Thursday, June 2, 2011

strife for balance. again.

Had the longest and best talk with a friend of mine today about parenting, another chat last night with more great girl friends about the same thing. One comment stuck out- if there was a perfect way to parent EVERYONE would be doing it, no questions asked. Point being there is no perfect or best way. Each child is so different from the next and no two are ever the same. Each has their own triumphs and own trials.

With Ryan it has always a balancing act- too much or too little. When he was a baby it was am I holding him too much or not enough, nursing him too much or not enough, am I spoiling him or depriving him of the thing he needs like the most. And everyone had an opinion on what I was doing.

Now the balance is different- its all about structure and discipline. I come from a generation of roaming children. We dont coop them up in pack n plays when we have to answer the phone or use the bathroom. We childproof and baby gate the doors. They have free range of most of the house and can come and go as they please- they are free spirited. I loved that about Ryan. I loved that my house is safe enough to roam and chill where he wanted.

I never wanted to be the mom that spent all day saying NO. I didnt want to nor was able to have one hand on him at all times. There are times where my mom point blank asks me "well why was he allowed to dump the box of crayons out?" Its not that he is ALLOWED to but I had to get a glass of water! I dont have the energy to pick up my 2 year old and carrying him where ever I need to go and then hold him down so he stays next to me at all times. Its not going to happen. But I find myself having to say no, alot. As in should be saying it over and over all day long. Ryan doesnt sit still, ever. There is a reason he does his biz when hes sleeping! Its the only time he is still and relaxed long enough to let things go. Since he could roll he has been on a mission- never aimlessly wandering. Always headed somewhere to do something specific. He does not stop.

So here we are- he is big, opinionated, and stubborn as hell. He doesnt learn the easy way. He has to fall, get hurt, lose something, or whatever to figure things out. He has never responded well to discipline. I say NO over and over and over praying it sticks on the tenth time. I understand a big part of that is being a toddler and most kids are that way but I swear we are our own kind of crazy at this house. I guess I am just at a loss. I need to be more consistent in my parenting. Either he can play games on my phone or call daddy or he cant. He can stand on the baseboard heater and yell out the window or he cant. I get SO sick of saying no a thousand times a day that I let a lot of things slide... sometimes. Its horribly confusing for Ryan and there are plenty of days where I want to bang my head against the wall hoping that something will change.

I just need some advice. I dont want to be a Nazi mom with one hand on his shoulder repeating the phrase "no ryan" over and over all day long. I like him learning from natural consequences and having freedom but there comes a point where when mom says no she means it. Like I said before stubborn as hell..... I have no clue.

Oh oh oh! On a totally non related topic I am getting to meet up with some pretty flipping sweet bloggers this weekend at Bloggy Boot Camp. I have been waiting and waiting for this for ever. I think I bought my ticket last year?! Oh my heck I am so excited I probably wont be able to sleep much tonight. You may know some of the lovely ladies I get to rub shoulders with! Mandy, Amy, Chelsea, Melissa, Stephanie, and so so so many more.

Dont forget to vote if its pink or blue for baby #2!

(See that I just rhymed.. oh yes)

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Miss Mouse and Me said...

i needed this. i have been feeling the exact same way and graycie isn't even 1 yet. she is into everything and we are constantly saying no and i don't want to be that kind of mom. i think we need to rearrange our house a little so she can have more freedom without us having to worry about her getting into everything. however, when i am getting frustrated about graycie getting into stuff i just try to remember that if she can't break it or hurt herself then it is fine. messes can cleaned up. you are a wonderful mom and ryan is so so so lucky that you are his mama

Tiffany said...

i have some seriously stubborn children. my oldest and third oldest are both VERY stubborn, sassy, and feisty. although, my oldest is a little different with attachment disorder. but this is how we do discipline at my house...

after many years of my children not listening to a word i said, repeating myself over and over until i was blue in the face, and still, no one listened, we found out about my son's disorder... and i learned that i needed to stand up for myself as a mom and gain the respect and general obedience of my children. i was pulling my hair out and at a loss for what to do... so this is what i learned and what i do...

let's say i tell my 2 year old, "macey, you need to go clean up your toys." she has two choices... either listen to mom, and go clean up, or not do it (ignore, say no, pretend like she didn't hear me- yes, she does that). if she chooses not to, i'll say, "macey, do 5 jumping jacks." she chooses to listen or not. if she doesn't, (no matter what her excuse is), she goes to her room. when she has been in there quiet for 2 minutes (since she is 2), she comes out, and still owes me those 5 jumping jacks. once she does those (and if she doesn't, she just goes back into her room), i then repeat to her, "i need you to go clean up your toys." after the initial training (and with feisty kids, you'll do putting them back in their room for HOURS sometimes until it is worth them being obedient and respectful of you), most of the time, all they need is the jumping jacks to re-focus and do what you ask... and most of the time, she doesn't even need that. she is obedient most of the time.

now some may see that as extreme. but i came from the opposite end where my kids did nothing i asked, weren't obedient AT ALL and had zero respect for me. so that's the route we went. with my easier kids, it worked quickly. within a few days.. and we only re-visit time out every so often. with my feisty ones, it took a few weeks before they grasped that i wasn't giving in... that i was the mom and they are the child. sounds old school and it is, compared to how most people parent these days. but my kids respect me and like having a strong mom that is in charge, rather than them feeling like they are the ones in charge... that was a long response. but thought i'd give my two cents. :) :) good luck. stubborn kids are HARD!

Courtney K. said...

I think that we all feel like that with parenting. It's not easy, no matter WHAT demeanor your child has. Noah is pretty headstrong and stubborn, too. In fact, I have a post scheduled about that on Tuesday. He has to do things his own way, in his own time. No one can force him into anything. I don't think saying no makes you a Nazi mom. But I can understand the whole getting sick of saying no and caving in thing. Been there. And I don't pick Noah up and carry him with me everywhere. We have a free roaming policy in our house too. We don't have a baby gate now that he can walk up and down the stairs, so every where in the house is free territory. And I like it that way. I've never penned him up and made him stay isolated to one area. I think you're a great mom. And like the rest of us, you just figure it out as you go. :) HAve fun this weekend!!

Danielle said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one!!! Holy cow, I can totally relate to feeling like we are our "own kind of crazy" around here. I'm realizing that I just have to choose my battles and be CONSISTENT. There are certain drawers Teryn is allowed to get in and ones he's not, but he doesn't realize the difference yet so I'm having to not let him get into any drawers at all. Someday he'll understand reasons, discipline, and consequences....but until that day comes, I'm just having to put my foot down on certain things. He's catching on to what he can and can't do and it makes a big difference!

Lucy said...

I loved your words - there is no perfect way to parent or else everyone would be doing it. Amen! And it's so true, that's why I don't get when moms judge other moms.

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