I kept reading rule after rule, realizing there would be NO WAY I could ever keep them all straight.
|It's a lot of work to instruct in the way she should go!|
And then I started thinking, "I wonder if that's how Gracelyn feels sometimes?"
I find myself always using negatives: "Don't talk like a baby. Don't stand on the fireplace. Don't pick Jemma up, especially by the neck!"
She probably wonders, "What can I do?"
So I'm trying to change the way I phrase things. For example, instead of, "Don't talk like a baby," I say, "Using big girl words/tone of voice would help me understand you." That way she knows what is appropriate, but it doesn't seem so negative. I want her to learn, but I have to admit, I'm tired of always saying no!
Changing my approach takes more effort on my part. But that's what being a parent is all about.
And I told her, the only rule she has to follow: Obey Mommy and Daddy, the first time, every time, with a happy heart. Yes, this covers a lot of area, but it just deals with one thing. Listening to, and respecting, her parents.
I'm hoping these little adjustments will work--the defiance of three is about to drive me crazy!