Last weekend was the first time, after how many weeks, that I have truly spent the day with my toddler – even if it were just within our bedroom. It was also when I got a closer look at how he’s been behaving these days.
We all know that our kids have their share of mischief and “misbehavior” and mine’s in the phase of finding comedy around throwing random things to the floor – because we react in such comic horror! Hehe.
Though in my heart, I find his laugh cute and amusing, I knew I had to “correct” the behavior. In a way, I believe that by curtailing our reactions (AKA ignoring his ‘bad behavior’) we can stop reinforcing it. But also, I know that if I were to correct something, it has to be immediate.
At one point, my toddler threw my powder to the corner of the room – and I responded by asking him nicely to retrieve it. “Get the powder please, give it to mommy,” I said.
But this little guy is stubborn (gee, wonder whose genes that came from? :D); he didn’t want to. And each time I carry him closer to the object, he just kicks it further away. I felt I had to be stern so I did.
It lasted about 15 mins. – of him just standing there; afraid to pick up the object and to ask angry mommy for forgiveness.
I kept repeating my instructions, just to remind him of the goal. When he refused to budge, I closed my eyes for a bit to give him the idea that the decision is his, and I am not watching.
Finally, when I opened my eyes, he picked up the powder, and with a shy but adorable smile, ran towards me to hand it over. “Thank you!!!,” I say proudly. Just when he burst into tears as he finally got to hug me.
Being tough to someone we love, especially a little kid is heartbreaking. Sometimes, it makes us doubt ourselves whether it’s right to impose concepts like “discipline” to such a young and naturally playful mind.
As for my child, I do not want him to cry. And believe me, I resisted every urge to come pick him up and let the incident just slide. But as parents, we are gifted with such a precious and enormous role of leading our children into the path of goodness. We need to love our kids through discipline (Proverbs 22:15).
In the three years that I’ve started out this parenting thing, I can confidently say that there are a lot of things I still don’t know. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing because we continue to learn.
Sometimes, I feel the guilt of not being able to supervise his growing up years 24/7. But I am thankful for God’s promise to care for our kids even when we can’t (Isaiah 54:13). Thankful too, for other people who become instruments of learning for our kids on our behalf.