Saturday, January 24, 2009

The begining of defiance

I don't understand why kids need persuasion to cooperate with what their suppose to do. My daughter is at the age which I can't just tell her to go wash her hands and she'll do it. Up until now, she did! For her it is fun to disagree with my request, and it is part of her development to be able to make up her own mind. It is inherently difficult because she wants to be independent but she doesn't know what is best for her yet. It leads parents to either bribe or scold the child. For now, I tell her calmly and firmly, "mommy is not playing, please do ______ now". If she still doesn't, or runs away which is very fun, I tell her "you have a choice, either do__________ or go to the corner". Then she comes out of the corner when she is ready to do _________. This works, it is just frustrating that many requests in a day have to be negotiated and create tension. But, the tension is mine only because my daughter seems infinitely resilient and is the unfazed by confrontation. So this brings me back to my belief that parenting is all about the parent. We get a lot thrown at us and the need to deal with it properly rather than thinking what is being thrown will be thrown gently or quietly placed in front of us. It seems to me that the "throwing" will never end. A key to dealing with this calmly is to not take it personally. I must continually remind myself that she is not defying me, she is developing least I am trying to convince myself of that.

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