It’s really starting to hit me that as your child grows you have to learn and research more about parenting in order to keep up! How you parent a newborn, an older baby, and a toddler are so different. I am realizing that I’m just at the beginning of my parenting journey!
Since Svara was born I’ve loosely considered myself having an attachment parenting style or natural parenting style. I say loosely because I have only read a limited amount about parenting “styles”. I have worn Svara in a sling since she was two weeks old, she used to nap in her sling until she was 6 months old. I still use the sling to this day every time we’re out shopping. Our stroller has gone into storage, but the sling is used frequently! Svara feels comfortable, close, and secure in the sling (we now only use the hip hold). When she was an infant we responded as quickly as possible to all of her needs. As she got older we still responded quickly and we always tried to gently correct her behavior. This usually meant we ignored “inappropriate” behavior such as hair pulling and hitting and changed it into “appropriate” behavior such as petting and high fives. This always worked, to varying degrees. We also used distraction a lot. If Svara was doing something she wasn’t supposed to I’d try to have her focus on me and talk to her and then distract her to something else, thereby getting her away from what she wasn’t supposed to be doing. This usually worked.
Now that she’s getting older it’s time for some new tactics! Svara is not as easily distracted. If she has something we don’t want her to have she will usually eventually give it to us. However, if it’s something that’s actually dangerous I like to act quickly about it and she is NOT so willing to easily give it up as she used to be. There are some thing she knows she’s not supposed to play with such as the DVD player and electrical outlets. Yet she still goes for them. She knows she’ll get a time out and she’ll even run and sit on the chair, but I so wish she just wouldn’t do it in the first place.
Is it better at this age to really teach them not to touch certain things (like DVDs or computers) or should you just keep all of those things out of reach because they are not yet developmentally ready to be able to stay away yet? I don’t know. And how do you teach them anyway?
I want to make sure to stay closely connected with Svara. I want to meet her needs, and also help her to grow up to be responsible and helpful. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but I’m quickly coming to the point where I need more guidance.
I suppose it also doesn’t help that Svara has been going through an intense week of teething and therefore I am functioning on severely broken up sleep.