Monday, August 29, 2011

Discipline Magic?

So here's another Happiness Project post where you can read all about how I'm trying to go from a mom who is fraying at both ends to a mom who is put together organized light unstressed holding it together most of the time.  And I'm really proud of my progress this month, I really am.

I've been creating happy memories and documenting them in my one sentence journal.  Nothing insane, just regular stuff: making crafts together, baking, going for walks, playing silly games, etc.  I've been trying to be light, and if I don't feel light I've been acting the way I want to feel, so I'll pretend I'm light even if my blood is set to boil.  I've been making a big effort to bite my tongue and not snap.  Deep breathing and counting to ten or just reminding myself that she's two is usually enough to calm me down.  It's not perfect and honestly, I don't think I've had one perfect day this month, but it's better than last month.  So now it's time to tackle discipline.

I won't say Isabella is a bad kid, but she's no angel either.  She's a self-respecting two year old, which means she tests her boundaries, pushes my limits, and is insistent on getting her way.  I get it.  That comes with the territory of toddlerhood.  But letting her get her way, giving into her tantrums, and tearing my hair out in frustration doesn't seem like the best path to take.  So I did a little research and it seems like the book 1-2-3 Magic is a big favorite.  So I downloaded in on my Nook and I'm about a quarter through with it.  I like it so far.  It seems like there's something about counting that works, but I just started that chapter, what really stuck with me is that most adults assume that kids are little adults and we try to reason with them as such.

ZOMG! That was a truth bomb right there.  I can't count how many times I've had conversations like this:

Me: It's time to get dressed
Isabella:  I don't want to get dressed
Me: Isabella, we have to be at swim class in 20 minutes, we need to get dressed now. 
Isabella:  No
Me: But you like swim class, we're going to miss it and you're going to be sad now come here and let me dress you.
Isabella:  I don't want to go to swim class I want to do something else.  
Me: We're going to swim class, now stop running away from me and let me dress you. It will be over in 2 seconds.  Just let me dress you.  Stop running around like a wild thing.  

*We wind up 10 minutes late to swim class because I'm chasing her around the house like some sort of insane lunatic* I really think she cares that getting dressed will be quick and we're going to be late?  She couldn't care less and it's silly for me to think she can cognitively reason at that level.  So I think the book will help me push beyond that little adult assumption.  We'll see how it goes!

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Eschelle said...

I find that a large sense of humor helps me thru raising my boys. I know EXACTLY how you feel, so does every mother. You can do it just laugh and say stuff it to anyone annoyed at you for any lateness lol.

mtendere said...

I kind of wish I'd read that book while I was a teacher. I tried to reason WAY too much with my students. Anyway, I found that part of the book really helpful, too. Along with the "no emotion" part. Those things have really helped me from snapping at her so much. I still did yesterday when she was coloring on the walls, but, hey, we're all human, right?

Amanda said...

I just ordered that book TODAY! Mtendere suggested it along with a lot of other mamas. Today was a bad toddler afternoon. Eeek. I hope that book helps me reel it all in.

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