I was totally convicted the other day of the parenting I have succumb to lately. I don’t know if it just crept up on me or came out of left field but I have delightfully coined it “couch-commando parenting”. What does this look like in terms of parenting? Lots of, “Hey Mirabelle, don’t do this! …don’t do that!…stop it! No! No! No!” I wonder what my “no” count is these days but I am prettu sure it has TRULY lost ALL meaning. I think I even question why I am saying it sometimes. There have been times that I realize I am calling her out purely for the fact that I want to save myself the mess later when she is just flexing her developmental muscles and not actually misbehaving to it’s truest sense.
In a word..I have become lazy as a parent. I want my 22-month old daughter to take orders from me the first time I give them as I sit on my throne (the couch). I don’t want to get up 5, 7, 25 times and show her what she SHOULD be doing. I want her to act, basically, like me (an adult). RIDICULOUS..I KNOW! Aren’t most of us guilty of this. If not with our kids, with other adults! We want people to adapt to US and do it our way.
I am not alone in this, I hate to call out others but I know I have found my loved ones doing the same with my own daughter. I give this out though… My daughter is fairly advanced when it comes to her language development and many motor skills. Particularly with her language skills, this sets an expectation that she should be expected to also behave older than she is which is not true. Being able to speak like that of a 2.5 year old or older doesn’t mean you have the capacity to reason and conduct yourself as a 2.5 yr. old.
The conclusion I have come to is this: Its time I came down from my throne and start modeling proper behavior more through positive reinforcement. This means when she wants to tear her books I show her how to gently flip through them and put them away when she is done. And when all else fails, if destruction is a course she can’t seem to get out of her focus then temporarily remove the stimuli rather than just saying “no” over and over. I used to think that stashing away all my things that I didn’t want her to break and get into meant that she was winning the “I’m not listening to you so now you have to move it” but now I realize it’s just a season and a matter of maturity and less pure disobedience!
As I began to think through all of this the other day a song I used to sing came floating to the forefront of my mind. The words could not have been more perfect to my situation. When I used to perform as a child with the Houston Children’s Chorus, this was a song that would bring tears to my eyes. It is a beautiful tune and it has stayed close to my heart now for 15 years now.
“Show Me How”
I am small, I’m just a child
I’m still learning right from wrong
How am I supposed to know
Won’t you take some time for me
Show me How, Take me by the hand
Lead the way You want me to Go
Give me love and understanding, and sometimes I may need a hug
Show me how to love
Show me how
Through my eyes, you move so fast
Tell me where is everybody going
In my world there’s just today
How can I stop this pain from growing
Show me How take me by the hand
Lead the way you want me to go
Give me love and understanding and sometimes I may need a hug
Show me how to love
Show me how
Words mean nothing, I am watching you
Please be my example, show me what to do
Show me how… (Chorus)