A few weeks ago, my toddler was attending his first swimming lesson where he would get into the water by himself. I was anxious about how this would turn out.
Needless to say the lesson did not go well and with a visibly irritated teacher, my toddler refused to get in. I sat close to the pool, trying to coax him to go in, this did not help one bit. His behavior then started to distract the other kids and the their Moms started to get irritated.
At that moment, I must honestly say I felt extremely embarrassed. I picked him up, placed him by the pool and proceeded to walk towards the parents section. I deviated from how I usually discipline him, my inconsistency just made things worse and also made him anxious. I allowed the reaction from the other moms and teacher to get to me.
Well then, all hell broke loose. We were in tantrum mode. This boy was not having it, no matter what I did.
My usual way is to discipline firmly but careful of not breaking his spirit, embarrassing him, or make him feel anxious. I also ensure to keep him feeling secure and protected. Although sometimes hard, I try get to his level of eyesight, talk to him and we usually work through things. Taking him out of a situation to calm down also helps, especially when in tantrum mode. Sometimes we negotiate and I have to give in, within limits. Like a sweetie if he picks up toys.
Some lessons from that day that stayed with me are:
- I should stand fast in my parenting decisions, no matter how challenging or seemingly ineffective to others.
- Not judge other parenting styles, we are all just trying to do our best, the best we know how.
- Lastly, to not under estimate the will power or negotiation skills of a toddler. Apparently mine gets his skills from his Mama. 🙂
- Parenting has its moments, but the ice cream I was negotiated into later that day made for a great ending.