Showing posts with label discipline. Show all posts
Showing posts with label discipline. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The terrible but wonderful "Two"

A few months ago, I started a draft post about the inevitable - Zohan reaching the "terrible two" stage. I introduced the post by saying it was as if he magically sprouted thorns overnight to replace his otherwise sparkling halo. For some reason, I wasn't able to finish the draft. A few months later, I revisited the draft and I realized so many changes occured that the entire post needed an overhaul.

At the beginning of Zohan's "terrible two" stage, it was indeed what the literature said it would be. He wouldn't share his toys and food; he'd always get his playmates' toy; he'd hit on his playmates; he'd always resort to crying when he couldn't get his way - it was always an episode of a long and annoying meltdown. Zohan did it by the book, it was definitely TERRIBLE! And I was left clueless, doubtful of my ability to be a mother, and in a constant sour mood, to the point of having a meltdown myself.

So I read whatever I could get my hands on regarding any write up on dealing with the "terrible two" and I researched a lot on the internet. There were a lot of tips, sure. But I reckoned it was difficult to apply most of them. At the end of the day, I found myself handling the situation based solely on instinct and necessity.

Until something happened last December which took a turn in our otherwise chaotic household. I scheduled a long leave from work and my husband and I became stay-at-home parents. Our companions left for Christmas break, so it was just the three of us at home.

It was an opportunity for us to really know Zohan - his attitude at play, his preferences, his mood swings. I had to admit, on weekdays, Zohan spends more time with the yaya than with us. And a two-day weekend wasn't enough to really understand his daily quirks. I accepted the raw and painful truth - that no matter how hands-on of a mother I tried to be, it was quite impossible to really know my kid when I have an 8:00 to 5:00 job.

So our two-week vacation had been all about bonding and understanding our son better. I noticed that he was at the "exploratory" stage. He'd always prefer to join me in whatever I was doing, so I let him be. He'd help me handwash our clothes, prepare our meals, wash the dishes; then he'd turn to his Tatay and help him shine the furnitures, mop the floor, and fix whatever broken stuff they could find at home.

Of course, Zohan wasn't really helping. It took more time and effort to get things done when there were tiny little hands messing around. But it kept the little boy entertained. And this was what I learned - keeping him entertained keeps the tantrums at bay! 

When I say entertained, I wasn't referring to toys or tablet or the TV. He easily grew tired of them. What I did was to let him play outdoors and allow him to do everything he wanted to do at the playground. And once we were inside the house, I made sure to keep him "involved" in what we do. That meant more work for me and my husband- but I'd take late-night picking up of legos and mopping the floor (after I tucked the boy to bed) than a house that's spic and span but with a cranky baby in it.

Now, at almost 2 and a half years old, I noticed lot of changes in Zohan. He stopped hitting his playmates (he still retaliates, but that's another tricky issue). He'd ask permission from us before proceeding to do some actions and accept it when we say no. (There were times that he'd cry and take it badly, though.) He started sharing his toys and food again, but only after a very long and tedious explanation.

The bottomline is - there had been a huge improvement in his attitude compared to when he just turned two! And what was more interesting was how he suddenly turned into this very sweet little man who'd always make us smile with his quips. He would give us random hugs and kisses, he became very thoughtful in his words, and he would surprise us with his affection that wasn't taught or forced.

Not only that - we could already talk to him because he could respond intelligently to questions. At bedtime, he'd always ask us to tell him stories of random stuff. Not a very easy task because really, what interesting story could you make out of curtains or lights or walls? But it was amazing how he could remember our stories from several nights ago. So most nights, we'd rack our brains out to come up with truthful but interesting stories about the most mundane things that caught Zohan's attention.

And this is why my old post needed an overhaul - to include that while being at age two is indeed terrible, it is also a wonderful, incredible and heart-melting stage. 

I used to find myself contemplating on whether I should throw my son out the window whenever he would give me a meltdown. But now, that doesn't happen anymore (okay, maybe sometimes!) because I learned how to deviate away from an escalated level of tantrums. Now, I find myself often wanting to squeeze my son tight out of fondness and love and gratitude.

And if I may just share, here are what I learned so far with Zohan's terrible two stage:

1. Keeping him entertained helps keep the tantrums at a bare minimum.

2. In relation to item 1, I practice tolerant parenting. (Okay, I made that up!) "You want to mess with the clothes that I painstakingly folded for hours? Go ahead. You want to peel the garlic, sure!" As long as my son's life or other people's lives will not be put to risk, I tolerate pretty much everything at home.

3. The stages in the life of kids change very rapidly. The tantrums, the fake cries, the bad mood - they won't last for very long.  The next thing I know, the terrible part is over. They all come to pass. So I just bear with it, try to be more patient, and wait until the next interesting stage comes up. 

4. And as with most things about parenting, the ones that really matter is not up to my hands. I may decide whether it's okay to give him chocolates first thing in the morning. But if my kid will grow up to be a good person despite the daily, sometimes inconsequential rules of parenting - that's really up to him. So when everything else fails, I just lift it up to a Higher being.

I'm only halfway the age two, so what do I really know? These things seem to work for me; just take it with a grain of salt. These, and a piece of chocolate on a very bad day doesn't hurt.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ako ay Filipino

Ngayong gabi, nanunuod kaming pamilya ng downloaded video ng Old McDonald had a farm. Ipapakita ang mga animals sa video tapos sasabihin ng narrator kung ano ito.

Video: Pigs
Zohan: No, no. Babuy!

Video: Sheep
Zohan: Meehhhhh! 

Video: Chicken
Zohan: No. Kokoh!

Video: Cow
Zohan: Baka!

Pero ito ang winner:

Video: Apples
Zohan: Saging!!

Hahaha. Nagbunga naman ang pagmumulat namin sa kanya na kami ay Pinoy, kaya dapat marunong syang managalog. Nasobrahan nga lang yata ;)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Mr. Pogi

If there's one thing that I try as much as I can to be good at in this whole parenting duties,  it's my adamant attempt to equip my son with simplicity and humility.

But at this day and age, imposing simplicity and humility is perhaps as difficult as parenting itself. It's a good thing that Zohan's Tatay knows the virtues by heart, so much so that he takes charge whenever I'm manifesting signs of going astray.

In our attempt not to raise an egoistic son, we have been trying several methods of discipline which may probably be so out of the box for some. In the book Discipline without Shouting or Spanking by Jerry Wyckoff and Barbara Unell, one of my go-to guides, they stressed the importance of separating a child from his behavior. 

For instance, the book says,

"Don't praise your child, but rather praise what she is doing. For example, instead of saying "You're a good girl for sitting quietly," say, "It's good you're sitting quietly." Focus your praise or disapproval on your child's behavior, because that is what you're interested in managing."

It echoed our preferred parenting philosophy in the sense that we will not be giving our son the mistaken idea that his personality is a cut above the rest, without however, depriving him of praises when he deserves it.

Everything is going along well and good, until my brother-in-law taught Zohan this cute antic that goes, Sinong pogi?

As you can probably guess, the question Sinong pogi? is being repeatedly asked in our house now, just to be graced with this cute response. That includes me, the behavorial-parent-police. 

So I guess this is what they say about loosing a certain level of control on things the minute one becomes a parent. But what the heck, I guess I just have to pray, and show our kid good examples of more substantial behaviors. For now, a little praise of how cute he really is probably won't hurt. Don't you think?
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