Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tell Me That Someday it Will Pay Off

I'm working very hard to teach Tessa manners on a two year old scale. So hard that it's bound to be the thing that drives me into the looney bin. I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that toddlers can get what they want by screaming, and that parents should fall prey to it.

I try to stand like a fortress....'you may NOT speak to me that way'. Remembering that ultimately I am bigger than the child and could take her in a fight and emotionally I am called to be her guidance. That's not to say I haven't blurted out "STOP YELLING AT ME!". By the way, not really effective.

I am trying to master the Clare Huxtable "look" know where you can cut a facial expression so cold and terrifying that they snap back in line, no words required. I know this will take practice but I've been working on it.
Yesterday while shopping with Erin I let Tessa out of the stroller as long as she stayed near us. While I was shopping at Lane Bryant (and Erin at the store next door because even at 9 months pregnant she's too skinny for Lane Bryant), Tessa wondered a little too far and I reminded her to stay close. She said "no" and I gave her the Huxtable look. Her head dipped a bit and she sauntered back to the stroller while I gave myself an internal high five.

Back to the subject of manners, I've been drilling it and drilling it enough to tire myself and want to give up. But I need to stay strong. This would be an example of a conversation Tessa and I would have about 74 times a day.

--MOM, I need some juuuuuiiiiccce
--Okay, hold on I'm changing Charley's diaper
--But I need it, I NEED it
--Please wait your turn
--Please wait your turn, I'm changing Charley
--Get it, get it!!!
--Tessa you need to stop yelling or you're going straight time out
--I stop yelling now
--Now, how would you ask nicely for a drink?
--Please what?
--Please I like to have a dwink, Mommy


BrookZ said...

Yes these times are very trying with Abbey too. Stay strong it is hard for sure, I am ashamed to admit that she has eaten dinner @ the kitchen counter bc I knew she would at least eat there and it would not be the fight it would be to get her to eat @ the table!! One of many comprimises-I try really hard to not give in and do really well most of the time but it sure is hard.

TLS said...

Keep it up! It works....I have proof!

erin said...

It will totally pay off! Everybody used to tell me I was too hard on Tim but you know, I have had more compliments now on how he is so helpful and well mannered. It's nice when people call him a gentleman and it makes it totally worth it! Keep on sister, your doin a great job! From a fellow mommy, I was always told that they listen better when they hear, not right now instead of no and this seemed to help. There's also a psychology trick that you can use that works well but that takes more explaining. So, time :)

Marcie said...

It will pay off!

All those parenting books (even the good ones) fail to say that all of the good principles within will have to be repeated 140 MILLION TIMES to be effective.

Mamaw Creech said...

You might want to check with your mother for some tips on "That Look"......I understand she can whip a whole roomful of 4th Graders in line with just "That Look".....Mamaw