When they're sailing along nicely, I rarely blog about it because I'm afraid I'll jinx something. When we are having struggles, I know you've all been there or know someone who has and can help me out.

Regina- I agree that the things she's doing are a detriment to her and others and they don't show respect for the other members of the family so we do have to deal with them. The book agrees also.

Undercover - That's great. The therapist dude suggested Coloroso as well and we've got one of her books on deck for when we finish this one.

Heth - I'll have to check out the Lehman.

Slaweb - I'd love copies of your handouts. Thanks.

Gab - Laylee doesn't have eyes, ears, or a nose. I hope he noticed those too. What a crack-up.

Mary - tights from Target.

Ginger - I'm in a quandary on that one. I often wonder what the "natural consequences" will be for Laylee's actions. Sometimes the "natural" consequence is that she annoys everyone else and has a really great time. She hasn't mooned us yet, per se.

Amber, Mel and Mary - we really enjoyed Love and Logic. I see parenting books as a smorgasbord and I liked more than half of what Cline and Fay put on the table so I consider that one a successful read.

HLH - The "two choices" idea comes from Love and Logic. I always thought my mom invented it. To this day, she swears she thought of it before Cline and Fay. I LOVE that one.

HangerMom - Hang in there. I think almost anyone who reads an entire parenting book all the way through and decides to adopt ever word of it and change their entire parenting style is not being true to themselves. I say read as much as you can, talk to as many people as you can and try to snag the good bits you can find. :)

Grammy - I love you. You're the best mom ever. That's why we all turned out so spectacular. I should just call you. Then I wouldn't need to blog anymore.

Jessica - things are definitely better than they were at two. We have way more good days than bad and she's much more capable of expressing herself verbally. The things I shared today were extreme cases.

Heidi - right on. Better communication is better for everyone involved.

GiBee - AAAHHHH! Hopefully if she still dresses like this, she'll find some way to earn money as a young budding fashion designer. What will people be wearing in the year 2019, I wonder?

Maki - Way to rock! No one cares about spelling around these partz.

Trivial - I so agree with you starting at a young age. If you decide to start teaching consequences once they're a toddler or preschooler in open rebellion, you're just setting them up for failure. Picking your battles is also a super important concept.

Kristen - Dawg! I thought they were mostly HORRIBLE. The only performances I liked were Chris (rocker guy, is that his name?), Kelly P and Katharine. I didn't feel much of anything from the rest of them. Very sad for the one day I actually remember to watch.

HW - Thanks for the heads up on TV shows. It looks like Tuesday night is still pretty much out.

Sarah-Lynn - I think that’s why there are so many parenting books out there and one person swears by one and another person says the other is the “magic bullet” for their kid. There need to be many approaches, even within the same family because ever child is so different. Thanks for that reminder.

4/05/2006 10:36 AM

 
Blogger Carrien said...

I second/third the choices comments. My oldest is four and VERY strongwilled. I have been on a steep learning curve but some things seem to have worked for us.
As mentioned we try to give him choices that we like and that works. We also work really hard to make sure that there are firm rules in our house and the consequences for breaking those are clearly laid out and understood ahead of time and immediately administered when they are broken. We find that immediacy is key to a child's understanding. We as parents are not allowed to shout or coerce, that's our rule for ourselves. We just calmly and immediately administer the consequence and a cause and effect type of thing and keep it from being in anyway associated with our emotions, which requires so much more self-control than I really want to have to muster up on the days when I find them say, wading in a half Gallon tub of fresh yogurt in the middle of the living room rug when I get out of the shower. (Not that they would ever do anything like that...)and I have to lock myself in the bedroom for a minute and scream into a pillow before calmly, or at least level voicedly dealing with my children. We also try to keep the rules simple.
We don't give instructions as suggestions, if I open my mouth to tell my child to do something I expect them to do it and I follow through if they don't. OTherwise they are just learning that it's okay to ignore me, or that they can wait until I get really upset before they have to do things. (THis has been a trial and error process.) Dialogue and respect are important parts of our parenting, and I think not enough parents actually listen to their kids and respect their feelings, we are now trying to teach my son about when it's appropriate to disagree and the right way to do it.
IS it working? HArd to say how he will turn out, but right now He's a very self-disciplined boy, he knows and follows the rules almost all of the time now, he cleans his own room and does his other jobs without complaining, unless I"m silly enough to ask him to do it right before bed when he's tired. HE's respectful of grown-ups but not afraid of them, he plays with friends and shares his toys, he cares about other people, he takes care of his little sister who has learned from him and is the recipient of my refined parenting skills so is already way beyond where he was at 2. He is still the strong-willed, stubborn, opinionated, aggressive boy I started with, but we're happy together right now. I haven't read many books on discipline, I've been learning as I go so if this helps anyone your welcome to it.

