Is it just me or do toddlers have selective hearing? There are times when I have to repeat myself 3 or 4 times before I get a response from my 2-year-old. Other times, I have to count to 3 before she takes action on a request. Why is it that my requests appear to fall upon deaf ears, but if I whisper the words “ice cream” from across the room, she immediately springs to attention?
I have been trying to teach Lil’ K (29 months) to be a good listener. When she does something that I ask of her, I say, “thank you for listening.” For as much correction as I offer, I try to provide an equal amount of praise or positive reinforcement. Honestly, sometimes that’s hard to do, as I find myself doing a lot of correcting lately. Not to say that there isn’t enough to praise her over, because there absolutely is. But isn’t it human nature to focus on the negative rather than the positive? And, there’s also the feeling that she is only doing what she is supposed to do anyway – so, why praise about that? Well, I’m hoping that positive reinforcement gives her incentive to choose to do the right thing.
I am loathe to discuss my discipline techniques because I have been feeling inadequate and unsure of myself in this area of parenting. (But please don’t tell Lil’ K! Although I’m sure she has already picked up on it.) I recently listened to a podcast from an old Family Life Today broadcast that featured author, Ginger Plowman who gave guidance about disciplining in love and instruction of the Lord. Examples of ineffective discipline techniques she mentioned were time-outs and the “count to 3″ method which I employ quite often. In fact, her book is entitled, Don’t Make Me Count to Three: a Mom’s Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline.
I ordered the book and I expect it to be an interesting read. I hope there will be practical advice for training and guiding a child in love. And if I could stop counting to 3 in order to get results, even better.
I also ordered How We Love Our Kids: The Five Love Styles of Parenting by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.
Training a child and guiding her through life is not an easy task. Sometimes I am daunted by the responsibility and gravity of this. Parenting is a skill learned on-the-job and it always keeps me on my toes.
After I read these books, I’ll share my thoughts.
Who is Champuru?Aloha, I'm Donna, known everywhere on the Internet as "Champuru." I was born and raised in Hawaii. I'm a Christian. I'm married to my best friend of 18 years, we struggled with infertility and successfully conceived via IVF (and by the grace of God!) in 2008. I resigned from my coveted "secure" government job to be a work-at-home mom to my 3-year-old daughter. Using my degree in Information Technology and the skills obtained in the marketplace, I started my own business. Now, I work from home, taking clients on a part-time basis, working in my PJ's while the little one sleeps. Life isn't always easy, but it's all good.