Braden is 3 and a half -but I think I am going through (with him) what other mothers go through with their two year olds. My friend Annie (see planetsprog) posted about the Mothers Almanac almost 2 years ago. I value her opinion (especially in parenting matters) quite high and so (sight unseen)I purchased a copy from Amazon.com (see link below) and I was NOT disappointed.
Last week I opened it again to read on discipline to help me with all the "no"s and "I don't want to"s around the house.
Here is some of the advice it offers...
Every child tries to rule the house but you will never meet the child who really wants to and you'll pity the one who does because they are never happy. But remember the more a person is told what to do, the more recalcitrant they grow. Dignity becomes so precious that your child will stall every request and say no to every order, even as they comply.
When a child's rights are accepted they will begin to accept the rights of others This is why you knock on your baby's door before you enter, correct a naughty two year old in private and ask permission of your three year old to see their drawings and tell your child to hurry ONLY when you MUST.
A child learns how many times you are willing to repeat the order before you mean what you say. If you whisper when he shouts the loudest child will lower their voice the way you do... if they don't tell them you call them for all the noise...
It's never "time for your bath" but "its time for your duck to have a swim" it's not "time for bed" but " lets hurry to bed so we can read a long story instead of a short one"
Outdoor summons: No mother can call loud enough to be heard by her child half a block away. You either will sound like a shrew or the other children will mimic you and embarrass your child. Either way get a bell or a whistle instead.
Every mother has a special tone to warn her child of danger. If you use the same tone to tell your child to not touch the stove AND pick up her toys you will dilute your control when you need it.
You may rant hysterically and have tantrums too bizarre to even tell your husband, like the mother who sprayed the instant whipped cream all over her little child's head - after the child had done the same thing to the sofa. This behavior is normal for the BOTH of you.
We think it is a bad idea for a child to name a doll or punching bag after their younger sibling for you are trying to teach her to live by her wits NOT her fits and a child can learn to work off most aggressions with a good dig in the garden a workout with some bread dough or a hammer and nails.
There may be stages now when you're just getting through the days the best you can. This is when you need a sitter for a few hours a week, a job (whether paid or volunteer) outside the house and seeing how many times you can say "yes' instead of "no"
No one wants to be as good as a three year old and they'll be even better if you tell them exactly what you expect and why before they ask. But sometimes they act so adult that you forget that they are still a baby and this is when you can overreact to their behavior and finding yourself using the same angry words your parents used when you were little. The methods you use to discipline your three year old will affect for values for years. For example: if dessert is a reward for a clean plate than they'll think they should be bribed to eat. If you say a shot won't hurt when it will or you'll be home soon when you won't they will begin to doubt your word. If you promise money for a job they will put a price tag on family cooperation. If you put property rights ahead of personal rights you'll rear a materialistic child. If you take the blame for their mistakes they will never learn to be accountable and if you don't make a big fuss over them sometime they won't feel worth the trouble.
This is just a fraction of practical advice frank opinions and wonderful ideas (like crafts and activities) that this book has to offer...
What book has helped you the most in navigating parenting... or life?