There are times when issues arise in our children and we know something has got to be done about it, this just has to stop, because we know these bad habits and/or attitudes will lead to bigger problems in the future. With my children, it is usually a matter of their strong wills, where it is a stand-off between me and them. And they can be oh so persistent, holding fast when I would think they would have been exhausted and given up long ago. This is where we as parents must stand the strongest. That moment, when you see them submitting to your authority and learning that lesson, is confirmation that you have conducted your training wisely and efficiently. Ole sloofoot (sp?) will come along and whisper in your ear that you are being too hard, expecting too much of your child. But in the end, when not only the action is changed, but the attitude, you know you acted upon the wisdom give to you by God himself. Isn't it sweet and rewarding?
For about a year, eldest child has made our mealtimes absolutely miserable. He has refused to eat anything that was put in front of him, even foods I know he liked, gagging and shuddering and crying as if he were being fed mud (or worse). We have consistently applied negative consequences to this behaviour, whether being sent to bed early without anything to eat, sitting in the corner, or, when the magnitude of his bad attitude called for it, a sound switching. In the back of my head, I wonder what we could have done to shorten the length of this ordeal (an entire year), obviously I need to read up on the Pearl's material a little more. Nevertheless, we have finally turned a corner and it is amazing how changed his attitude is. He will say, "Watcha cooking Mama?" And I will tell him and he will say, "Oh, I like that. I want some!". I about fell out the first time this happened. Last night, we had red beans and rice for supper. He was excited to put a big bite in his mouth, but then his expression changed and he made a face and spit it out. I did not make him eat this, because his attitude was indeed receptive and he made an attempt to eat it willingly. I fixed him some rice with butter and salt and he ate the entire bowl without complaint (if only you knew how glad this makes me).
The issue with Middle Child is that she has been hair-twirling, to the point that she has broke her hair off extremely bad. She twirls her hair while sucking her thumb, it's like an automatic reaction, suck thumb, twirl hair. She knots it up so bad that I have had to cut pieces out. I have spatted her little hand until it is red, and just got plain tired of it. So, I started braiding her hair in two french braids and she loves it! Plus it keeps her hands out of it. She still twirls it when she is going to sleep, so I know I have not solved the problem. Any advice here would be welcome and appreciated!
Emma has begun waking up 2-3 times a night lately, when she was sleeping until 4:00 a.m. or so and then waking up at 7:00. She seems to not be satisfied with my milk, so I started her on cereal/babyfood. She will have none of it! After three weeks of trying, and watching her gag and shudder, and spit it all out, I have about decided I jumped the gun and she is not ready for it. I am desperate to begin getting more sleep. Help! :)
One battle won, two to go. Please, you wise, experienced Moms out there, give some helpful advice and direction to a young, learning-as-I-go mother.