Lately I feel I have made some important gains in the parenting department thanks to my new best friend: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk.
Last Friday Big A started to give me a hard time when it was time to leave for school in the morning. This was the first major conflict I'd had with her all week, despite Adam being away and her being sick on Tuesday and Wednesday. That alone is actually impressive.
Even though up to that point we were having a good morning, out of nowhere she suddenly became rude, sulky and defiant and would not put on her shoes, socks or jacket. Admittedly, I couldn't remember right away what the book suggests to do in this situation. But instead of losing it, I bought myself time by getting Little A ready to go until I could think of the appropriate response: Name her feelings, explain my own feelings, and show empathy. I told her I understood that she was sad and frustrated that we had to leave the house because she did not want to yet, but that we had to leave to get her to school on time and her behaviour was making me sad and frustrated. She sulked and whimpered a bit more but put on her shoes and socks, and allowed me to help her get her jacket on. By the time we got outside she'd snapped out of it AND I HADN'T SNAPPED.
The other important breakthrough involves Little A. Up to now she had refused to hold anyone's hand while crossing streets. This means that every time we have had to do so, I am either chasing her and shouting and panicking, or I am scooping her up and she is flailing and shrieking. In the book, they describe parents having this very dilemma and negotiating with their child to at least hold on to the stroller when they cross. Simple solution but I had not thought of it. I suggested it to Little A over the weekend and she easily agreed. Now when she insists on walking, she either holds on to the stroller when we cross a street or holds onto my bag. YAY!
The bad news is that Little A has decided she is done with naps. She has been refusing to nap at daycare for weeks now. At first I thought it was just Coach Luigi's presence in the nap room at her old daycare. But she continued not napping at her new daycare. So we figured it was the transition. But this weekend she wouldn't nap at home either. When I finally gave up yesterday and went to get her, I asked why she would not nap anymore and she said: "Because I 2 and a half, mommy." I guess that's it!
Oh well, Adam and I decided that if we want to turn lemons into lemonade with this one, we can at least be grateful that now we can put Little A to bed earlier because by 6pm she is EXHAUSTED.