Sunday, April 08, 2007

Louder and Louder

Jada has been doing a lot more crying and tantruming, and Amy pointed
out to me today that we've been letting her get away with it. I had
to agree: far too often I've been too beat to ask her to use words
before I'll help her, choosing instead to just intervene under the
logic that it's faster. But that only reinforces the idea in her mind
that if she wants something, she can just scream until we do the right
thing.

So we're trying to get into motion for her when she uses words, and
ignore her when she uses screaming. Sometimes, she stops screaming
and uses words, and we spring into action. Other times, she stops
screaming and then starts screaming louder, and we have to decide
whether we're going to hold the line or cave in. (Talk about doubling
down.)

It's a hard age for Jada. Her verbal skills aren't quite there, so
it's just easier to whine or rant instead of figuring out what word
she's supposed to use. Plus she's just so emotional and passionate,
so every request has the potential for producing a Shakespearian
performance.

So there are times she's just gawd awful, and I'm genuinely afraid
I'll be the parent of one of "those kids." And other times, she uses
words, plays well by herself and with others, and even puts away her
toys without reminder.

Amy and I are weary. But remind us a few years from now about how
hard we thought parenting a toddler was once our kids are older and
we're starting to worry about school performance and trouble with boys
and healthy self-image.

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