“I Told Miss Jeanne, ‘No!'”

Even though my husband and I are no longer full time employees anywhere, we still take our daughters to their daycare for the social interaction a few days a week.  Last night, Miss Jeanne, their daycare provider, informed me that she had to scold my two year old a little bit.  She told me that she said to Sophie, “Can you come over here so Miss Jeanne can change you?”  My daughter, in a moment of toddler stubborness, crossed her arms over her chest and said, “No.”  Jeanne, refraining from laughter, asked her again, “Sophie, I need you to please come over here so that I can change you.”  Again, Sophie looked at her, arms crossed, and said, “No.”  At this point, it no longer becomes a choice that my daughter gets to make, whether to get changed or not, whether to listen to her caregiver or not, so Jeanne had to go to her and inform her that she does not get to tell Mommy, Daddy, or herself “no” when they instruct her to do something.  So what did I do as she was telling me all of this?  I laughed.  I respect Jeanne and I know she handled the situation appropriately, but even she said that she has to stifle her laughter when my daughter shows resistance to certain things.  As parents, we’ve all done it.  We try to scold our child and, just as you’re about to firmly lay down the law, they give you a “look” and you crack up.  It’s hard not to.  I chased Sophie around Target once and got down to her level and said, “Sophie, you do NOT….” and that was as far as I got before I started laughing!  It was the first time she actually did something that I felt warranted a stern talking to, but I was ill-prepared I guess.  I’m not one to sit in my home and drum up ways to be firm with with my children.  Maybe I should.  I don’t know.  Do any parents out there really have time to do this??  I tend to act on something the experts like to call “Motherly Instincts.”

Am I perfect parent?  Heck no.  I’m the perfect parent for my girls, though.  Is Sophie a perfect child?  Heck yes!  lol…ok, to me she is perfect.  She pushes my buttons, tests my limits, throws tantrums, wants candy for dinner, takes toys away from her little sister, etc.  But she’s TWO!  As her parent, it is my responsibility to teach her that it is not OK to run away from mommy when I call her, and it’s not OK to lay on the floor of Target in the checkout line and throw a screaming fit because she can’t have the Snow White princess toy staring her in the face (seriously, why do they put those things…and candy!…at the checkout?  It’s hard for ME, a 28 year old woman, to resist the Snickers bar staring ME right in the face…can’t imagine the battle that must rage on in my two year old).  Everyone has different parenting styles and different disciplinary styles… you just have to find the one that works for you and your child(ren).  Time outs, spankings, Supernanny-style, whatever you prefer…just make certain that it’s what’s best for your child and that he/ she responds in a positive way.  By positive I don’t mean that, should you choose the time-out method of discipline, your child is jumping up and down with excitement saying, “Yay me!  Woo hoo…I get to go to time out now!”  With Sophie, she responds mostly to firm, adult-like communication.  “Sophie, you cannot take that toy away from your sister, you need to give it back to her because she was playing with it first.”  The response I usually get for something like this is, “Ok, mommy,” and she follows through on the request.  Spanking…doesn’t work for us.  Time outs…don’t work for us.  And I’ve tried them both.  Another favorite of mine, especially for tantrums, is the distraction method.  When she throws a fit in the car or elsewhere, we’ll usually say something like, “Sophie!  Look at the kitty cat!”  We’ll say it really upbeat and she will stop crying instantly and then she’ll see the fictitious cat as well.  After that, it’s just a matter of redirecting her attention.  “I see the kitty cat, Mommy.”  “What does a kitty cat say, Sophie,” I will ask her.  “Ummm, meeeooooowww,” she’ll reply.  It works for us.  Really does.

Those are just some examples.  Again, I say just go with your instincts.  You know your child the best.  Find something that works and roll with it; but, be forewarned that what works can also change at any given time.  I know…nothing is set in stone when it comes to kids 🙂  Thus the excitement of being a parent.  Before I go, I will leave you all with another little tidbit:  The Outback Steakhouse has this extremely yummy cocktail called the Strawberry Passion Martini…yes, it’s a martini.  It’s nice and fruity with just the right amount of liquor mixed in so you get a buzz, but you don’t instantly gag on the overpowering taste of alcohol.  Even my husband liked it…but I refused to let him order one because, well, it’s pink!  Ha…stick with the mojitos dear.

Shannon………out

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