February 25, 2009

Strong Will

It seems like just when I get used to a stage, and have figured out how to avoid any meltdowns, we move into a new stage.  Pookie seems to be moving into a phase where she really wants to do what she wants to do... now!  Her fuse is short these days (for her anyways).  In past months I have had a handful of tricks to make getting dressed, leaving the house/ play centre etc.  go relatively smoothly, but now those "tricks" aren't working anymore.  

I have read quite a bit on consensual living and subscribe to a CL yahoo group.  I am definitely inspired by some of the ideas behind it, but do not aspire to be fully consensual.  As much as possible I try to allow Pookie to do what she wants to do, as long as she is not going to get hurt or hurt others.  When it is practical I try to do things in the way she would like them done, but sometimes I need her to do what I want.  For example not put her smelly damp bathing suit on.  Before I really prided myself in being able to say something to make the situation OK with Pookie, or find an acceptable alternative.  These days, if she doesn't get her way it leads to a temper tantrum.  Which always leaves me feeling like I am not being a good parent.  Rationally I know that isn't true, but I still feel that way.

I think we definitely need to shift how we interact with Pookie now and let her feel in control as much as we can.  I am hoping I figure out this phase relatively quickly!!  I am feeling pretty happy with our decision to wait on baby #2.


Artistmama said...

I remember that phase well, it was challenging for me. Much of the conflict revolved around me just loosening up a bit and allowing him to do things that were harmless. Like make messes and things that drove my clean freakness up a wall. I think it's good to offer up an alternative. Like you can't do that but you can do this.

You sound like you're on the right track with allowing her to feel in control. But it's also ok for her to be frustrated and throw a tantrum as well. It's part of learning the boundaries. I dealt with tantrums by just allowing him to melt and not giving it much attention. After the fact we would talk about it. This worked well for us.

Motherhood for the Weak said...

Oh I am not looking forward to this stage! Good luck!

We are still in the easily distractable phase, but I have to watch what I say because she understands almost everything yet has no sense of time or process. So if I mention breakfast, she thinks we're going to eat that second and all hell breaks loose if we don't.


Linds said...

We have entered that stage too. I am trying to let him take the lead whenever possible, but we also have to set some boundaries for his safety as well as necessity since I don't get to stay home with home.
It sounds like you are on the right path and I bet she will adapt to her new found independence very soon.

Shannon said...

It is so nice that other mom's can relate... I really appreciate everyone's comments. :)