I have a wonderful app on my iphone – “Parenting Reminder A Day A Tip”. One of my favorite quotations is the one i got on April 15th:
Parents should consider themselves actors on the stage. Of course, we all know who’s in the front row of the audience: the children. So, go ahead and give the performance of a lifetime.
This is so so true. With toddlers, they have so much energy that if you want to improve on few things – you’d not know when to tell them. Closer to the point of mistake, true. What if they are crying at that moment? From my personal experience, I have figured out a way to put my thoughts into my daughter’s brain – the best time is night time when she snuggles beside me to get into sleep. The best age is when she understands whatever i say and truly believes everything i say is correct. No cross questioning started 😛
So, you all might be curious what i talk to my daughter? Every night, i tell her that mama will tell her important things. She knows the meaning of “important” and not every word mama says is important. So, she sleeps beside me and stares at me with her eyes wide open. Here goes my list:
1. What happens if saanvi eats well? She would have lot of energy to play around. And then, because she has lot of energy to play, mama will take her to exhibition, play ground and shopping mall. She also gets lot of books, toys and clothes. What if Saanvi doesn’t eat well? Her stomach would be so empty and she would be so hungry. As she would not have any energy to play around, mama will not take her anywhere..”
To this commentary, my daughter usually listens to the first sentence and responds to me by saying that she is a good eater today, and has eaten all her meals. I appreciate her, and recollect all the things she has eaten in the day. On the days like yesterday where she’d not touched anything the whole day- I make it a point to tell her that mama did not take her to exhibition today because she didn’t eat anything the whole day. You’d think i am talking to a wall – but she really understands well.
2. When Saanvi wants to cry, she can come and request bear huggy from mummy. Mummy would give her bear huggy, wipe her tears, give her a kiss on her cheek and tell her that she is mummy’s best best baby.
This is the best part of important things for my daughter. Usually, when i ask her what she wants to do when she cries, she will recite the entire sentence in a comically sing song way. After about 15-20 days of continuous telling, now if she really is cranky and wants to cry out loud, she has started coming to me and asking for bear huggie rather than blowing my roof top off.
3. When Saanvi wants something, the only way to get it is by asking slowly. If she screams, cries or demands things – no body would listen to her. The only way is to ask slowly.
For this important thing, she emotes the various ways (screaming, asking slowly) and then goes ahead to teach me what works and what doesn’t. Ofcourse, this hasn’t really come to practice yet – she still screams and cries when she wants something – but we as parents have the responsibility to tell the kid what works and what doesn’t.
4. When saanvi sucks her finger, the upper lip bulges up and becomes ugly. Then mamma takes her to the doctor. The doctor removes her upper two teeth. It is very painful and saanvi cries a lot. That is why mama tells saanvi not to suck her finger. When saanvi doesn’t suck her finger, mama gives her a sticker as a token of appreciation.
The last one makes me look as if i am heartless, isn’t it? telling the little girl a mocking horror story of her habits. My daughter has been finger sucker since she’s been few days she is born until today. I noticed that finger sucking is a way of comforting herself. So, although i searched for various ways to remove her finger – I did not resort to any of them. Afterall, how would you feel if you all-the-time comfort was forcibly taken away from you? So will she feel. But, i thought this is a good time for me to try to stop her finger sucking – when she understands and believes me 100% as a mother. So, I wanted to try to stop her finger sucking by psychologically motivating her not to put her finger in her mouth. My logic is simple – put those thoughts in her brain which will work even when i am not physically around and monitoring her. Much to my amusement, when i just started on this “new important” thing, i bought her to my mom’s place. My dad and my grandma had immediate doctor appointments and they both came back from dentist appointments consecutive days. So, my important thing was spot on, supplemented by real world evidence. Much to my happiness, the last 2 days – usually when she goes to sleep with her finger sucking, she did not put finger in her mouth while going to sleep. It came from inside her, not by my proding.
My list of important things changes with time. As of now, the things i need to address with my ever active toddler are : Diet, screaming & crying, labeling emotions and finger sucking. Those have been incorporated in her important things. The list will change as as when she starts changing.
What things do you talk to your kid about? It’s time you start thinking.
Have a good day and keep rocking!!