So, I make a big deal out of the little mysterious and un-lovely behaviors which come out of my adorable princess. I must because, you see, I teach middle school. Daily I am around 13 year olds who may be in large bodies but likened to 2-year olds in behavior. My overactive mind thinks I will not have a daughter who shows B…R…A…T…T…I…N….E…S…S (looks like thrashing about/biting/slapping when her way is not given) or E…N…T..I…T..L..E…M…E…N….T (sounds like “mine!” and whining when wanting something NOW!) or E…G….O…C…E…N….T….R…I…C…I…S….M (feels like demanding my full attention at ALL times no matter what is going on or with whom I am conversing). Now, many will say, “Oh this is completely normal at this ripe old age of 20 months.” Sure, may be normal once or twice but again and again? Nope. It can be nipped and tucked out.
Case 1: Throwing Baby when wanting attention. Baby goes bye bye until a much later hour in the day after she has realized she should not throw her toys.
OR When she is finished with something, say, “Thank you,” and hand it to me nicely. She must do it over and over again until she gets it right which gets tedious, but she gets the idea after 15 tries. Plus, she WANTS her _____ (insert what she wants at that moment)
Case 2: She wants to hold the toothbrush while I brush her teeth. We had to play tug of war and then she lightly slapped me on the face. Solution? That time she got a time out and showed me “gentle hands” and this morning, knowing that this may happen again I prefaced our brushing with, “Tatum, I am going to count to ten and brush your teeth. After that, you may hold the toothbrush.” Done. Then distract with “You have to help me close the cabinet.” Success.
Case 3: Tatum demands ALL of my time. I tend to give in and play with her letting her really run the show of what we do. Solution? I play with her for 30 minutes, then I go in my room, she follows me, plops in her little chair and I tell her to go get a book.
She did not go, “UP!” to get on my lap. She kept busy.
Well, she kept busy around me trying to get my attention, but at least she was playing! Then, after a while, we read together. Her time, my time, our time. Nice. Moreover, we can then be silly and have F…U…N!
Case 4: I know she is going to cry when we get into the HOT car. I have learned that I must give her warning that it will be HOT. So, I am now armed with a cold drink or I tell her we will get her some crushed ice. The key? Communication. Telling her ahead of time what will be happening. Just like if we are going into the store. I tell her what we are doing and what I expect. “Tatum, I expect you to hold my hand the whole time.” vs. “Don’t xyz”…I focus on the positive and what I want not the “don’t” or “no”… Also, I make sure I put “Baby” into the conversation. “Baby misses you” or “Baby wants you to be happy” or “Give baby a sip” etc. This gets her outside of herself and helps her to care for
another. Also, it is distracting to her needs. Then SHE wants to do what Baby does. Perfect!
Today, I just looked at her as she napped and thought: Man, this is hard work, but she is so worth every minute.
My goal is to raise an independent, kind, God-loving and God-fearing lovely woman so I keep my eye on the LT goal vs. my need to be loved or accepted by my daughter or to have her be happy with her mommy at all times. She will get upset and fight it, but in the long run, she is becoming a lovely, budding, young woman (with her Father God’s help).