Overall - she's a precious, joyful and delightful kid....but the Jekyll and Hyde complex is definitely alive and well in that adorable little toddler shell.
Iain and I had gotten to the point where we were truly losing our minds. He kept saying that he thought she needed to be on medication. He asked me what I thought was wrong with her.
She's two, she's smart, she's willful, she's secure and she's fearless. That combination has the potential for creating The Perfect Storm in toddler world. And our busy munchkin has definitely taken Lewis Land by storm. I'd say a Category 5 storm.
We were at our wit's end (probably all 3 of us) when I came across the name of a book several times within a week. I thought it was a sign, so I did a little research and when I saw the title of the fourth chapter, I knew I needed the book.
The name of the book is 1-2-3 Magic (for Christian Parents). And chapter four was named "The Two Biggest Discipline Mistakes. Wanna know what they are? Here ya go....
1. Talking too much.
2. Showing too much emotion.Guilty. BIG TIME GUILTY! Actually - I may be one of the top offenders in both categories. So, I immediately ordered the book. It took us a couple of weeks to get to it because of several things that we couldn't control - but my Jury Duty stint afforded me the time and interruption-free environment to really soak it up. That was my silver lining (not to mention getting a break from all the daily toddler drama I had been experiencing.)
Part of the reason the book is named 1-2-3 Magic is because many parents claim that once they put the principles into action, they start to see results immediately -- like magic. I love the version of the book that I got (for Christian parents) because it connects all of the discipline guidelines to biblical principles - and it just makes so much sense.
Surprisingly, just as soon as we started implementing what we learned, we started seeing a welcomed change. It has considerably reduced the stress level in our home. We're still learning. We need to go back and read some parts again. I'm just so happy to have this reference to help us raise our child the way we want to - and at the same time enable us to enjoy her...the way we're supposed to.
Now, I must say that using this method doesn't eradicate the bad/obnoxious behavior we'd like to get under control. Some days (like today!), she's just as challenging as before we read the book. The big difference has been how we are reacting to it. And actually - I think THAT'S what's reducing the stress in our home.
I'm no expert in parenting or discipline. That was clear today as I spend about 70% of the day counting, and escorting Gianna to time out. But after two different conversations with friends this week, I have realized that maybe I should share this recommendation via my blog. Maybe someone else is out there at there could benefit from this little book. It's an easy read, by the way, and it's meant for use with children between ages 2 and 12. That's a pretty impressive range.
If you already use the method, I'd be so interested to hear from those who already use the method and are having success - and how you handle some of the pitfuls that you encounter.
So if you're interested in getting a small taste of the book, just click here to take a look at the first few pages...
Postscript: I should mention that within 30 minutes of her waking up this morning, Gianna has pulled all of her tricks out of her latest bag - and I reacted farely well for about 25 of those minutes. Then, I blew it. I'll probably screw up a handful more times throughout the day. Magic? No. Helpful. Yes.