Last Friday, henri got his first library card, and I got my, well, I got one too. I had to pay 75cents, because you can’t be over $10 in fines to check out books. I guess I returned something late…doesn’t sound like me…but if that’s what they say…
Anyway, Henri got some awesome books with his favorite characters–Maisy, the Sheep, Pat the Bunny, and Curious George–along with some new books focused on opposites, colors & counting, as those are the things he’s cognitively processing these days.
Mom-mom got two books, one of which is Common Sense Parenting of Toddlers and Preschoolers. Though most of the tips are either Really Commonsensical or geared towards parents whose children are WAY out of control already, I did find the book somewhat useful regarding some savvy parenting techniques, such as “Effective Praise” and “Redo, Undo, Redirect.” I may not like the terminology, but I like the ideas. I’ve already tried it a little on henri and it definitely works.
For example, on weekends when we’re being lazy, we will put him in bed with us with a bunch of books. Usually, when he gets bored or wants us to read to him, he’ll throw the book at us, instead of using words. Well, yesterday morning, I gave him the book back and said, “Henri, whenever you want us to read to you, you just hand us the book and say, ‘Mom-mom Read’ or ‘Da-da Read.'” Then, I followed the suggested “Show-And-Tell” procedure and did it myself (handed Da-da the book and said “Da-da Read”). Then, we had Henri practice it to be sure he understood, which he did.
Guess what? It totally worked! Even though he did throw a much larger book right at Mark’s head (and really hurt him that time) so that we could practice the technique once again… this morning, he handed Mark a book and said “Da-da Book” just like we’d practiced, with no prompting and no throwing of books first!
I think that’s the most helpful thing I’ve learned from the book…not learned, but been reminded of. When henri does something we don’t want him to do–whether it’s throw food off his tray or throw an entire pail of water on my computer–it’s not because he’s intentionally being bad or even, necessarily, because he’s doing something to earn “negative attention,” it’s because he doesn’t have the “tools,” or cognitive ability, to ask us/tell us what he wants. So, the more tools we give him, the easier it will be for him to get what he wants, and everyone to be happy. 🙂
Though, it is kind of a daunting task–we don’t just have to teach him words, but words and how to use them (!)–the book reminds us that it’s also an opportunity to have an even better life, full of obeyed parents and independent, but well-behaved children. Now, if that isn’t narcisstic parenting, I don’t know what is!