Monday, June 14, 2010

Mommy is taking over

One of my friends said of their parenting recently,

"We let the 'leash' out longer & longer, until we realize we have to pull it back in again. We let it out, pull it in, let it out, pull it in."

This is very true for us as well. We want to let Amelia become her own person, assert her independence, and gain confidence in her abilities. We don't want to hover and choke her with our own rules and ways of doing things. So we "let the leash out", so to speak. We allow her more and more freedoms and observe how she's doing.

Lately, it has become time to pull that leash back in again.

If it won't hurt her, let her be. It is not worth the fight.
Thus far, I have been a firm believer and consistent follower of this self-written philosophy. Amelia is two years old. If she is not about to bleed and she isn't walking too fine a line between safety and the ER, she really isn't pulled back. Several parents have told me how surprising it is that a first-time mom like me can let her go so much. I just want her to become the confident kid she deserves to be.

However, now is the time to pull on that leash a bit. She is starting to test her boundaries too much. She's become bossy and, dare I say it, a little manipulative. So now I have a new tactic - I refer to it as, tough luck, kid. Mommy is back in charge.

Amelia will not hold my hand in the parking lot at Chick-Fil-A? OK - I tell her we're getting back in the car and not having lunch. She refuses to put on shoes to play outside? Fine - I tell her I'm going outside to play all by myself. She doesn't want the particular episode of Little Einstein's I turned on for her? Great - I'll turn the TV off instead. And if she wants to cry about it? I'm much better at ignoring it these days. I used to try to talk to her and explain why, but now I give my reason ONCE and only once.

It is amazing how my new tough love works. After a week of doing this consistently, she totally understands. Would I ever really not feed her lunch? Or play outside while leaving her in the house? No. Of course not. But so far, the threat alone is working it's magic. Is it mean? I certainly hope not. Amelia still gets plenty of freedoms, but I am slowly metamorphosing from the bullied victim of a two-year old into a much more effective mommy of a slightly less bossy child.

I just hope she never calls my bluff.

That will be another post. Another day. Hopefully a long, long time from now.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...