Monday, May 2, 2011

Where there's a will - there's a way.

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.

Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Love to all,


Immeasurably More Mama said...

Parenting is THE toughest job! At age 3, we are still working on obedience and having a good attitude. Sigh. And at 15 months old, my youngest has started telling me to "Stop!"...oh, no sir. Hang in there, Jill! At the right time you will reap a harvest if you do not give up! :)

Anonymous said...

Amelia has such a sweet spirit about her, and she is also very tender hearted. You are doing such a great job! She'll learn one day that you have a stronger will than she does:) Hopefully you have learned from all my mistakes...truly being consistent is the key!
Love you,

Momx6 said...

The greatest reward is a child who loves and obeys God. Don't give up -

beebee said...

Being a parent is hard work. Being the parent of a toddler is lots of hard work. I'm looking for the light at the end of the terrible two's.... unfortunately, my sweet girl is still *only* two years, three months. (...sigh....)

There are days I believe time outs are overrated, but it's our choice. Like you, I believe consistency and boundaries are essential for a happy, well behaved child.

For whatever it's worth, we attended a wedding with lots of family who had never met A. They all commented that she was so well behaved.... I kept thinking to myself, "Are you serious?!?" HA!

Courtney said...

Thank you for the encouragement. Macie is not to this point yet (she's almost 12 months) but I know there is a tough road in our future. I also think DH and I are going to be more strict with her than our friends seem to be with their children, and that scares me. I think this will be the toughest thing we ever do, but probably the best thing also.
Thank you for your honesty!

Faith said...

You are an amazing mother and I learn so much by your example. Thank you for sharing your heart and these truths. I know it encourages so many other mothers, and it encourages me too =)

Love you dearly!

kristin fulghum said...

amen, amen, amen. have you read shepherding a child's heart? sounds like it lines right up with what you guys believe. it sure is hard and it is so counter cultural. thanks for sharing this!

Perfectly Imperfect said...

This post just terrified me. Mine is only 13 months old and we deal with fits and saying "no" on a daily basis at least a hundred times a day. She is so strong willed. If it gets worse at 18 months, I'll be committed!!!

Good luck Mama. :)

Anonymous said...

Parenting is really hard. And you are right. Consistency is the key to correct your childs behaviour. I just want you to retink spanking. Obviously you have thought about it before. I just always believe that it is the easier way to correct your child BUT that the child this way learns out of fear - which might not be what you want and which may very well not have long term effects... Nevertheless, this is your child and with the amount of love you have for her you will choose what fits your family best.
Sorry. Couldn't keep my mouth shut when hearing this word.

Mel said...

Parenting brings out a WHOLE NEW appreciation for how God sees us.

Its amazing when I look back and think of just how terrified I was of having a baby and really? The baby part is EASY PEASY compared to this. And it only gets harder as they get more opinionated! Consistency is truly key, you are so right. And I think we as parents have to practive what we preach, too! I notice a lot of parents expect things of their children that they don't even expect of themselves.

I also find it's super imporant to make sure she FULLY understands why she's being scolded or punished. I explain it to her and make sure she and I have total eye contact. I'll explain once when I take her to time out and then again after time out when we give hugs and kisses ask her to apologize. It's arduous and sometimes takes more effort than I want to expend, but it really does pay off in the end, I think.

You're doing so great! God gave you such wonderful models to follow, thank you for sharing this post!