The set up:
Today I'm watching a friend's two little girls. One is 2 1/2 and the other is about 15 mos. The younger girl cries most of the time she's at my house every time I watch her. Today I decided I am in charge. I decided to actively pursue getting this child to not cry and fuss about everything.
The big scene:
After lunch she needed a diaper change, so I pulled out her things and called her over to me. She actually shook her head no! I walked her through it and tried again. After some training and some practice, she came with a minimum amount of fuss. A couple hours later, she now comes to me without crying at all. In fact, she obeys my every command without even a wrinkle of her brow. She has been more cheerful and playful the last two hours than she has ever been in my home.
I knew that would happen. I was only surprised that it only took about ten minutes. My kids take a whole afternoon and we don't get the cheerful part until the next day! What I'm surprised about is my own attitude. I have LOVED being a mom today! Even with the extra kiddos! Greg has been challenging me to be more consistent with my follow through with the kids. He's convinced that this will ease my constant irritation with them. Now God has shown me that he's right! (I should have listened to my husband in the first place.)
When I provide boundaries for the children, they are secure and controlled. They know where the line is, they know what the consequences are and they are happier for them. What I have learned today is that when I provide boundaries for the children, I am secure and controlled. Their disobedience is not a reflection upon me or my mothering skills. I need to train my children to choose the right thing and providing consistency in the negative consequences will make all of us happier.