Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Smoothies, some leftover blueberry muffins and cereal with strawberries.
- Lunch: Leftover indian food – so good! I keep hoping that spicy food will kick me into labor, but nothing yet. Tomorrow I’ll probably go for some nachos with jalepenos.
- Blueberries provided a great post-nap pick me up for LP – and mom!
- Dinner: Bok choy and kale with crispy shallots and tofu fried rice.
Today hung out at home. LP was asked several times about going to the park or pond, but he preferred to chill out, read stories, blow bubbles and water the garden. It was quite a relaxing day with no need to spend anything.
Discipline has always been hard for me, as a teacher and as a parent. Intellectually, I want to shy away from rules without reasons and I certainly don’t want to teacher/parent who says “Because I said so! That’s why!!” But I also know that sometimes the children I’m with won’t understand they reasons I have for rules and boundaries, whether the “children” in question are 17 or 2. There is the additional fact that in the classroom, or at home, there are times when I must be assertive about things that don’t really matter to me because waffling around or saying “it’s up to you” turns into a bigger time-waster than it should be.
This boundary issues is hitting me again this summer, just like it did last summer when I transitioned from teacher by day to mom pretty much full time. During the school year I have it pretty easy. The G-man is the one home with LP, so he sets the boundaries, and I see my role (as the “working out of the house” parent) as the enforcer of those boundaries, even if they aren’t the ones I might have set if I was in charge. Of course if the G-man and I disagree on something big or important we talk about it and come to consensus, but a lot of the daily battles with our two year old are a bit arbitrary. Does he get a time-out after being told to do something once, or after we tell him to do something and then count to three? Is he allowed to turn off the fan in his room by himself, or do we need to supervise? How long should he have to sit at the table during family dinner time if he is done eating? It’s these little things that make up the day, and most of them aren’t big battles to speak of. However, as LP gets more assertive and uses he new-found power with the word “no” it becomes more and more important that the G-man and I are assertive as well.
I struggle with this because I don’t want to be authoritarian. But I do know that LP needs to know and understand limits, which are not only part of life, but provide safety and comfort. Also, while he understands quite a lot, he is still TWO. There are a lot of reasons for things that he doesn’t get, so sometimes he just has to learn not to do something because I SAID SO!!! What I have to learn is how to say that and mean it, especially as I take on the role of dealing with the need for boundaries as they come up, not just after the G-man has already enacted a plan. The G-man and I explain things to LP a lot, and we try and make sure he does understand why he needs to do the things we make him do (or not do, such as swinging large sticks around). However, in the midst of that I need to be firm about these things, and be better about holding LP accountable when he pushes the envelope, even though I know that is his job as a growing kid.
2 thoughts on “Saturday: Mom Musings about Setting Boundries”
Don’t worry. The reason we have them for 18 years (approximately), is that it takes that long to civilize them. Every day counts a little, but “most days done as well as possible” is what really counts. Consistency is wonderful, but he will learn that his parents are human, too! He’s a wonderful kid and you and G-man are doing great.
Thank you so much!! It is good to remember that we do this parenting thing one day at time, and it does work itself out at the end. Thank you for civilizing the G-man 🙂