Parenting has its up and downs. If you were anything like me, I thought taking care of a newborn was a lot of work when Brayden was born. Then the newborn turns into a toddler and you quickly realize that newborns are a breeze. Toddlers you have to watch every second of the day. They are curious and get into things. They become more daring and start exploring everything. And of course they talk. And there are many times when the talking is adorable, but sometimes it is just too much. There is a question every two seconds. And after months of this it can get a bit tiring. Thankfully we have grandparents who like having the kids over for a slumber party sans parents. Along with all those things mentioned, there is the budding personality. This is so fun to watch develop. But with the personality also may come sassiness.
Lydia is full of sassy. (I think we’ve mentioned this a time or two already.) A lot more so than her brother. But as of late, Brayden has been developing more of this sassiness. Maybe his sister is rubbing off on him. I wouldn’t say this “kid” stage is harder. I still vote that toddlers are the most exhausting. (Though I’m sure parents with teenagers will tell me the best is yet to come.) Jay and I are hoping Brayden’s sassiness is nearing the end of its tunnel.
This week we have been reminding Brayden to make good choices instead of bad ones. We tell him we enjoy “good Brayden” much more than the other side. The last month has been a struggle for Jay and I. Brayden has taken on this new form of not listening the first time he is told something. His teacher has even taken note. This is completely out of character for him. Needless to say, our home has consisted of too many “time-outs” to count.
At his tee ball game on Saturday he was even a bit embarrassing. He has become a ball hog to the point where he will run to the ball wherever it is and wrestle with his teammate to get it. He also laughed when another kid swung and missed when trying to hit the ball off the tee.
We usually give him one instance of not listening the first time, warn him about it and tell him if it happens again X will happen. X usually is a special toy being taken away or a 10 minute time-out. If the occurrence happens again then we make sure we follow through with our threat because what will he learn if we threaten and don’t act on it. If he gets in trouble close to bed time, he has been losing his privilege to read a bedtime book. Maybe this makes me a terrible mom to take away reading. This is something he looks forward to each evening. But my thinking is if he wants to read a book or have one read to him before he goes to sleep that he will start listening to us.
After his last tee ball practice Jay and I told him that he needs to start listening to the “rules”, i.e. letting his teammates have a chance at the ball and listening to his coaches instructions. He was warned that if this happened at his game that he would not be able to have his after-game snack. He was denied of this on Saturday after his game. And now the threat of not being able to play in his next game is looming over his head if he has a repeat of his last game.
Having a game taken away will be devastating to him. But I want him to learn and know that being kind to others is of utmost importance. If he laughs at a player on the other team again, I will take him straight off the field because it is unacceptable in my book.
He’ll learn quickly I’m sure. He hates when Jay and I are disappointed in his actions. We had a good talk last night, in place of a bedtime book, about choosing to make good decisions. He was pretty upset last night, so I think his actions are starting to sink in. I think (hope) we are seeing the light at the end of that tunnel. God speed…or Jay and I might lose our minds.
Post Script: After I wrote this, I learned Brayden had a very excellent day today. He earned a reward at school for collecting enough good behavior stickers, and he was back to his old self in the listening department all day long. It just shows the ups and downs of parenting. Overall, we’re very blessed to have two incredibly well-behaved children. Even this latest phase has been cake compared to what many parents go through, but when you are trying to bring up little ones, every headache can seem like a migraine.