how you’re making your own monster

as most of you know by now, i work as a nanny. i have the unique opportunity because the family i work for is so amazing, to implement  A LOT of my ECC (early childhood education) training.  and while calen & leah aren’t my children, i am with them enough that they are excellent guinea pigs. i am with leah from 830am until almost 8:30pm most nights, so i have first hand experience doing EVERYTHING from wake-up to bedtime and everything in between.  their parents and i are all on the same page (mostly) with old-fashioned child rearing.  they have books, we all serach the internet but when all is said and done, consistency, repetition and good old common sense go a long way.

i don’t fault parents for reading books, although there are so many out there you can go crazy with “you shoud do this” and “you shouldn’t do that”.  there’s all these new fangled beliefs and studies that will tell you what our parents did wrong and how much better YOU can do if you read their book and methods. you can find a philosophy to back-up any and all methods and to each his own i say.  IN NO WAY AM I JUDGING PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO CHOSE HERE, please note that. what i AM juding is the CONSTANT complaining i hear from mommies & daddies about their lives being run by their babies and their baby schedules.  how miserable they are that almost 18-months since their baby was born THEY STILL AREN’T SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT! absolutely insane if you ask me. 

when i hear day in and day out people frustrated and upset with their child, i ask them to step back a minute and see what YOU are doing and how that may or may not be contributing to your child’s behavior.  here’s a hint, if you’re miserable, IT AIN’T WORKING!!! to me this seems like common sense.  but, i’ll allow you some wiggle room in that when you’re caught in the middle of the situation its easy to forget you have options!  if what you’re doing isn’t working, change it. its that simple. your baby or toddler should not be running the show. they shouldn’t be in charge and they shouldn’t be dictating how your day goes every single day.  its easy to think or say, “oh they don’t know, MY kid is different”. um, no she’s not. they’re all the same. they’re testing us. its their job.  and its our job to set limits and teach them.

a few things we need to remember when dealing with babies/toddlers:

– they are supposed to be testing the waters and challenging us, its their jobs!

– if you constantly give into them, you’re failing them, they NEED to hear “no”, its all part of the development.

–  you are the grown-up, that’s why.

–  you are always right. they are the baby.

– you won’t break them.

– they need limits and love them. really.

–  schedules are amazing and kids prefer to know what’s coming next.

– everyone including you, needs a nap or quiet time every single day.

– they are only little once, so don’t waste the precious time while they’re little being miserable when you CAN fix it.

sleep is a very common comlaint. and while some kids are better sleepers than others, calen was an angel in the sleeping department and still is at 3.5 years old, they CAN be trained and it just takes consistency on our parts.  leah takes 2 naps per day still. and sometimes she just sits and plays in her crib. that’s okay.  but everyone needs quiet time, and if she doesn’t learn how to entertain herself and have quiet time herself now, what will it be like when SHE is 3.5??? leah is a perfect example of a child who’d like to run the show.  she bucks EVERYTHING. but in the end, i’m in charge and her back arching at 12-months old is NOT something to be given into.  “little people little problems. bigger people, bigger problems” is my favorite motto.  much easier to nip this stuff in the bud when they’re little and you can pick them up and put them in time out, versus a bigger kid mouthing off to you and impossible to discipline.  you are creating your own monster.  remember that.  the habits they’re learning now will be with them the rest of their lives, good and bad. 

i will be 100% honest, there are things that i find myself doing with leah to make my life easier and her happier that i NEVER EVER would have belived i would do.  and i used to judge people for doing them, but, when it comes down to the fundamentals, she can scream all she wants,  i am in charge.  and guess what, she still loves me.   A LOT.

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