Rebecca Wolf

This blog is a chronicle of my daughters' growth - born July 2003 and May 2007. Be sure to check out the Thriving Babies homepage, for videos and instructions on how to use every type of baby carrier. For literacy and homeschooling tips, visit my Rochester-based Learning Center blog at www.SibleyCenter.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Toddler Blues

I have been feeling badly about my parenting skills lately. The past few days have been rough, partly because Arianna has come down with a cold. It's her first cold of winter, so I can't complain, but last night she woke up every hour. If Andrew hadn't of been here, I would have been up the creek. It's so nice to have a partner who is your equal in every way. Although we have slightly different parenting styles, we can always tag team if one of us needs a break like I did last night.

I refused to go to sleep until I figured out what was bothering me. I read The Discipline Book's chapter on Toddlerhood and found inspiration and solace. Arianna is a smart girl with excellent verbal and language skills. It's easy to assume she is older than she is (20 months next week). So, when I tell her not to do something because it's dangerous or whatnot, I get frustrated when she apparently doesn't hear me and does said-dangerous-thing again and again. We are good at distracting her, but if the object is not entirely removed, which isn't always possible, she gravitates to it like a moth to a lightbulb.

When I read Dr. Sears, I discovered that toddlers of this age just don't have the memory and transfer skills to mind their parents. They literally don't remember what you said, which is why we have to repeat ourselves or refocus their energy. What a relief! I thought my girl was turning into a difficult child, but I was really expecting something of her that she's just not developmentally ready for. I have changed my expectations and tonight we had a great time after daddy left for work. Andrew also gave her some Motrin to soothe her aches and pains. She hasn't woke up tonight yet.

Parenting is an odd blend of knowing your child, knowing what they are developmentally ready for, and where YOU are as a parent in terms of style, stress level, and commitment to giving your child your very best (which seems to change from day to day, but it is still a goal I strive to reach).

I took great comfort as Sears explained how children from attachment parenting homes grow up to become confident and caring adults. Arianna is definitely asserting her will and her independence from us but she still requires our caring guidance, understanding, and lots of love.

It's hard to always be the one to adapt to her needs, but to place unrealistic expectations on my baby would destroy her esteem. It helps me so much to know that I can share this among friends and receive support and understanding. Sometimes I wish I lived with my tribal Mohawk ancestors so that that parenting support would automatically be built into the fabric of our daily lives.

We modern folks have to make a more concerted effort to echo this tribal effect. Thanks for being my tribe!

Rebecca

1 Comments:

Blogger dd said...

The other thing I've read is that even if kids remember something's off limits, they don't have good impulse control, so they may be fully aware they're not supposed to do something, but can't stop themselves.

Heck, /I/ still have this problem, particularly with cookies. :P

Tuesday, March 15, 2005 1:35:00 PM EST  

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