We have been blessed with a very spirited, passionate daughter , who also is amazingly discerning. Her name means “White Wave,” and rightly so. If you have ever been to the beach, I’m sure you have seen those powerful, foamy white waves crashing against the rocky cliffs and sands on the beach. God’s power and joy is revealed in creation, and that includes our daughter!
Part of our duty as parents is to help her channel that passion and joy appropriately in life, and to also teach her the virtues of patience and listening. We also are required to teach her right from wrong. She has shown us that she loves the safety of boundaries, but also likes to learn and explore. After reading many “parenting toddlers” books, we identified the important areas we wanted to focus on, and how we wanted to go about guiding our daughter (age 16 months).
The best resource we have found is Raising Godly Tomatoes. Gen has responded incredibly well to this form of discipline. She is learning safety issues, such as “stay there,” and “come here.” She is learning to respect authority.
Gen has blossomed into a toddler that is able to finally sit (mostly!) quietly on Daddy’s lap while in church on Sundays, instead of being overwhelmed by all the people around her. I can get ready for the day in the bathroom, or open the oven while baking, and know that she can stay (without a baby gate!) in her safe play area. I no longer have to clean up toys, dishes, etc. that are spread all over the house. She is learning to keep things contained in her play areas.
She loves helping with chores, and now that she is understanding the merits of obedience, she gets to be more involved alongside us. Gen is a wonderful helper, and enjoys helping unload the dishwasher or dryer, and putting things away. This allows her to begin learning life skills.
When we go to others’ homes or on vacation, when we first arrive, she always walks around the room, and announces which things she thinks are “no-no’s” (on her own!). She will point to electrical cords, fragile vases, lamps, etc. She likes to have clearly defined boundaries, and is proficient at discerning many of them for herself. Then, she is comfortable to play and have fun!
Now that she is not wandering aimlessly around the house (too many options!), she is better able to focus on what is in the play area she is in for that playtime. (She has one play area in the living room, and one in her bedroom.) We love watching Gen’s creativity develop, as she experiments with Legos, puzzles, fabric pieces, or blocks, and reads her books.
Of course, we do have silly, tickling, wrestling times with Daddy, walks to the parks, etc. Life is not strictly structured. But, we are providing the needed boundaries and direction. It works for us!
For more wonderful Works For Me Wednesday ideas, go to Rocks In My Dryer!