Monday, November 16, 2009

Deep Breaths...

Ingrid is very independent. This is a trait I usually love in her.  I love that she can sit and read books by herself.  I love that she can play with her stuffed animals by herself.  I love that I can usually take a shower and she'll keep herself entertained.

However, lately she has taken that independence and decided she doesn't have to listen to me.  So...running away from me when I have a bag of garbage in one hand and the dog's leash in the other, or running away when it's time to get shoes on, or running away when it's time to take a bath.  Or, touching things after I say please don't.  Getting into the garbage and eating coffee grounds (you'd think that would be a one time deal, but alas, it happens every day.)  Coloring on the walls or tables or chairs or books after I tell her please use the paper. 

I know kids this age are testing their boundaries, and I never had a problem with this when I was a nanny.  I knew these were the boundaries and the kids would not stray outside the lines.  But with Ingrid I'm finding that the lines are blurry.  Some days I just don't feel like fighting with her, so I chase her to put her in the tub or I chase her to get her shoes on or I tell her twice not to color on the walls instead of just once.  Or I actually let her color on the walls because it washes off and I just don't feel like chasing her.  That kid is fast!

Today we were going to take the dog for a walk and I had the garbage, so she needed to walk alongside me until we got to the dumpster.  Usually she's pretty good at this but today she just was pushing all my buttons.  She ran the opposite direction as soon as I told her we needed to go this way, when I chased after her and grabbed her and told her to go this way, she stopped altogether and wouldn't walk at all.  It's like we just both have these personalities where we are going to get our own way.  We are just fighting each other to see who will win.  Battle of the wills and we both have VERY strong wills.

I don't mind letting her do what she will most of the time.  But how do I get her to understand that sometimes she HAS to listen to mama??  Sometimes I need her cooperation, I need her to listen to me.  But how do you make a 1 1/2 year old understand that??  So, deep breaths.  Deep breaths.  I love her independent spirit, I love her independent spirit.  If we don't have to have a battle of the wills, don't.  

Why is parenting so much harder than nannying???? 


MaryAnne said...

If you find the magic formula for letting your child know when it really is important to not test boundaries, let me know?

I'm with you on letting kids be independent when you can.

heather said...

yeah when you figure it out let me i can use on my 9, 6 and 2 1/2 year old!!!!

arwen_tiw said...

Tips that work on strong-minded Morgan:

Play stop and go, ALL the time. On go, she runs. On stop, she stops. Stop becomes a magic word.

Don't and No go out of the window. Think in terms of what you WANT. "Come look at this!" works pretty well if "this" is interesting enough. Don't/No are a challenge. If I tell Morgan what I don't want her to do she pretty much HAS to see what will happen.

Go plenty of places where you don't have to catch her. ;) This helps mama sanity!

Keep hold of the hand until you GET somewhere like that. As you say, she is fast lol. Be faster and get in there first. Especially if you don't have both hands free.

Find really messy/dirty/destructive games like smashing cardboard boxes, crushing recycling, knocking over towers, painting yourselves etc etc. This helps them get it out of their system fairly harmlessly.

If all else fails, remove anything that can be water damaged and plonk her in a bath with a drop of lavender and let her splash until the tub is cold.

Practice in your head finding positive uses for the aggravating behaviour she just displayed. In the car this morning Morgan was saying, "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!" over and over (just SAYING it) and trying to get her to sing instead didn't work lol. So I sat there telling myself, "she is really smart, she can create her own fun, she is really persistent, wow she is comfortable being heard..." It kept me sane until she stopped, rather than building up resentment.

Good luck. ;) This age is great fun and totally exhausting all rolled up together, especially with such a live-wire. :)