I love my navigation system on my phone. It’s like having this awesome friend who knows where to go and isn’t pissed when I have to ask for directions all the time. Nav (we are on a first name basis now) has helped me find my way from the depths of LA to the beautiful resort of St. Regis Monarch Beach of Dana Point. She helped me go all the way from my house to Chicago. When I make a wrong turn, I love how she gently mummers in her monotone voice, “Rerouting,” as she delicately redirects me to my destination.
She always has my back.
Last week, I talked about my recent parenting struggles in The Pool Incident. I was a bit nervous when I wrote this post and asked for help. The Internet can be a cold, hard crowd. And although I was writing about normal two year old behavior, I was totally not proud of my behavior of putting all the threats I could think of on the table.
But I am so glad I did write this post. Your comments helped me tremendously. They made me think, “Hell, yeah I need to do something about this.” I felt as if I was going down this path of being bulldozed by a two year old and all of his random, urgent whims.
Your comments rerouted me back to the path that I strayed from in fear of being mean mom. Your comments gave me clarity: there is nothing wrong with laying down the law. In fact, I *have* to lay down the law. I would be doing a great disservice if I didn’t.
So this week, I initiated time-outs when Thomas would not join us at the dinner table. I got down on his level, explained to him that although he didn’t have to eat, he had to sit at the table with us. I told him to stay on the bench for two minutes, and when I got back, he could either join us or think about it in another time out. I didn’t react. I didn’t threat. I didn’t take it personally. There were clear expectations. And guess what?
After three times, it worked. He joined up for dinner.
Consistency is not easy. But it works. (At least, this week it did).
Putting this post out there and all the comments I received reminded me why I love blogging so much: the sense of community. I am not the only one struggling with a strong willed two year old.
And for that, I thank you.
Have a great week!