Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parenting Books: You win!

I stole this insert from my friend, Melanie. It began to ring true a few days ago as Abigail was not herself at all. I was worried that she slipped into the dreaded 18 month change in personality that we'd heard about. However, in retrospect, I don't think she was feeling well, and her schedule was completely off. I don't like to make excuses, but she does seem to be getting back to her normal personality. However, in the midst of her personality change, we were floundering a bit - trying to be as consistent as possible but struggling with communicating to her and vice versa. She was defiantly saying "No" often and also just falling apart in 1/2 second if anything didn't go her way. Praise the Lord this whole thing lasted only about 4 days. I appreciate her sweet nature all the more now that I can see what it can be like. Here's my friend's blog journaling:

I've always thought that parenting books were kind of obvious. Especially the ones that say things like "don't reward bad behavior". I feel like calling the author and saying, "Really. You spent how long writing a book to tell people like me 'don't reward bad behavior'? I'm not a Nanny 911 case, I'm just trying to get my daughter to stop telling people she is going to throw them in the garbage. I read your book and I get 'don't reward bad behavior'. As if I had time to waste. Thank You."
Today I realized the ugly truth. Being around my daughter when she is happy, kind, and well-behaved is like a moment in heaven. I would do anything to make it continue forever. When she is so sweet I don't want to give her a treat or watch TV or any of the other standby "rewards" because I just want to sit with her doing whatever it is she is doing and enjoy the golden blissful moment of perfection as it unfolds. Sitting with her, being loved, adored, and included in play is the best thing in the world. It is a reward for me.
When gloomy behavior visits, I really would do anything to make it stop. I would buy her a pony or a happy meal or anything in else in the world to make her happy again. And I'm not the only one - have you ever heard that song "Hush Little Baby, don't say a word, mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird?"
So, obvious-advice-parenting-book, you win. Now I understand that "not rewarding bad behavior" is much harder than it sounds.

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