I’m in a very tricky parenting phase right now. My little boy is discovering new territories to explore, where he insists on cooking his own meals and wants to try on every other shoe in the cupboard or simply loves slapping our faces; thereby managing to challenge my limits of patience every single day.
Now, the very parents who brought me up by not sparing the rod lest they spoil the child, cannot bear it if I ever even once raise my voice at my baby. (Make no mistake, that’s exactly how grandparents work). And you on the other hand are constantly left feeling guilty ( Make no mistake, that’s exactly how motherhood also works)
Since the day he was born I have been consistently trying to fix myself and get my act together as a parent. Raising my bar of tolerance has been the hardest of it all only next to being sleep deprived, of course. I hate being ‘disrespected’ and to make someone who is not even two years old understand this, is not child’s play ( for the lack of a better word).
I have had a few “well done, mommy” moments, but then there is also the burden of the ‘Mom-ster’ moments where you lose your cool with your child, who was just being himself and was only doing what is perhaps very significant and fascinating to his tiny world – like peeing into his own hands to see it splash off in another tangent. Now you see, why I tend to lose it?
I have referred to almost every blog and article on respectful parenting, and how to be more careful NOT to explode?
And they all asked me to:
Lower my tone ( Yeah right! Like that’s going to work when he’s pissing on your dining table. A loud HEY! is definitely going to come out of me as a reflex)
Pick my battles ( I really don’t get this! Some days it just doesn’t work. Some days I don’t mind him spitting an entire meal on me. And some days you can find me threatening him for squashing a tiny cockroach. I’m a bad chooser, I guess) Give myself a timeout – ( As much as I would looooove to take one, this has only upset my little one more. He would rather take a pinch on his bum than have me locked up in a room) See, I really DO want to BE THE ADULT here at all times, but I found this exercise very trying and it left me exhausted and disappointed. This was for really advanced, highly evolved human beings and honestly, I’m not there yet!
I kept wondering what could be a more relaxing way to let my steam out and eventually I came up with a couple of creative ways that my toddler also approves. So here are a few methods to avoid yelling at your kids that are working for me and maybe it works for you too.
Play London London Statue – Get your toddler to play this game with you. And whenever you catch him at a naughty act say “statue”. That should freeze him and your temper for a good few seconds. I ask mine to fold his hands, and with a reminder every ten seconds, he manages to sit still, while I clear the shards of my coffee mug.
Sing -a- song – Today, most parents know that shouting doesn’t help and that your message gets drowned in your noise. In such situations, I have found it more refreshing to turn my message into a song or his favourite rhyme. Songs turn the moment lighter instantly. So I sing “Down will fall high chair and baby and all” (to the tune of Rock -a-bye-baby), when he climbs on the high chair table to get a better view of the food being served.
Click a picture – This was a miracle find and it worked really well for me. If I’m sure he’s just being naughty and not in a place where he might get harmed, then I remind myself to stop and click a picture of the ‘#mischiefmanaged’ and post it on Instagram. And by the time I’m done, my rush of anger has disappeared. Just like that. It’s more creative than counting to ten, don’t you think?
Some days have been really rewarding and it has helped me be peaceful and him, confident. And I really do hope that with more practice I might get to a place where I can enjoy not just this but every growing phase of parenthood. Do you Mammas have anymore fun and play-along ways that I can try?
And I'm working on it everyday- on my Patience. I hope my baby grows to appreciate that I'm trying. And bringing all of my best to be a good mother.