Amelia turned 18 months old on the 22nd of April. People had told me that I would see a change in her anywhere from 18 months to 2 years old. I was hoping they were wrong and I would have the only child in the world that never disobeyed. Well it's like she woke up on the day she turned 18 months and realized she had a will. An opinion. She realized she didn't like being told what to do. I don't like being told what to do either but it's necessary sometimes. It's necessary most all of the time for a toddler.
I'm not going to lie - I get tired of telling her no. I've started saying stop instead of no because I'm so tired of saying that word. My Mom told me to make sure I'm not telling her to do something in the form of a question - I'm giving her the option to say no. I hadn't thought of this. I'm glad she told me.
Instead of saying "Amelia, will you come here please?"
I say "Amelia, come here please."
Instead of saying, "Amelia, will you pick up your toys please?"
I say "Amelia, pick up your toys please."
Sometimes she still looks at me and says very matter of factly "NO." She quickly looks at me to see what I'm going to do about her response. I respond very matter of factly with a spanking. Sigh.
This is the time in her life where we have to have the stronger will and be consistent. We believe that's the way to have a well-behaved, OBEDIENT child. Time-out may work for your child but you have to be consistent for your child to learn from it. Those around us may think we're hard on her but we can't allow her to act a way in public or at some one's home that we don't allow in our own home. She learns quickly and she will figure out that she can get away with more in public if we don't discipline. No one wants to be that parent but at the same time - no one wants to be that person witnessing the behavior of a misbehaved child in public either. I took her to a doctor's appointment where she decided to throw a fit after I told her no, so I had to discpline right there in the waiting room for all other patients to see! She stopped and moved on and started playing with toys. Before going into our appointment, an elderly woman stopped me and told me Amelia was a well-behaved, little girl. I think it's more painful for people to watch a parent do nothing than to do something. We always praise her for obedience and believe that's just as important as correcting her. We're so thankful to have parents who raised 6 children each and we aren't too proud to ask for their advice. We believe it's not only important to ask for advice but take the advice and apply it!
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15
Our girl is still sweet as ever but naturally she has to grow up and part of that is exercising her will. Alex and I are careful to make sure we don't expect too much from an 18 month old but as of right now - she understands and responds to correction quickly. We always love on her after correcting her and we believe that's important as well. We don't discipline out of anger and never want her to feel as though we're mad at her. We actually want her to feel the opposite...we want her to know we set boundaries and expect obedience because we love her.
We joke about this scripture but it's truth.
He who spares his rod hates his child, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. Proverbs 13:24
Father, help us to stay consistent and to love her enough to correct her. Help us not to be lazy parents and choose to just "let it go" because we're tired. You know our heart is for Amelia to not only obey her parents as a child but to grow up and follow YOU in obedience. Thank you for Amelia. We love her to pieces. She is such a joy and makes our lives so much brighter! She's the best gift ever.
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.
Love to all,