Oh, what a day we have had today. My daughter seemed to want to try to act out in every way possible. Do you ever have one of those days where if it can frustrate you, it WILL happen? This has been my day today, and a lot of that revolved around my child, and her misbehavior.
It has been said, a lot, that when children act out, they are looking for attention that they feel they are lacking. Thinking about this, I really wanted to hit the point home, that I wanted her to seek positive attention. I wanted to teach her, that she does hundreds, probably thousands, of things that make me so proud of her and thrilled that I'm her mom.
She really truly does. There are hundreds of times every day where my heart just swells full of pride for her. So I started telling her what those things were. Then, after that, I asked her why, when she can do all of these wonderful things, she decides to also do things that she knows she shouldn't. I told her, that when she's deciding whether to do something, that she should thing about whether we would be proud of her, or angry. I said things like "when you do a great job writing your letters, does that make us angry, or proud?" "when you touch things that are mommy's or daddys, that you know you shouldn't, will that make us angry, or proud?" "when you tell a funny joke, does that make us angry, or proud?" She enjoyed asking all of the questions, and really started to get the point. I ended that conversation, by letting her know, that I am only angry with her when she misbehaves and does things that she knows that she shouldn't, but that I feel proud of her all the time. Fast forward a few hours, and when she argued with me about picking up her toys, I just looked at her and said "angry, or proud?" She filled the drawers of her toybox and I told her how proud of her I was. When I told her it was naptime, and didn't get any argument, and she walked upstairs to her room, picked out a story, and sat on her bed waiting for me, I told her I was proud. Then, when she was laying in her bed, I reminded her again that I was proud of her all the time, and that I love her so much.
I really think this will work for us. I think this really hit home that she does a lot of things that get her positive attention. It feels good to have had what felt like a really successful parenting moment.