it’s funny how you can forget so much from one child to the next! it also boggles my mind how two kids from the same recipe can have such different personalities! these differences are what make each of our kids unique and why we love them all so much! that being said beckett (10 1/2 months) is at that stage where he knows he shouldn’t do something, but likes to look at you directly in the eye, smirk and follow through with whatever he knows he shouldn’t be doing! when he looks at me with those big, knowing, blue eyes it is hard not to let out a little chuckle or smile, but i try my best to hold strong! hudson, my first, was one of those boys, and still is, whom always seemed overly compliant. i would say ‘no’ 1 or 2 times and he would move onto something else, never to return there again. it breaks my heart how sweet he truly is! beckett on the other hand, still sweet of course, is a bit more aggressive if that’s the right word:) he knows what he wants and is doing his absolute best to get it. i can’t fault the guy for his determination but, on the other hand, all of his hard work is making my work a bit more challenging, to say the least. my ‘no’ 1 or 2 times to address something with hudson isn’t coming even remotely close to the tip of the ice berg with becks.
the incident that comes to mind with this situation is meal time!! becks is an outstanding eater, loves everything, including his high chair as this means he is about to get the goods! he loves the phrase, “do you want to eat?” and you can’t get him in his chair fast enough. not to mention the calluses i’ve formed from the rapid making of string cheese pieces! the faster the better, as it’s extremely difficult to keep up with the rate he grabs from the tray and inserts into his mouth. the 6 teeth make chewing minimal so it’s a basic insert and swallow! the trouble comes about as he starts to feel satisfied. the belly is almost full, the excitement of the meal is over. there resting in front of him are his sippy cup and extra food pieces which lay there tempting him to do something with them. his idea, like the majority of little ones, is to place them, rather drop them, onto the floor. as he leans over the chair to watch the drop with full attention, he will nonchalantly ease is glance towards me to be sure i’ve noticed his work of art!
teaching your little one to NOT do this will be quick and easy for some and more painful and what feels never-ending for others. the trick is to express your wants and desires for meal time behaviour EVERY time and EVERY meal! when they do something you like, such as placing their cup down on the tray, rather than the floor, praise them. clap, smile and let them know how pleased your are. when they do the negative behaviour remain consistent with your verbiage, actions, and how you let them know that it is not okay. for example: each time beckett picks up his cup and so carefully dangles it to the side of his chair, ever so subtly making me aware that he is thinking of letting go, i say firmly “no, no!! on your tray or in your mouth!” i tap the tray to help him understand where i want the cup to go. if he places it back on the tray i get overly excited to show him that he has pleased me. by doing this time and time again he learns how to please me and what my expectations are. kids of all ages love this and feel secure when they know what makes you upset or happy. i use the same verbiage when he drops food and point to the tray or my mouth so he can get a visual and verbal cue at the same time. further helping him understand my desires and proper meal time behaviour. see this of hudson trying to teach baby becks! cracks me up!!
we have been doing this for the past month and we are finally almost there!! we’ve only had one milk bomb in that past 2 days and the dog (if we had one) would be starving and royally pissed! kids of all ages need to be taught right from wrong. good manners versus bad. they need you, the parents, to show them you care by giving them the information and knowledge they need to learn these behaviours and help them become the best human being they can be! i know it seems easier to just let them drop their food and say that they don’t understand because they are babies. but truth be told, they do understand and from very early on. they ache for your attention and ways to make you happy. be there for them in all incidences and teach them the way. i know it’s exhausting but like i’ve said before hard work up front makes it so much easier along the way!
cheers to happy meal times and unhappy dogs (sorry pups)!!
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