Monday, March 19, 2012

Good times of parenting

Raising a 2 year old is definitely challenging and stressful. While it's true that my husband and I spend every available moment together with our son and we enjoy it and wouldn't change that for anything, and we think our son is the most precious, wonderful and beautiful boy, it's also true that he is stubborn, willful and quite often disobeys. Now, Ian is very bright (like the kids his age are nowadays, as you may have notice), so he understands very well what we say to him and what we mean when we tell him not to do something, but he goes out of his way to do it anyway. He sometimes even calls me, and when I look at him, he brazenly does exactly what I just told him not to do, challenging me and my orders. What are we, as parents, supposed to do? Laugh it up? Dismiss it as part of the "terrible twos" phase? Discipline him?
We choose to discipline, but to do it right. I mean, if I'm being sincere I have to admit that sometimes we fail, sometimes we let our exhaustion (from work, house shores, etc) get the better of us and one of two things happen: 1) we give up and let him do whatever it is he wants (terrible, I know) or 2) we over-scold him (terrible, awful, yes I know). "But he is only 2!", you find yourself screaming at your computer trying to get through to me, to insist that he is a child acting like a normal child. And yes, he is. But no, we should not dismiss this "normal" behavior as "just a child being a child". What happens when he hits us in public (he doesn't, just an example of what he is capable of doing)? Or spits? Or yells at us? Or throws a tantrum? If he is capable of understanding us, he is capable of following our simple order which is to "do as mommy or daddy says".
Now, what goes through his mind when he disobeys? Exactly what goes through ours when we do the same thing: he is putting his needs or wants first. And there are two great books that can help deal with that:

Shepherding a Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp
Don't Make Me Count to Three, by Ginger Plowman

Both books will give you sound, biblical advice on how to raise your children, but it doesn't mean that you have to follow literally what they say. This is a problem I see whenever I read the reviews for this type of books. No, you will not necessarily agree with everything, but you do take away lots of great things, great insight and very good advice. We don't follow what these books say literally, but we have now a better understanding of what goes on in Ian's mind when he disobeys and what are good, biblical ways to approach this.
So what will we do the next time Ian goes out of his way to do whatever he wants and knows it's wrong? (Bear in mind, this will happen any second now.) We will make sure he understands his wrongdoing, reprimand him and love him even more. That's what makes parenting such a good time to have with your child.

No comments:

Post a Comment