In the weeks that Sofia has learned to crawl, she’s also learned that she is independent from me.  Which when you think about it, must be a pretty crazy feeling for a baby who spends the first 8 months (or so) of their life practically attached to you.  She travels around the house at will, checking out nooks and crannies that only a wee one can, finding all sorts of tasty morsels to chew on and places to pull herself up by.  I can tell where she is by the slap slap slap of her hands on the hardwood.  Its only when its quiet that I get nervous.  And its when its quiet that the trouble begins.  Nine times out of ten I will find her in some corner with a power cord in her mouth.  Right now she’s got this 6th sense when it comes to cords.  Its like she can zero in on those subatomic particles and before I know it after a few shakes, the cord makes its way into her mouth.  Here is where my problem begins.  Often she’ll do this as I’m watching her.  I’ll see her make her move and counter it with “Sofia….no…”, giving her time to decide to listen to me and drop it.  What happens next is one of every new parent’s most dreaded moments…she smiles at me, laughs and stuffs that string of death in her mouth.  At nine months old, my child is already laughing at me when I tell her no.

What follows is usually me trying my best to look serious…I widen my eyes, straighten my back, my voice goes lower and slower…”Sofia…noooo”.  She’ll give me a big toothy smile, laugh and give the cord another shake or two.  At this point I try to entice her to drop the cord and come to me, arms open, trying to convey the cuddle that’s waiting is much more fun than the game she’s playing.  This kid is either too smart, or just likes to live dangerously…because it doesn’t work.  I have to go pick her up and distract her with something else and the distraction technique only works sometimes…she doesn’t forget the fun that comes with the ‘black snakes’.

I feel like this is when real parenting begins.  And lord, I hope I’m up for this.  I have a feeling that we have our work cut out for us.  Both M and I were the oldest in our families and the ones to push the limits of our parents with everything from stealing and lying to setting stuff on fire (I’ll let you guess who was responsible for what).  I think this is why our parents laughed when we told them we were having a baby.

So how do you get your kid to listen to you?  And how early do you start?  The discipline thing is so incredibly touchy, it can make or break relationships and even marriages.  I’m even nervous about talking about my views here.  I do know that I am not interested in having my kid walk all over me and laugh when I say no.  It’s important that M and I are on the same page when it comes to this topic and consistency is key.  Times have changed so drastically from when we were kids, and not necessarily for the better (for some things).  I do believe a little bit of healthy fear of your parents is a good thing.  Not that I want my kid to cower every time I make a sudden move.  I remember getting spankings from my dad when I was little for doing things like drawing on the walls, or cutting my brothers hair and saying the babysitter did it (THAT little episode was fun…my mom will never let me forget it!), stealing toys…you know…bigger stuff.  I remember telling my mom “Fine!  Spank me…I’m not going to cry”, with all the false bravado I could muster.  I’d be waiting in my room (usually hiding in my closet) determined not to cry and stoically awaiting my fate.  My dad would come in, ask me to come out of my closet and put me over his knee.  By this time he’d be crying as much as I was.  After we would talk about it and pray together.  Not in a weird “repent of your sin like Carrie’s mother” way, but just to wipe the slate, and start fresh.  When I think back, the discipline part was always secondary to how much my parents loved me.  I know not every kid experienced discipline this way, and I’m not saying that this is how we will discipline, its such a personal and private parenting choice.

I am determined to do my homework though.  In a few weeks I’m going to be attending a Positive Discipline course to see what I can learn.  I’m going totally open-minded and hoping for the best.  I usually have a hard time not judging stuff like this as “fluffy-parenting” techniques.  I’ve experienced kids whose parents were overly “fluffy” and used too many “feeling” based statements.  I want to say hippy-style parenting…but I don’t want to offend.  At any rate, these kids would abuse their parents with words and hands…and most definitely did not have any kind of fear of their parents, let alone a healthy kind.  So hopefully I can find something somewhere between that, and the following article…

Somewhere in between would be nice…although I do kinda like the “One-two-shut-the-hell-up”…in theory.
I’ll let you know what I learn! Until then…

An example of what NOT to do…


One thought on “No

  1. I just finished reading” No ” As I have grandchildren in their 20s this brought many memories back of when my kids were little. Some good ones and some not. I never really smacked my kids when they were misbehaving but I did threaten them with a pancake turner. I never had to use, just head for the kitchen drawer…… they would scatter. That was over 45 years ago and I am so glad I don’t have to bring them up now. There is so much info out there…. no spanking, time outs, what to feed them what not to, it has really changed… but babies will be babies and you grow with them. Lots of love and yeh… like you said .. a certain amount of parental fear.
    Its a tough job but I know you will be great. Follow your heart and if it sounds like a good idea then it probably is.

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