My name is Becky Kiser and I have a toddler.
No, really – I have a full-on, independent, tenacious toddler.
One thing the other moms didn’t tell me is that toddler-dom doesn’t start at age two for
every kid. For mine, it started just after her 1st birthday.
With a new-found independence, I felt like I was saying (10 billion times a day):
“No touch that… No grab… No climb… No… No..NO.”
I hated the word. I hated that I had become one of those moms I swore I wouldn’t be: frustrated and saying no to my kid all day.
So I emailed every mom I knew asking for book recommendations on discipline. And I ordered every single one of them. I’m not joking – I was desperate.
One book stood out tremendously, and it has completely changed my parenting of our daughter, Karis.
The main thing I took away from that book was the message of:
Your child might be acting the way they are because you are acting the way you are.
Ouch. What? No! I wanted tips and techniques – not conviction!
After not knowing if I’d be able to have kids, I was so thankful to have a baby that first year of her life. I feel like if I did one thing right that year, it was treasuring each moment: being present and seeing the blessing in it all.
I was so convicted to realize how quickly my attitude had changed when my daughter changed.
At the same time, I had a fresh take on an old verse:
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Had I only been trying to conform Karis to go the way I wanted her to go? Or even in the way I was influenced by other Christian parents?
Had I forgotten a very important piece?:
God has a special way for Karis. And what I was viewing as a burden of stubbornness was a gift of an independent little girl.
I lost sight of His will right along with losing sight of treasuring her. In the long run, I resolved to focus on changing the way I was behaving and focus less on the way she was behaving.
So how have things been?
Perfect! My child hasn’t had a tantrum since! Haha!!! Totally kidding!
Truthfully though, it’s amazing how much my attitude affected Karis. Simply giving her more grace for being a toddler (and choosing to not be said toddler myself), we’ve had less timeouts and tantrums (but we still have them). What we’ve had more of, however, is laughter and cuddles and memories.
What about you? Have you noticed how your attitude can affect your kids attitude?