Friday, February 22, 2013

Through the Eyes of a Toddler

Since becoming a mother, I have learned many things.  I'm amazed at what one little girl can teach me!

It is very easy as a parent to become frustrated & stressed, especially when you are extremely tired...  When feeling any of these, it is easy to react quickly with anger when your child has "misbehaved". 

One of the most important lessons that I've learned since Nolin has become a moving, thinking toddler, is to slow down, listen, & think about what's going on in her mind.  Many times I have been on the verge of being frustrated with Nolin for her behavior.  But upon taking a second to think about the situation, I realize that Nolin is working within a developing context & there are reasons behind her actions.   

Recently I was reminded about the developing mind of a toddler.  Nolin & I were decorating her cardboard house with stickers.  I was pealing off the stickers & handing them to her.  She placed several inside the house for a while.  Then, she left the house & I thought she was decorating the outside of it.  She came back in & we continued decorating.  After a few stickers, she found her way outside of the house again.  I peeked out to see that she had stuck two stickers on the window in her playroom.  I was about to correct her, when I looked at the two stickers on the window.  They were airplanes.  I realized - Nolin knows that airplanes go outside.  It wasn't long ago when we were sitting in her playroom & the sound of an airplane scared her.  I had explained to her that it was an airplane flying over.  Since then, every time she hears a plane, she yells, "airplane" excitedly.  So, when I realized why she stuck the airplane stickers on the window, I couldn't help but giggle & leave them there.  A little later, I saw Nolin stick another sticker on the window & I was thinking, maybe I was wrong about my assumption & the airplane stickers on the window were a coincidence.  But as I started to correct her, I saw what sticker she had placed on the window this time - a bird.  :)  I have to admit, I teared up because I was so proud of my little girl.  She is becoming such a smart little girl & I can't help but be proud & enjoy these little things! 

There have been other times that I have begun to get frustrated with Nolin's behavior, when I realized there was a logical reason behind it.  For instance, there was the time when Nolin was throwing a fit on the kitchen floor while I was making a snack.  I was super frustrated that I couldn't finish what I was doing, because shes was acting up.  But I soon realized that all Nolin wanted to do was be able to see what Momma was doing.  So, I grabbed a stool & allowed her to "help" me.  Crisis averted - that simple!

I could name many times when I have stopped to think about the situation before getting angry & I have realized that there is more going on than my daughter acting up just to misbehave.  Honestly there is almost always a pretty simple reason that Nolin behaves the way she does - whether it be a tantrum or putting something where it doesn't belong.  I simply have to stop & look at the situation through the eyes of a toddler...

& when I do...I am often surprised & impressed by my baby girl.  :)


1 comment:

  1. Brandi - I'm just reading your blog for the first time and I saw this post first...I love it! I feel the same way and respond the same way you do with my kiddos. They are learning and developing, misbehaving is never their goal. It's so good to hear of other Mother's who take the time to understand their children instead of scolding! Your children are lucky to have you! :)