Sunday, July 24, 2011

Preschool Years

Children are tricky little things.
Once you have them figured out they CHANGE
Developmentally, Physically and Emotionally

First night with baby Paul I began to panic.
"what am I suppose to do?"

Being the good psychology student I was, I asked many of my professors questions, especially my Development Psychology Professor Dr. Bell.  I would run into her office between class BEGGING for a quick solution to my child rearing woes.

The book Positive Discipline: The First Three Years was introduced to me.

In between class, studying, and work I  read that book from cover to cover, underlining and noting the pages.

 I was DETERMINED to figure out this child that I was responsible for raising.

IT REALLY HELPED me understand the Zero to Three stage of life and how to go about teaching Paul age appropriate behavior.

"Positive Discipline is based on a different premise: that children (and adults) do better when they feel better. Positive Discipline is about teaching, understanding, encouraging, and communicating-- not about punishing."

"Punishment may seem to work in the short term. But over time, it creates rebellion, resistance, or children who just don't believe in their own worth."

"In fact, most young children's misbehavior is a sort of code designed to let you know that they don't feel a sense of belonging and need your attention, connection, time and teaching."

SAVED MY LIFE, that book did!

Shortly after Anna was born I read through the book again.

On occasion I have ran to the book during moments of panic to read my side notes and underlines

Being a Stay at home mother is my career path at the moment and like any career or job you have to be in a constant state of professional development. 
Things change and you need to learn how deal with that change.

With that said. 
Today I picked up a new book
Positive Discipline: Preschool Years

 For the past couple of weeks I have begun to feel HELPLESS.
Paul and Anna are great kids but are seriously getting harder and harder to handle.
I had NO IDEA it got this hard.

As I was sitting at the dinner table, having yet another major argument with Anna and Paul about their attitudes, I looked to Roger, who happened to be red in the face, about to explode, and said aloud "I have figured it out. It's not the kids. It's us!"

I immediately went to the book store to pick up the second Positive Discipline book.

I have only read 23 pages thus far but it has ALREADY saved our Sunday afternoon.

It is CRAZY how quickly you forget how to properly talk to children and how to respond to them.

For example: this afternoon I caught Anna attempting to ride her bicycle down a flight of brick stairs.
Before reading the 23 pages I would have yelled 
"NO ANNA NO. Now you get off of that NOW. NO"

After reading the 23 pages I was able to respond more productively, without shaming her.
"Anna, what do you think will happen if you ride your bike down the brick stairs?"

anna said  after a while of thinking "I would hurt myself REALLY bad."

"yep, you sure would. do you still want to ride your bike down the steps?"

Anna smiled "no mommy. that would be a bad idea."

SEE!!!!!   I taught her to STOP AND THINK as well as EMPOWERED her!

The other thing I learned is that when I want the kids to pick up their toys I shouldn't declare 

Instead I should say 
"paul, Anna, it's time for you two to pick up so would you like me to help you or would you like to do it by yourself?"

tried it tonight and it worked like a CHARM
In fact, Anna said she wanted to try picking up ALL BY HERSELF and smiled the ENTIRE time.

  I would HIGHLY recommend these books to other parents. 
They aren't tell all instructions.
Those kind of book annoy me.
Every child is different and so is every parent.
Instead, this book is a wonderful resource about the developmental, emotional and physical stages of childhood and packed full of information on the different psychological studies done in regards to interacting with children.

It is a WONDERFULLY intriguing read!

My FAVORITE sentence so far has been this one:
"Preschoolers are physically active and energetic; researchers tell us that human beings have more physical energy at the age of three than at any other time in their life span."

I laughed out loud at that one "YEAH. TELL ME ABOUT IT."

Most importantly, the book gives you the since that you aren't alone in the world.
That we are all trying our BEST to figure out how to properly raise these little beings that have taken over our worlds. 

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