Thursday, March 06, 2008

Terrible Twos One and a Halfs

Let me preface this post with a note that the triplets are at an adorable age. The are terribly cute and affectionate. They are communicating a lot and becoming more and more fun each day. But they have also been testing their boundaries lately and I've had to start figuring out my parenting style.

The other day all three put me to the test. They were pushing the patio chairs up to the table and climbing on top.

I tried to follow the advice of the books I've been scanning. I would promtly take them off the table, tell them each firmly 'No, do not climb on the table' while gently holding their arms and looking into their eyes to get their full attention. They would climb back up, I would repeat.

Will will often with respond to just a serious look with a shake of the head 'no' and he did this time too - at first - but then it was too much fun to resist or he liked getting my attention or both.

After more than 20 times I gave up and took everyone into the playroom for a joint timeout. I was clear about why we had to come inside 'because they would not listen to mommy and were climbing on the table'. We had a few minutes of major meltdown and then they were fine.

I have a lot to learn about parenting toddlers. It is surely going to be a test of patience. I was proud of myself for keeping my cool that day. I don't want to be one of those screammy moms with the high pitched shrill 'no, get down! I said no, get down, get down, get down, get down!!' It doesn't seem to work anyway. I plan to save the frantic adrenaline 'Nos' for those truly urgent situations like stopping them from running in the street.

That evening Evan started acting up again. He threw his entire dinner on the floor as soon as he sat down for dinner. He then reached over and tried to throw Will's dinner. I was exhausted and finally lost my cool, grabbed his arms a bit too harshly and said NO!, then called for David to take him. I don't expect to be perfect, but I'll keep practicing my toddler handling skills and try my best to dig deep and find my patience and understanding.

So here's my my game plan - so I can re-read this post later when they are driving me batty.

Pick my battles
Be calm yet firm with enforcing those limits
Stay consistent

It is certainly going to get a lot harder before it gets any easier but I think I'm up for the challenge. With a little help from wine and chocolate we will get through this.

2 comments:

baby~amore' said...

great advice ... how you do it with three toddlers is beyond me.

I manage some days to keep the 'NO' rant (mine) to a low roar others days it seems non stop.

They are testing my boundaries and sanity 100 times a day.

I use the frame the phrase positive method - please sit down rather than don't stand up ...
use the spoon please (rather than say don't eat with fingers - in moderation - if you know what I mean)

The theory is you ask them to do what you what them do rather then tell them what not to do.

They still just laugh at me and run when Ia sk for the TV remote or pens etc!

Love the last line ... yes wine and chocolate. A winning combination.

Jennifer said...

thanks, i like the positive phrasing idea.

i've noticed even with the simple things like that it takes some practice and awareness to get into good habits.

and on the laughing thing...

someone on one of my multiples groups said something that really clicked with me.

that children sometimes laugh when you say 'no' because it makes them nervous that you are unhappy with them. that makes so much sense and helps keep me from getting annoyed or feeling like my discipline is not working.