I have realized that no matter how many parenting books I read, videos I watch, or parents I learn from…my children will always find a way to offer me a new experience and the need to come up with my own way to handle it!
So I have decided to start a new series mentioning some random lessons I have learned the hard way and specific situations I have resolved so that perhaps it can be applicable to you at some point. I don’t know how often I will write them…I guess it will be determined by how often I find successful solutions!
Before we get started, though, let me point you back to a few of my posts on training idea/concepts that I have already shared:
- Training with ribbons
- Standing in the crib prevention
- Training with joy
- Learning the word “no”
- Raising happy children
- Sleep Training
Some of these posts were written a while ago but the concepts have still stood the test of time. I’m hoping the ones I share today will be as on point in the future!
- Easier diaper changes (started at 7ish months) – This begins teaching your child obedience and the importance of doing what Momma says (it also makes a frequent job MUCH easier). The main issue I was having was my children trying to pull up their knees while I tried to fasten up their diapers making it very difficult to do it properly and securely. Whenever their knees popped up I would given them a gentle swat on the thigh with the swatter (not enough to bring on tears) and pull one of their legs straight while saying “straighten out”. You have to be willing to let the diaper change take as long as necessary so that you can be consistent until they catch on. In an amazingly short amount of time both Daniel and Heidi got to the point that I can simply give their leg a little tug while saying the phrase and they hold them that way until I’m done fastening the diaper!
- Clean up time (started when able to walk) – This lesson has two purposes; to teach your child an important phrase/concept (messes made will need to be picked up) and starts instilling in them a good work ethic. When a mess had been made I got down on the floor next to Heidi, picked up an item and dropped it into it’s home while saying “pick up”. Then I handed her an item, pointed to it’s home and said “pick up”. Finally, I just pointed to an item, said “pick up” again and was so pleased to see that she had completely caught on! Now, I can point to a mess she has made at home or something she has pulled off of a shelf at the store and say “pick up”…she scurries to the item(s) and puts them away!
- Laundry time (started when able to walk) – Here they are learning to share in the work of the house and develop a good work ethic. To set it up, I wash a load of laundry, take the wet clothes out, and put them in a basket on the floor in front of the dryer (with room for her to actually stand directly in front of the dryer). Then I grab one article of clothing, place it into the dryer, and explain what I am doing as I go (stressing the words “put in dryer” so she will begin to connect the dots). Then I hand her an article, point to the dryer opening and say “help Momma put in dryer”…it’s that simple! Now at 21 months I can load up the basket in front of the dryer and by the time I have reloaded and started the washer she is almost done loading the dryer!
- Stay still (started when able to turn over) – Comprehending this phrase helps with EVERYTHING! Cutting nails, brushing hair, buckling seatbelt, brushing teeth, painting toenails :), etc. Start off on the changing table again. Whenever they try to turn over while getting their diaper changed give a small swat on the thigh, gently push their shoulder back down, and say “stay still”. Again, diaper changes might take a couple minutes more for just a bit. My eight month old son is still in the process of learning this but my daughter will stay still per my request for any of the items listed above or any other time I ask it of her!
- Do not mess with that (started when they are able to crawl/scoot) – Before this will work, you will need to teach your little one the meaning of the word “no” (read how I did that here). I would also suggest reading my post on training with ribbons because I am talking about the same principles just in a broader way. This can apply to cabinets/drawers they shouldn’t open, objects they shouldn’t touch, or tasks they shouldn’t do. When she is about to touch/open/do something she shouldn’t say “no, that is Momma’s”. Then show her something she can touch/open/do and say “THIS is _____ (insert your child’s name)!”. If she goes back to “Momma’s” thing again say the same phrase, but paired with a swat on the thigh and then redirect again. This lesson was also learned very quickly and we have gotten to the point that about 75% of the time if Heidi is unsure if she is allowed to play with something she will bring it to me and ask for permission…if I say yes she will proceed to play with it but if I say “no Heidi, that is Momma’s” she will either set it down or give it to me!
The final three tips I can give you apply to all of the ones I have ever given you or ever will give you.
Train with joy!
Always praise when your little one successfully obeys!
Now it is your turn…what are some things you have learned from the unique situations your kids have thrown at you??