Thursday, July 17, 2014

Positive Parenting


Eight is the amount of times that we chased our baby toddler out of her big sister's bed last night and back into her own. This occurred well after eight O'Clock in the evening. This was not fun.

Maybe it's summer fever.

I read all the books, all the magazines, all the just-be-firm-and-say-it-positively articles and I try to put them into practice. My latest adventure has been trying to word things in a positive way, as in "Rivka sleeps in Rivka's bed," with a big fake smile, rather than the negative, teeth-clenched version, which sounds like "DONOTGOINTOCHAYA'SBED!"

So I tried to concentrate on my wording the other day.

I walked into Rivka's room (on grounds of suspicious silence) and found that every single book was removed from the book shelf and several had already undergone her rehabilitation efforts. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and carefully said:

"Rivka. Books are for reading. We treat books nicely. We read books and turn pages of books and we are so gentle with books."

When I opened my eyes she was in the kitchen, self-selecting snacks from the pantry.

So I tried again at bedtime.

"Rivka. I see that you are very excited (acknowledge her feelings). Bedtime is for sleeping (state the rule). I would like to see you lay down now (state the objective). It appears that you disagree with me (state the obvious). STOP JUMPING (give up.)

There is only one magical word that can stop Rivka mid-action and I (try to) use it sparingly.

That word is: raw.  She has seen my dramatic, full-fledged horrified panic when she once reached out to touch raw chicken and has been cured from ever attempting to touch something labeled "raw" (salmonella, hello!).

So far the disgusting water fountain at the park, the bucket of rain water near the front lawn, and the filter on the air conditioner have all tested positively for raw.

Any chance I can make her sister's bed turn raw at 7:00pm?

By the way, this is what reasoning looks like when your toddler spent most of the night jumping out of bed.
Not to be confused with what reasoning looks like with a toddler at any time.