4/05/2006 10:38 AM

 
Blogger Carrien said...

OH m'gosh I just saw how long that comment was, sorry for the essay.

4/05/2006 10:44 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what was said above. You do have to be firm, because she will push harder to see how far you will let her go. This age is all about testing limits, and freedom. I liked watching Super Nanny because she had so many good ideas, all mixed with the "I love You!". Emphasizing the behavior is wrong, not the child.
I'm not much into parenting books, we just muddle through I suppose. Good luck, this too will pass!

4/05/2006 11:16 AM

 
Blogger moe said...

I love that you let her wear what she wants. My problem was today my 'special' child wanted to wear her summer dress but, there's snow on the ground. I had this problem solved by putting away all the things that were to summery but last week we had a few days of warm weather and I got all excited (wonder where she gets it from) and took out the summer stuff.

I draw the line at taking off the pull-up. My spirited child started taking her diapers off before she was 2 and we had to rush into toilet training which did not go very well for a while As they say, This too shall pass.

4/05/2006 11:18 AM

 
Anonymous Pam in Utah said...

What a great blog and such great and interesting comments. I think the book sounds good and I especially like grammy's comments (as well as others). My kids turned out in spite of my ways, I think. I didn't read all the blogs, but I will say that praying hard for help and for inspiration and (on every hard day, especially) that your kids will know you love them is one of the best things I ever did. :)

4/05/2006 11:43 AM

 
Blogger Addie said...

I think that outfit is really cute! The wings MAKE IT! But what happened to Snow White? Is that phase done? Or did she just wear the dress completely to pieces?

4/05/2006 12:06 PM

 
Blogger Jennie C. said...

Kids need to know that when you say something, it has to be done. (This coming from someone who can't get her 21-month-old to stay in bed at bedtime.) I've found a happy medium for the most part. If the kid has a choice, let her make it. If she doesn't, don't offer one and make sure she knows who's boss. Example: She can pick out her clothes, or what kind of cereal to have for breakfast. But don't ask her if she wants to go the store when it's time to go to the store. Tell her, buckle up, and take off. I've noticed that when they get to decide for themselves some of the time, they don't balk when they don't have a choice.

4/05/2006 12:06 PM

 
Blogger Leah said...

Oh my Gosh!
If I had known raising my litte girl was going to be so dramatic, I would've prayed for all boys.
With boys, I can be strict and inforce rules. With Mel, I have to ask her so gently and politely that I make myself sick.
What a trip!
We do use 'traditional' punishment, but only after explaining why we are using it. We never discipline when we are angry, or at least we try not to, and we always make sure the kids see mom and dad together being husband and wife (sitting on the sofa, talking and sharing time together, I mean!)
Hope the books help, I kinds prefer "Child Wise" by Ezzo and Buchnam.
Good luck!

4/05/2006 12:42 PM

 
Blogger Farm Wife said...

What a fashionista! I especially love the wings.

I wonder where the phrase "terrible two's" came from. Ours neither started nor stopped at 2.

Eventually you begin to wonder if they run boarding schools for toddlers...then someone pauses mid streak through the living room and shouts, "ME LOVE YOU, MOMMY!!!" and it's all worth it again.

4/05/2006 12:48 PM

 
Blogger Shalee said...

Too cute!!!

Early on in parenting, I decided to pick my battles. Clothing was not one, unless the outfit was indecent or dirty. It has saved me so much time and energy in the long run.

As for the other parenting stuff, each kid is affected differently by dicipline techniques. You will just have to find the one that works for Laylee.

But it is never unreasonable to expect good manners and respect for others. It takes a lot of discipline on the parents' parts to see it through. But the efforts are so rewarding when you see the fruits of it over the long haul.

Hang in there! And say lots of prayers. For you. It really helps.

