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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Parenting - working through frustrations

As I am a first time mom, I am going through each stage for the first time. Things will be different for future children, and stages will prevent their own challenges, but at least by then I will have experienced something in each stage.

My daughter is currently 16 months old. We are testing the nap issues currently the most. She likes to lay awake and talk through nap time. It frustrates me as I know she needs her sleep and I know how it affects her later if she doesn't get her nap. I know a few days of missed naps means more work for me later to get rid of the fatigue that sets in quickly. Of course she does not understand this. She does not know why I work so hard to get her to actually sleep at nap time. Or why it is so frustrating to me when she fights it.  This is something I am working hard at to maintain my cool and not let my frustration out on her or where she really sees it. This is a work in progress.

Another fun part of this stage (though we are really only in the very beginning of this one) is the tantrums, especially in public.  Luckily, so far there have not been many public tantrums, but I most definitely am not wearing rose colored glasses with the belief that my child will never act out in public. That is a given for every child, no matter how well behaved they usually are. While there have not been many public breakdowns yet, I am sure I will get plenty of looks through the years when they do occur. I am of the mindset that the child has a breakdown and the parent does not fuel the fire by giving in. If in the grocery store and a child throws a fit because he/she wants something and was told no, the answer will stand and they can throw their fit till they give up. I will not give in but will follow through with what I said. Yes, I guarantee plenty of people will stare at me and wonder why I do not give in just to make my child quiet down. Or wonder why I don't just give up on the trip and try again later, leaving my cart and walking out. I will not give up or give in. If the child is screaming, he/she can have their fit. I would like to hope that after only a few of these fits, when they see I don't give in, they will take me at my word and the fits will slowly decrease and finally go away. It would be nice if it works that way, but I won't give up. People may stare if they wish. But I will follow through with what I told my child(ten) rather than giving in just to make them happy and quiet down for the sake of saving myself embarrassment while in public.

By following through, my children will learn I mean what I say. They will learn that I am the parent and what I say goes. They will not run my household because I allowed them to by letting them get their way all the time. Allowing children to have choices is fine. I will give my children two choices (both of which I am comfortable with) and they can decide from there. For example, if while shopping my child begs for a sugary cereal, I will give them two cereal options I am comfortable with and they can pick one of those. Or they can choose nothing. I will not give in to the sugary cereal they want that is not healthy for them just to avoid a tantrum and embarrassment on my part.

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