Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Mother of all Resolutions

2013 has officially arrived!

While we enjoyed a night in with close friends, sipping on Moet while munching on sushi, we had two tiny entertainers who made it up until 11pm providing the night’s entertainment.

With a new year upon us comes the call for resolutions and taking a step back to see what we can improve on from the year before. While I have a short list of personal goals, I have also taken the time to deliberate how to make family life that much better.

And while it’s not so much of a resolution but a project to work on, the area in my parenting life that I feel needs the most improvement on is discipline. I coined a term from my cousin this past summer when he referred to Hannah, mid tantrum, as a terrorist.

Yes, children can definitely be terrorists. Their bombs are usually stored in their diapers but given the right environment they can also take over the show, pulling the reigns away from their parents. Alex hasn’t developed into full terrorist status yet. At just 15 months old, he really is a little sweetheart with a million dollar smile. His recently acquired pinching and biting skills have been met with stern no’s but at such a young age, this little terrorist still has some time to be managed.

The war in our house usually revolves around his almost four year old sister, Hannah. The first child syndrome got the best of us these past few years and while she is a shy, sweet, artistic little girl she’s got a very strong will, one that is often very difficult to reckon with.

I’ve been cracking the whip since school vacation started, making sure she cleans up after herself but there seems to be a laundry list of behaviour issues that need working on. And unlike a resolution of, say losing weight where there is an easy equation of eat less, move more, getting this four year old to cooperate and listen is surely not as clear cut. So please, feel free to add your insight, experiences and any advice that might make 2013 the year of the perfect little girl J

Issue #1: Sleep
Ah yes, sleep my old friend. Hannah was doing fantastically at bedtime. We had figured out the perfect bedtime scenario including a routine and appropriate hour. But late last summer she somehow ended up in our bed night after night. After a family vacation we managed to get her back in her room but with too much hand holding, literally. Some nights we spend an hour sitting next to her waiting for her to fall asleep. This winter holiday has been exceptional as with no nap during the day she crashes at night in minutes. But she still won’t fall asleep without one of us there. We tried to “sleep train” her about a month ago, moving closer to the door each night but after three nights of crying, screaming and lost nights (for us) we gave up.

Resolution #1: Give Hannah the confidence to fall asleep on her own.

Issue #2: Food
Peas, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, apples. That is Hannah’s repertoire in the fruit and vegetable department. She won’t try anything new. One night I even promised her Smarties if she just took a bite of an orange. She refused. I need to get this kid eating more fruits and vegetables. And while I can easily hide them in muffins, chicken burgers and other secret recipes, I want her to grab a handful of grapes out of the fridge instead of heading for the goldfish in the cupboard.

Resolution #2: Enforce stricter eating rules, get more creative in the kitchen

Issue #3: Stubbornness
In late September we headed to the ski shop to set Hannah up with a winter lease of a pair of skis and boots. We got there so early in the season she even got a pair of skis with pink birdies and hearts, perfect for any little girlie skier in training. But when winter officially arrived with last week’s insane storm Hannah was wearing a skirt and nylons (not even heavy tights) and refused to play outside. The reason why? She didn’t want to wear snow pants or gloves. When we arrived in the country I even tried to put her ski boots on with her skirt ensemble in the backyard to get her hyped about skiing but she refused. We’ve been looking forward to getting her off of the magic carpet and on to the chair lift all summer long, not to mention skating, toboganning and building snow forts. But it’s all been a no go thus far.

Resolution #3: I have no idea – how do you get a hard headed kid to realize she is missing out on so much fun?

So that’s where 2013 starts for me. This laundry list makes me think that everyday going forward is going to be a battle but if you don’t push hard you’ll never see results right?
Hopefully in a few months I’ll have a produce-loving, winter sport-fan who plops into her bed and whisks herself off to sweet dreams on her own. And I can finally declare victory over the little terrorist in my home.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like she is doing the typical 4 year-old need to exert control thing. Perhaps if you backed off in certain areas the whole tone may change? I'm pretty strict about bedtime and getting going in the morning but have almost completely given up the battle about clothes and food. I figure she'll eat when she's hungry and will ask for different clothes when she's cold...something to think about perhaps?