Well, I knew the time would come...and it is here. Eventually at some point the toddler would figure out he has a choice to obey or not. The time has come and he very effectively has delivered a few meltdowns here and there. I was hoping what we were seeing was just the signs of a toddler that doesn't feel well. But, no such luck, the time has come and we are in full teaching mode.
My easy compliant toddler is pushing his way the last few days!
We are left with spanking his leg, saying "no", walking him out of the room, AND (most important) staying consistent. Let the parenting begin!
It is never easy to begin this parenting journey but it is always rewarding. Knowing that we may spend several days or weeks teaching him the boundaries we know the payoff of an obedient child will be a great reward.
Times when I am ready to cave and just let him go I remember the joy of having little ones learn that throwing a fit is not allowed, throwing your food will not be tolerated, and mom and dad will win the battle of the wills.
When our children hit this stage of demanding their independence we are quick to explain the rules while we discipline the child. (Learning over the years they understand far more than they can communicate back.) Knowing we have other children listening and learning from us on 'how to' discipline has been a great accountability in staying calm and not shouting in anger. (We would never allow the other children to yell at one another so why would we do that ourselves....doesn't mean it never happens but it IS seldom!) Children will CATCH far more than they are TAUGHT. (Which is actually a scary thing and I am thankful for God's grace that intervenes many, many times.) He can capture their hearts in spite of me!
So if you see this mom slightly stressed the next time you see me you will know I am in the battle of the wills with a child learning the boundaries in which to walk this life!