Saturday, October 11, 2008

Learning about Parenting

I know I posted about treating your children with respect and I completely believe in it, but I'll admit it takes a conscious effort, to say the least. I was noticing how I need to work on this recently.

Margaret puts everything in her mouth. Everything- including things that aren't very good for her. What's my gut reaction? Take it away. So that's what I do. Wednesday night while Margaret was devouring a catalog, I took it away, swiped her mouth for various paper pieces and then watched as Margaret gave me the saddest sad face in the world. That's not fair! I'm sure that's what she was thinking.

She's right. It's not fair. I think children are born with an innate sense of fairness and justice. They know when someone's done them wrong. I think a sense of fairness is important for survival. Margaret was right, I had been unfair.

I don't want Margaret to learn that it's ok to just take something from someone and yet here I am doing that, and I'm being disrespectful. I don't tear things out of other people's hands but I do hers. How is that fair? I need a better way to handle this.

So we're going to try trading. I know what her favorite toys are and I'll trade away whatever craziness she's trying to devour, that way I'm not being unfair or disrespectful to her as a person. Up until this point in her life, parenting was simply responding to her needs and trusting her when she needed something. Now she's becoming more of a person; it's actually turning into "parenting." This should be fun.


  1. "Remove and replace" that's my motto. When she is trying to put a gross dead leaf in her mouth, I remove it and give her a cheerio! :) I also always tell her what I'm doing and why. Hopefully she'll develop logic and reasoning skills. I validate "I know you're upset that you can't have this, but this is why...but you can have this."

  2. Oh boy is this a hard one right now with our *ahem* spirited toddler. They up the ante when they do things they *know* to be wrong, yet they are not yet able to receive or understand natural consequences. I wish they came with instructions.

  3. Trading works great. Although, I've given up on not letting Soren eat paper and magazines. And now-a-days, he doesn't eat them much anymore. He just crumples them and crawls all over them. But, I think, if I left them where he could get to them, then they're in his territory.

    I try to have only one thing that he can't touch/use. I do want him to learn to respect some boundaries but I don't want to get worn out taking everything away from him.

  4. That's a great way to handle things---that way you're not telling them NO! all of the time, but being positive while showing them they have a better option than whatever the weird thing is they're sticking in their mouth. Besides---kids copy parents all of the time---the more you say NO without giving them an option, such as "You can't have eat the worm, but you can eat this cracker", the more they'll say NO right back...or at least that makes sense to me---we'll see when this one is born if that changes... :)

  5. I am teaching my daughters to trade instead of grabbing toys from eachother. It is cute to see them try to get the other to trade a toy.


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