4/05/2006 12:58 PM

 
Blogger The Daring One said...

Since we're really thinking a lot about it, today seems like a mega response day. I hope you don't get sick of hearing from me.

Carrien - I loved your comments. "Dialogue and respect are important parts of our parenting, and I think not enough parents actually listen to their kids and respect their feelings." Worried the comment was too long? Never!

Anon - we really liked much of what Super-Nanny did. She really "spoke to us" with her loving and firm approach. One thing she did that I really liked was to set up a fairly firm schedule with the kids so they know what to expect throughout the day.

Moe - I know what you mean about the summer clothes. I just did the same thing! We draw the line at the taking off the pull-up thing too? The natural consequence if she does that now is that she will have to wear a pull-up instead of real underwear the whole next day. Oooooo....that's got her rethinking things. How embarrassing to wear a pull-up over to her friend's house!

Pam - You raised amazing kids. That's why I married one. Some people don't need all the study-guides, I guess. :)

Addie - Snow-white was a casualty of the not-potty-trained-at-night-but-still-want-to-sneak-into-real-panties syndrome. To show I’m serious about the staying in pull-ups things, I’ve decided not to wash it until actual laundry day on Thursday so every day she asks and every day, I say, we will wash it on laundry day. What a mean mom, eh?

Jennie C. - Good love and logic parenting. I agree. Thanks for the reminder. I'm gonna post soon about how we've gotten ourselves in trouble by not following that advice.

Leah - This: "we always make sure the kids see mom and dad together being husband and wife" cracked me up. LOL! I'm glad you clarified. Thanks for the advice.

Farm Wife - Thanks for bringing back the positivity of it all. They are amazing and wonderful and fun as well.

Pam and Shalee - Thanks for the prayer reminder. There's a pretty perfect parent up there who wants my kids to turn out well. He's always willing to help.

4/05/2006 1:02 PM

 
Blogger Praying for your Prodigal said...

Looks like you have a daring young child--Daring Young Mom!

Love it!

Diane

4/05/2006 1:15 PM

 
Anonymous Heidi said...

To Vice-Principal Ginger, who deals with mooning children: Did you take specialized vice-principal training to learn how not to burst out laughing? And now, as adults, we all know what goes on behind the closed door of the mysterious teachers' lounge: [muffled} Bwaaahaaahaaa!

4/05/2006 1:21 PM

 
Anonymous Adam said...

Great comments.

Official disclaimer: I have yet to procreate...but I almost have a job that will make it possible...BEWARE!!!!

The above disclaimer is meant to illustrate the fact that what I know of child rearing stems from being "child-reared" by the wonderful Grammy, a bachelors degree in psychology with an arguable emphasis in learning and development, and 4 months as a "nanny" to three wonderful children aged 8, 4, and 8 months. It does not stem from actual personal experience as a parent. Though “nannying” served to reinforce some of my convictions/prejudices about child rearing, I do not claim the necessary experience of parenting to be able to offer parenting advice.

As with all disclaimers, hereafter follows the blatant personal opinion segment that is not meant to be expressed with any degree of self-righteousness or purported authority.

Whew!!

I second what was said about children testing boundaries. What I have come to understand is that human beings in general and children in particular test boundaries for a reason. To understand and safely live in this world we must first understand what is acceptable, safe and morally right to do. We can’t understand this without first exploring the opposite.

I love this little nugget of truth. It puts insufferable acts of small children in a much more innocent and tolerable light. She has to do that as part of learning what limits there are to such behavior. And You have to set and enforce limits that help maintain your sanity and develop your children’s character.

Thus, permissive parenting styles are willfully destructive to the learning pattern. The child learns that there are no limits, and besides “spoiling” the child, the child will grow up not understanding natural consequences of their actions that will not be withheld by the real world the way they are by a permissive parent.

Also, with regards to ignoring behaviors, it is perfectly acceptable to allow non-dangerous behaviors that are manifestations of “attention seeking” to continue. They will disappear if the purpose was parental attention. However, I believe that this is wise only when the behavior is respectful of those around you. Dancing at 11:00 when daddy has to work in the morning isn’t…for me. There are a great many incompatible response techniques that can be used to immediately stop bothersome behaviors, and a great array of creative and totally legal “consequences” that won’t inspire “them” to take away your children.

