Friday, January 25, 2008

Turning 15 Months

Anna turned 15 months yesterday. Of course I can't see any noticeable difference in her as opposed to a few days ago, but I definitely feel she is starting to test her boundaries as a toddler. There is so much talk about "terrible two's" that I had no clue that the temper tantrums start much earlier. The hot topic of conversation with my mommy friends has become discipline and how do we handle our little ones who want to throw their food on the ground and do something that we have already told them 'no'. There are so many viewpoints and books out there that it reminds me of the countless hours I spent studying up on sleep techniques when Anna was an infant and how I stressed over it - - yet this seems so much bigger. No parent wants to have "that kid" who bites or who throws themselves down on the store floor and screams bloody murder, but it just might happen no matter how many books you read. I have in no way come close to figuring out the best way to discipline Anna, but here are few things we've tried to date:

- Saying 'no': Anna is a rather sensitive girl and sometimes a firm 'no' and a stern look are enough to deter her from her path and cause her to listen. Tonight as we went through the nightly ritual of Anna throwing food on the floor I told her 'no' and then she looked at her daddy, back at me, and then back at daddy over and over again. Yikes, has she already learned to go to another parent if one is not giving her her way?!?!

- Timeout: Several of my friends are against timeout at this age since the toddler doesn't really understand but I continue to use it on occasion. Sometimes Anna needs to be removed from a situation and redirected and I feel that by giving her a minute or two in a specific spot she has time to calm down and move on. I don't know if this has stemmed from that but lately whenever Anna gets upset and starts to throw a fit, she runs into another room or goes to the chair I put her in for timeout (at playgroup last week she went and hid behind a door!). Again, who knows what this means, but perhaps she's learning to take some time to herself to calm down????

- Thumping her hand: As many parents gasp in shock... this was a concept my mommy friends would not even consider a few months ago. There are times when I need to get Anna's attention and make sure she knows what she is doing is not acceptable (plus she could be putting herself in danger). This is intended to take some of the emotion out of the disciplining whereas if someone goes to smack their hand they could be using more force than necessary.

I have to be honest in that no matter what we do, there are several things that we have to continue to discipline Anna about over and over again - mainly throwing food or hitting back at us - and I'm sure this will continue for some time. The fun part of parenting has begun :). But I must say that turning 15 months has also brought many positives that make me look at Anna in awe and say 'wow, she is so smart'. Those are the moments that make me forget the tough times.

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Having already made it through 2 boys at that stage, I have to say I think you have the right ideas. And thanks for the reminder of the hand thumping. I did that with my first (can't remember the second!) and since Colin is almost 14 months now, I see it coming back into play again really soon!