Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lost in the Sea of Parenting

Yup, that's right. I am lost.... and even feel like I might be drowning. With my experience as a preschool teacher (toddler age, 1-2) and being the oldest of my family, I thought I would have better control of things. I always envisioned having the "perfect child". One that doesn't talk back, one that picks up his toys, that can play quietly by himself or happily with others. HA! That dream is coming to a hault and I am lost on what to do.

For starters, discipline. I thought I had this planned before. Well, I guess not. I'm not much into spanking, unless it has been well deserved and my child is of the appropriate age. 16 months is not that age. Not for my child anyways. Aidan has been expressing his anger in ways that are getting on my nerves.

His favorite is to pick up whatever is closest and throw it when he is angry. Today, I wouldn't let him play with my camera. Instantly, he picked up the remote and my flip flop and chuked them both. This throwing things is on my last nerve. I stuck him in time out, for the first time. I explained that we do not throw things when we are mad. He SCREAMED the whole time. No biggie, I didn't expect him to enjoy it. He also continued to scream for a full 5 minutes afterwards.

I am beginning to wonder if he's ready for timeout. If not, then what else do I do? I am feeling SO incredibly lost on this. There are certain things I feel strongly that need to be nipped in the bud... NOW. Like this throwing things when he's angry. I just don't know if time out is the answer or what the answer might be if it isn't time out!

Moving on... structure. My child does not have much. I really hate to admit it but he pretty much does what he wants, when he wants. ALL of his toys are at his disposal, and they are all over my house 90% of the time. I have yet to teach him to pick up (which I always said I would start doing around 1). On top of that, how do I expect him to pick up the number of toys he has?

I see pictures of my friends kiddos and they are always playing with one toy at a time, whether it be their stacking cups or their blocks... etc. I don't know how to make the transition from unstructered chaos to a neat and orderly place where playtime is structured.

I am feeling totally lost. I feel like every expectation I had for the type of parent I was going to be and the child I was going to raise have gone down the drain. Now, here I am, lost in the sea of parenting.


The 4 Martells said...

First off you are not alone and all of this is completely normal! Second you need to do what works for you and your family. It may not be what others think is right but it works for you and that's what matters. Third be consistent both you and Anthony need to be in this together! It will work just don't let things slide that you want to correct. Your on the right track doing great!

Kim said...

This parenting gig is hard! No doubt about it. I've learned that the parent I thought I'd be is definitely not going to be the parent I am. Things change when you have kids and you're really having to make the decisions. I thought I was beyond ready to become a Mom. Oldest of 5, oldest cousin on both sides, babysitter to all cousins and neighbors, I even kind of nanny'd for a while. Nothing could have prepared me for what it would be like to have Preston! I love him so much more than any of the other kids and he depends on me so much more than any of them did either.

We also had a hard time with punishments. I am a firm non-believer in spanking, so that left me with timeouts. And even with those it took me a while to figure out what worked best for us. Preston has to be seperated from me in order to fully understand he's in trouble. So he takes his timeouts in a different room than I am in. Try a couple different things and see what works best for you guys. Aidan is definitely old enough for timeouts you just have to discover what works best. Good luck!

Kait T said...

I've never had to deal with my babies throwing things in anger but I have had to deal with things that I never thought I would deal with. Like bitting. My philosophy on spanking is in two folds. I spank if the kids have done something in outright defiance or if they are doing something that could be dnagerous to themselves or to someone else. I believe the most important spanking ages are 1 - 4 where you have to communicate to them that they need to stop and if they don't there will be a consiquence. At this age there is no reasoning since they're not at that intelligence level. I highly believe kids do not understand timeout the way they understand spanking. If the kids are fighting over toys, whinning or if it's their first offence I will send them to time out. Personally I would consider throwing toys to fit into the category of dangerous to someone else and I would spank my kids for that. It could just be a slap on his hand and a firm "NO" and in a couple days I'd think he would stop throwing.
Aidan is such a nice little guy and you're are a great mom! Good luck with whatever you find works! :)

Domrese Family Blog said...

At Aiden's age what I focused most on was words. He's struggling with how to show you his frustration. I calmly got to their level, gave them the words, or expressed some understanding, and then gave them a consequence. The consequence is most effective if it's relative to the bad behavior. If they throw a toy, the lose the toy for a specified amount of time. If they write on the wall, they have to clean it off. Time outs are for direct disobedience. "Love and Logic" is a great book and a great theory that we've really enjoyed. Good luck!!