Sorry that was so long.

Love you guys.

4/05/2006 2:06 PM

 
Blogger momof3busyboys said...

As a mom of three very different but all very spirited boys of very different ages and stages, I can say how you discipline your children will vary as they grow and change and also as you grow and change. With my first child I tried the "time out" because I was totally against spanking unless absolutely necessary. Some moms may think it cruel, but when my oldest was 3 he ran out of the house and straight into the road! We must have told him a million times to NEVER run in the road explained how he could get hurt by a car...yada, yada...in one little ear out the other! So when this incident occured I spanked him! It hurt me more than it hurt him( my heart was breaking) and definately hurt less than getting hit by a car!He Never ran in the road again! Does that mean spank for everything? NO. We usually use consequences for your actions type discipline but in that instance it was what instinct told me to do and it worked! "Time Out" has never really worked for any of my kids. Parenting isn't easy, and there is no instruction booklet that comes with your child when their born, so do what seems right for you and your child or children. Oh and your daughters outfit is soooo cute! She seems very creative!

4/05/2006 2:34 PM

 
Anonymous Shannon said...

I hear you on the American Idol thing. I think that is the only show I watch on TV besides TLC. I only watch TLC to get motivated in the "Clean Sweep" department, but I never clean sweep anything. As I was reading your blog I had a parenting issue come up with my almost 3 in May son, and I was struck with a bit of encouragment, that I thought for sure was going to be spit on when I went into the living room, but I was surprised he reacted very well. So thank you for your bit of insight I may try it again. I liked the shoes, I myself have a pair of Fuschia Crocs and they were a shocking purchase for myself, but I felt daring and rebellious that day while surfing the internet.

4/05/2006 3:29 PM

 
Anonymous heather from one woman's world said...

Laylee's outfit makes me oh so happy inside! Too WWF...? :) Is there such a thing?

4/05/2006 4:04 PM

 
Blogger M&M's Mom said...

I had to smile when I saw those tights! My daughter has a pair, too. She is 15 months, so I love reading (I am new to blogging) what you are going through. I know every day she tests her limits, and even at a young age I am amazed what she has learned.

4/05/2006 6:33 PM

 
Blogger Mary said...

I'm an American Idol fan too. I thought Katherine was awesome but can't believe that Mandisa got kicked off. She is the most consistently good female vocalist. AND BUCKY is STILL ON. What are people thinking?

4/05/2006 8:01 PM

 
Anonymous petal said...

The picture of your daughter - insanely cute!: I sometimes think that how my daughter dresses (she's four) is what keeps me from excessive discipline somedays. A while back I took her and her baby brother to Costco, and I swear, she wore her ballet tutu, Cinderella blue undies wedged up her little bum and out the sides of her leotard, a back-pack crammed with God-only-knows-what, lady-bug gumboots and, the clincher, a red bicycle helmut tipped to one side. I was afraid people would think I was the bad mother of an child with seizures and didn't care enough to dress her with dignity.

4/05/2006 9:44 PM

 
Blogger Barb, sfo said...

I totally think the wardrobe is a Girl Thing. My one daughter did that kind of stuff too (I think she wore the same outfit Petal described, LOL!) and I always commented to people who looked at her a little strange, "She dressed HERSELF today!" I was thinking of making a sign I could hang on her, to that effect. But it always did crack up the curious onlooker who forgot what a 3-year-old girl likes to look like!
My big piece of advice is: It's not a Threat, it's a Promise. If you threaten, follow up. Otherwise they walk All Over You.

4/06/2006 4:54 AM

 
Anonymous petal said...

p.s. you inspired a post for me! :)

4/06/2006 8:14 AM

 
Blogger kloskrew said...

I am a "virgin" blogger -have loved reading all the comments! I have a 3.5 yr old, 2 yr old and 4 month old. My son, Gavin, the oldest will forego ANYTHING just to get his way. We will have planned a trip for icecream and he will start misbehaving. We will threaten"no icecream!" and he will "okay!" And he means it!! I have not yet found anything that he cannot live without!! What else can I do for discipline? He LOVES timeout! UGH!!! He doesn't act up that often-but you know how even those occasional tantrums can be!
As far as American Idol goes-GO ACE! (is he still in it??)
Happy Sunday!

4/09/2006 6:51 PM

 

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