Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rerouting

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!

10 comments:

Sparkling said...

YEAH!! Isn't it great when you do it and it actually works? He was probably like WHOA WTF? And then when you stuck to your guns he was like WHOA she is serious! Now he'll ratchet up the testing, but at least he knows you mean business!

cam said...

aww... great post. it feels good to be reminded that you're not by yourself. somebody has been there before.

Mom et al said...

That's what I love about blogging, you truly learn how much we all go through the same things as parents. I have not been keeping up with my bloggy friends enough this summer, so I am sorry I missed your original post. I agree with your approach, consistency is key. My husband and I always struggle over what exactly we should threaten as consequences. For instance, we can't threaten that they can't visit their Papa for the weekend if they don't behave, when you are going away for the weekend and Papa is your babysitter. If they call your bluff, which mine often do, you're screwed! It a constant challenge but we all find our way somehow. I hope you are having a great summer!

Mrs. Weber said...

I've found parenting trials are so much easier with the help of internet friends. I've learned so many great tips from my blog, too. Glad everyone chimed in to help out...I will have to come back to that great advice when my little one is a toddler! P.S. Great to see you at the PRSA event :)

Mommy on the Spot said...

Sparkling, funny you should say that. My daughter said, "Wow. You are really giving him the business." I wanted to say, "Yep, the bitch is back!"

Mommy on the Spot said...

Cam, thanks! It felt so much better to know that I wasn't the only one.

Mommy on the Spot said...

Mom et al, YES to calling of the bluff. Which kinda got me to this place that I was in. Hope you are having a great summer! I'll miss you at BlogHer this year!

Mommy on the Spot said...

Mrs. Webber, I could not agree more with you about parenting trials and internet friends!

Also, I had a great time at the PRSA meeting. I thought you did a great job moderating the pannel! Also, thanks for asking me to contribute to the conversation :)

Amanda @ Gluten Free Detroit Metro said...

I don't have a lot to add but after reading, this and the pool incident entry, I'm left feeling happy knowing I'm not the only one.

Mommy on the Spot said...

You and me both, Amanda!