Yesterday dawned bright and early, and as Johnathan played contently in his Pack-n-Play I prepared his breakfast...french toast, strawberry & banana chunks and yummy soy yogurt. When the food was all ready to eat, I went to get Monkey and carried him into the kitchen. On the way there, he saw his new football and I guess decided in his little head that it was time to play, and not time to eat...and then the meltdown came. I tried putting him into his chair, but he started throwing a major fit. A squirming like mad, throwing his head back fit! Aah!!! Once I got him into the chair he was really angry! I waited for a little while, until it seemed as if he had calmed down, and then I gave him his food...well, I guess he had just been giving me the silent treatment, because he was still angry, and as soon as the food was on the tray he picked it up in fist-fulls, and threw it all on the floor! I gave his little hand a pat and told him "no" and explained that we don't throw our food when we're angry...I'm not sure how much he can understand, but I have a feeling it is a lot more than he lets on! After a second "calming down" period I tried giving him more food...this time it got all mushed into his hair and then thrown on the floor! Where did my sweet little baby go??? After a couple more calm-down/fit cycles I eventually got him to eat a little, and then he got washed up and put down on the floor to play...and then what do you know, he was back to the sweet little gentle loving baby that I'd known. Phew, at least he got his fit out of the way for the day, and we could proceed with our routine in peace...or could we???
Johnathan's morning nap went well, and after he woke up, per our "schedule" we went to go eat lunch. I was so sure that lunch time would go smoothly, and had put the stresses over the morning meal out of my mind. Well, lunch did not go as I had hoped and I felt an extreme sense of deja vu as Johnathan threw another series of small tantrums! I had even made him one of his favorite lunches, and he still threw a fit! Can you believe it?!
I can now say that we are definitely in the discipline phase of parenting...but what is the most effective and loving way to discipline such a young child? Any good books that some of you been-there-done-that parents can recommend? I sort of know what I would like my parenting style to be, but don't know if it's proper to implement certain practices quite yet...I do believe in spankings, but would a baby understand that? For now I think I'll hold off on those, but I need some other ways that I can let Johnathan know what I expect of him, and what he is allowed/not allowed to do. *Sigh* I guess one of the keys is being consistent with whichever "practice" I use, and trying to stay calm and disciplining him in love and not in frustration.
Wow, I sure do have a renewed sense of thanks toward my own parents! Thank you for loving me enough to correct me when I was wrong, and for always letting me know how much you cared for me even through the disciplining years. I can remember y'all telling me "this hurts me more than it hurts you" and I always thought, "yeah, right!" Well, now I know! Love you guys!