>Parenting: A Month in Review

30 Mar

>This month I have truly realized that no matter how perfect I want Jayden to act and behave, it’s not possible. He is a 3 year old boy with more energy then anyone I have ever met. But that doesn’t mean he can act out or not follow the rules; I have simply concluded that if we are at home or out in public he is not going to be a perfect little gentleman everyday. Here is our month of parenting in review:

1. The Nuknuk fairy. You may remember how the nuknuk fairy had made its way to our house. Well the nuknuk fairy went away without any nuknuks. For 3 1/2 days we lived without a nuknuk. At first, Jayden was doing pretty good (and I use that term loosely). During bedtime on the 3rd day Jayden woke up around mid-night absolutely screaming and bawling his eyes out. Nothing I, nor Adam, could do would calm him down and I mean nothing. He worked himself up so bad he was so red in the face and out of breath. It was almost scary. Needless to say, that night he got his nuknuk back. Why you ask? Because at about 12:30 AM a Polish woman came down to our door ringing our doorbell and knocking on the door. Finally, Adam opened the door and she started to scream at us (in Polish). It was a lose/lose situation. I didn’t want to give in and give him his nuknuk but at the same time I also didn’t want Adam to get in trouble with the team and have anymore neighbors yelling at us. Later that night when I was putting Jayden back to sleep (with his nuknuk) he softly told me, “Momma, I have been praying to get my nuknuk back. Thank you Jesus!” And after sleeping until 10 AM the next morning, he woke up and said, “Momma, that is so very nice of you to give me my nuknuk back. Thanks Mom!” In the end I felt like he truly wasn’t ready to give up his nuknuk. It is the one of the only constants he has had in his life since he was born. When the time comes I know he will give it up himself but for now, the Lord and his nuknuk will continue to comfort him while he sleeps at night and for some reason, I am now ok with that.
2. School. Three different schools, in three different countries, in three years. Some people think we are nuts to change his environment so often and even more nuts when I enrolled him in school in Poland since we knew we were only going to be here for 3.5 months. To me, it’s a opportunity for Jayden. He is able to play, learn and grow with kids all around the world. You’d be amazed of how well two kids can communicate with each other without speaking the same language. It is truly an amazing thing to watch. I brought up school this month because of Jayden’s behavior at home. Jayden has been tested Adam and I more then ever. I was worried that he may be acting the same way at school. So I sat down with the only English-speaking teacher at his school and asked her to be completely honest and tell me how Jayden behaves. She told me that he is a very sweet boy. Sometimes he gets a little rough with the other boys but she said it is completely “normal” for a child his age (I totally don’t agree with this but that’s another topic). She did tell me that one day a couple weeks ago he had knocked down one of the little girls. I was mortified. Then she continued to tell me that he immediately helped her up and said he was so sorry so I guess I felt a little better. Lastly, we concluded our conversion as the following, “Well you know (way too long of a pause) he has a lot of energy! He loves to run around and play with all the balls! All the older boys love to play with him!” And just when I thought she was going to say something I totally didn’t want to hear, she told me something I have known since his birth.
3. Reaction. When I don’t react, he stops. When I react, he continues to misbehave. It’s not rocket science but I swear it’s been working. A friend of mine I met in Poland told me that when her daughter used to throw tantrums she wouldn’t react, she would just ignore her until she was done. I decided I would give it a try. Sure enough, it worked. It was amazing. When Jayden is starting to melt down or throws a tantrum I try to ignore him. Once he calms himself down and a few minutes pass I then go talk to him about what just happened. He can then express his feelings to me without yelling or getting upset. I have noticed an improvement in his behavior ever since trying this method. It probably isn’t the best parenting advice but it works for us.
4. Daddy time. Adam and Jayden have this unique relationship. It’s like they understand each other on a totally different level then Jayden and I. Maybe it’s a father/son thing or maybe it is because Jayden is an exact clone of Adam, who knows; but one thing I know is when Jayden has alone time with Adam (I swear Jayden gets sick of me) he comes home refreshed and rejuvenated. He always walks through the door with a huge smile on his face and can’t wait to tell me what him and Daddy just did. This past Monday I begged Adam to take Jayden to dance class, not because I had something to do but because the first time I took him he would not let go of my leg or participate at all. Sure enough, I looked in through a little crack of the door to see Jayden dancing away and having so much fun! Adam has been making it a point to do something special with Jayden once a week and it’s been great! I know Jayden really looks forward to those days and I don’t mind getting a little reading in while their out and about!
That is about it for our Parenting: A Month in Review. It has been a learning month for both Adam and I but the Lord has been guiding the way. Even after a difficult day I know He is in control and will continue to offer His guidance and grace to help us overcome any rock in the road.
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2 Responses to “>Parenting: A Month in Review”

  1. Maria March 30, 2010 at 9:45 PM #

    >Just a few of my own thoughts– When he is ready, he will hand over the nuknuk. ;-)Boys his age are rough! I swear to God that his teacher is telling you the truth! My son and his school friends like to dogpile and do all kinds of stuff I think is crazy. And yes, TB pushed down a younger child a couple of weeks ago and then told the teacher God told him it was the right thing to do. Imagine my WHAT?!!? reaction to her telling me that!The lack of reaction works for some kids and parents. I wouldn't say it is bad parenting advice, but that is my opinion. I know it doesn't work for my son because I have tried, but if it works, take it and run with it!TB and Kevin have something special too, but Kevin swears that TB and I do. I think because we are on the outside watching, it is easier to see in our spouse. It is great that Adam is willing to branch out and great that you get a break too.Keep it up, and I hope our boys get a chance to play together! The little ones or the big ones. LOL!

  2. Kearstin March 31, 2010 at 4:38 AM #

    >Maria, Thanks for commenting! It nice to hear your thoughts!After the nuknuk experiment I totally agree with you – he will hand it over when he is ready. When Jayden was 11 months he weened himself from nursing. He didn't really have interest anymore. I am praying that he will do the same thing with his nuknuk sooner then later!Adam says the same thing about Jayden and his age. I don't know if I will ever come to terms with it but if no one gets hurt I guess I can live with it 😉 It's nice to know my son isn't the only one!I have been trying the non-reaction experiment for about a week now and it really seems to make a difference. Like I said, it probably doesn't work for everyone but it if works with Jayden when I am going to stick with it!The boys (big and small) need to get together! Can you imagine if Elijah was there too? The kids would be in heaven!

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