Day 2 of better parenting take ??

Well it’s certainly not the first time I’ve turned over a new parenting leaf, but it is one that seems to be going well 😀

Day 2 of Lord B not being treated like a baby went really well. After school, Sir A woke at annoying time (as usual) and I had to feed him back to sleep. No Amazing Husband around, so Lord B and I read stories quietly while Sir A was attached to me. When he eventually relinquished his nipple we were both close to falling asleep so we went and had some olives (work WAY better than coffee) and some Mummy-Bobi time.

We decided to make chocolate – naturally Sir A woke up as we were getting started (though if we hadn’t wasted time with Lord B not wanting to go to the toilet with minimal help… he did readily put down his toys though, which was an improvement!) and most of it was done with him wailing and me shoving the odd olive in his mouth. Didn’t help much, so I mimmed him while Lord B cleaned up (wiped up the cocoa on the table and floor). He enjoyed it so much that he then went to clean the bathroom floor and the bath! At that point Sir A was still super sad so we popped the chocolate in the freezer to set and went outside, and Lord B gave up his cleaning, but I was most impressed with how he just got into it!

Lord B was all too happy to help cheer his sadding brother up, and pushed him around in the little pram – they went to the “market shop” (supermarket) and got some petrol. Was so sweet watching them – for 5 seconds, when I disappeared inside to get a couple of things done quickly while I could.

There were no fights before cousins Rowan and Miles came over, and the only ones then were siblings against cousins.

Lord B helped pick tomatoes, helped me water the garden, and sorted out his own wet clothes.

While I was making dinner (usually Amazing Husband takes over at that time, but he wasn’t home yet), instead of them fighting or having to put them in front of Thomas, they played happily together with their trains on their little kitchen table. It was so unstressful!

Amazing Husband posited the idea that most of Lord B’s recent “acting out” has been caused by a desire to assert his independence. I’m thinking this may well be right! I know it’s only day 2, but the change in his behaviour since he started taking more responsibility for himself and his environment again has been remarkable – no longer any need to be independent in annoying ways.

It’s been such a good reminder of how bad an idea it is to do everything for one’s kids. It had kind of become habit, without noticing. I thought I’d never be doing things for my teenager but it so would have ended up with me being the houseslave if I hadn’t taken notice now. Especially at the 3-6ish age range, when kids are really starting to be able to be independent, it so robs a child to not let them do things for themselves, struggling and getting frustrated if need be, but having that sense of “I can do useful things. I’m a capable human being” that is the basis of self esteem and essential to being a contributing member of society.

It also reinforced my belief that punishment is not the answer to misbehaviour. If I’d smacked Lord B into compliance (or sent him to time out to wail unconsoled, etc) I may have got better behaviour, short term, but I wouldn’t have got to the root of the problem and helped Lord B develop appropriately for his stage of life and grow in virtue. Our way certainly seems to have more helpful outcomes!

And lets not overlook the added bonus of a less frustrated and therefore more patient and better equipped to parent well Mummy.

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