Since I went back to work full time mid-August, Ada (and I) have been struggling. She handled the arrival of Dax SO gracefully- she is the most loving, kind big sister in the history of siblings. But, when I went back to work to such a hellish year (disclaimer: it isn't hell- I adore my students- it's just the workload that is near unbearable)- she immediately began acting out. Tantrums, pretending she didn't know simple things that she's known for years (numbers, letters, etc) on purpose, constant boundary pushing- anything to get some attention. And I, on the otherhand, was constantly losing my patience; and then spending far too much time afterward lamenting and regretting how I'd handled things.
So I hopped on Amazon and pretty much purchased any book I'd ever heard mentioned in passing about child rearing. I've been really happy with what I've read so far- and... get ready... they're already WORKING! Can I just say- thank the good Lord we (I) read them early- who knew how easy it can be to completely screw your kid up on complete accident!?!?!?
Here is my "book report" for those of you that either asked, wanted to ask, or will ask in the future! :)
- A)reading the entire book and understanding the psychology behind it (and the dramatic consequences if you DON'T allow them to feel comfortable making choices early on- think caving to peer pressures or rebellious teen in 12 years);
- and B) see how WELL it works around here within the first battery of choices- I'm a total convert.
Lastly, the detriment of being "drill sergeant" and/or "helicopter" parents. I'd tried so intensely to be NEITHER of these (barking orders or hovering to constantly please)- that I'd become this bizarre concoction of the two. They both teach the kid learned helplessness. Neither lets said kid learn from mistakes while they're young- and mistakes just get bigger and badder with age. So- again, so glad we started when we did.
There are MANY more smaller techniques given in the book- how to improve mornings (HERE! HERE!), how to make meal times more smooth, how to eliminate bickering/etc misbehavior in the car (HERE!), etc- if you're struggling with a toddler OR have a baby that will eventually BE a toddler- get it and read it. And then do it. :)
Another Texas Family- but it's the 4 intrinsic needs that MUST be met for a child to feel unconditionally loved. Eye contact, physical touch, undivided attention, and discipline (different from punishment- think routines and expectations). This is just knowledge that will be nice to keep in the back of my head at all times- not necessarily any tools for parenting- other than the basic fact that your child has to be confident that you are madly in love with them before any parenting tools will actually be effective.
And, the one that's still waiting for me is "The Five Love Languages of Children." If you know me, you know I'm obsessed with the original "The Five Languages of Love" book- I swear by it for relationships. So, why not!? Can't hurt. Nice little supplement to the other two. :)
Ada is responding to the Love and Logic techniques like they are magic. We are back to having a blast together most of the time- it's so good to have my precious, sweet, funny girl back! Love her to absolute pieces- through thick and thin!