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My little diva and her partner in crime!

As a mother of an adorable, boisterous two year old diva, I find myself in a constant state of organized chaos. Why you may ask?

Allow me to explain. As many parents of toddlers can testify to, you haven’t truly faced the challenges of parenting until you have a two or three year old. It’s as though they are on a different wave length. Maybe because they are now more aware of their surroundings and are on this journey to explore and investigate the world around them; and test their limitations as well as push your buttons in the process.

How else can you explain, you adamantly telling a two year old, do not jump on the bed, do not touch that thing, go seat down and they do the exact opposite. The other day, I overheard our little one arguing (it sure sounded like arguing) with her Daddy about what she wanted to watch on the television. It’s the NBA eastern and western conference finals and he wanted to watch Steph Curry play while she wanted to watch Bubble Guppies and so the argument ensued. Now bear in mind that her speech isn’t all that clear yet, so in the middle of Daddy, NO, Bubble Guppies, you might hear a lot of baby jibbersh. I take a peak from the hall way and I see both of them staring at each other with a stern look on both of their faces. Since she takes after him in looks and disposition, it’s quite a funny sight to behold.

Our weekdays are somewhat regimented; being that we have (or we try to be) out of the house at 7.30am to get to work early while in the evenings  a quick bath, supper, play time then straight to bed. At least that’s how it’s supposed to go, (in my head).

Most of the time in the evenings, I have to negotiate with her to get ready for her bath; ‘Do you want a cookie?’ she nods ‘Ok, so if you want a cookie, you have to let mommy give you a bath darling’. She screams no and off she goes running through the hallway with her doggie to go jump on my bed once again and I think to myself, when did this become my life?  Talk about the terrible twos

Most of us can remember what growing up was like. We didn’t question, we didn’t debate with our parents especially our mothers who ran the house. Whatever she said was the law and you dare not say or do anything contrary. Who are you to question the law of the land? Now don’t get me wrong, I tested my limit several times but I was often reminded who ran the show. I remember one of my birthdays and I got a cake to take to school the next day. I got up at several times in the night to take pieces of it. The look on my mom’s face the next morning was priceless, apart from getting a whopping (which I deserved) I took the cake to school like that, missing pieces and all. Lesson learned but in my defense, it was my cake after all, why couldn’t I eat it?

I can remember the ‘look’ my mom gave us when we were doing something we shouldn’t be doing; show of hands to anyone who remembers that look. Now I give my daughter the look and she ignores me and continues jumping on my bed screaming in glee. While our parents saw no harm in picking up a switch, a belt, a wire, bamboo sticks to remind us of who was boss, I find myself questioning the effectiveness of those methods. Yes, we learned our lessons and swore never to misbehave again but I feel they only instilled a deep sense of fear in us.

I can remember being so afraid of my parents especially my mom for years and I’m sure that wasn’t her intention but I find myself shuddering when I think of those times she picked up the ‘omorungo’ (eba stick) when  I got out of line.  And I don’t want my daughter to have similar feelings.

At this juncture, I’m torn on how to instill discipline in her;  while still wanting her to be confident, and a lovable adorable little girl. I also want her to understand that certain behaviors cannot and will not be tolerated. For now the two minute time outs seem to be working but for how long?

My husband keeps saying; Talk to her, make her understand ‘she listens but I know that it won’t last because the older she gets the more she begins to understand that she can test her limits.

I’m open to suggestions……

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6 thoughts on “Where to draw the line

  1. Maybe it is because you are a parent and I am not. But I say whoop that girl. You got whooped, I got whooped, your hubby got whooped and we all turned out okay. I’m sure our parents got whooped and they turned out great. I’d say that as long as you and your children know that the whooping is a punishment for unacceptable behavior, I think all will end up bueno.

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  2. Wow! What an interesting write up. Had me laughing and reminiscing as I have two older girls who displayed similar traits at that age. Seriously, loving discipline must be administered. Any man extreme is dangerous. I find the balance by ensuring I explain, clarify and state the reward of bad behavior before I ever discipline. When I eventually do it, we both know its been earned and well deserved. That way I get her mentally to approve while emotionally… No one likes it. Also, I ensure balance: Don’t beat or punish in anger, do it correctively with a clear head and show a lot of love after.

    The result: I have two girls that are very close to me, confide the details to me and just can’t wait to be with me. But still they know Dad will not tolerate bad behaviour. He’ll warn, caution and discipline.

    Also, please pray for her AND with her. That way, it gradually becomes her habit too. Prayer does work

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  3. Every adult knows being a parent can’t be easy ,but especially mothers.( In my opinion )l see parenting as a learning experience and approach disciplining a child as so. My kids know they get only one free pass in any one scenario and they choose the punishment they get if and or when that scenario is repeated. They know that the “enforcer mom” comes out and they get the punishment they choose. Finding the balance is not easy,what do we let slide ? How many times? Is it really an important lesson? How will it impact on them mentally, emotionally? How would it affect their personality and self confidence…honestly I can’t give these answers for a fact… I just go with what works best at the time. I always make sure I never say they will get punishment and not follow through (or they will never take it seriously ) and once the time has been served we talk about it and go from there. I’ve got a teenage girl and I tell you you haven’t been tested until a teenager takes you on a journey through workings of her mind…The long and short of it is trust yourself and your child, she hears you even though you may not think so,if you repeat it long enough the brain will pick it up. Love and affection, loving correction,lovely rewards….wholup!wholup! the teenage years are still ahead.

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  4. Lol @Femi.i think for kids these days the fear of whooping does the trick.
    I’m not a mum, but I’m an aunt and my nephews know you can’t mess with aunt. They turn their mum into pretzel but they cannot step up to me. You remember those stories of police or masquerade they tell little kids, That should put the fear of something else other than you in her.
    There’s no formula, just find what works for that little tyrant

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  5. Can’t help here. *lies*

    Truth is, different things work for different kids but it’s a fine line between between incentives and fear. A good mixture of both will do the trick. At her age, you’ll have to use more of the latter. Sure it will give her nightmares but it worked for all of us and we turned out okay….a little bit of fear never hurt anybody….

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