Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Invisible swaddling blanket

*Post title for Aunt Tam

KayLynn has really been struggling with learning appropriate independence.  Maybe closer to the truth I should say - I have been struggling with her learning appropriate independence.  Though very age appropriate as she is learning what she can control;  I also have to teach her what she does not have control over.  I have learned that too many options create discontent within her.  Just as I learned when she was an infant - that too many toy choices made her discontent.  Likewise, too many options and not enough boundaries seem to make her unhappy and feel out of sorts (leading to sin).  It is as if the boundaries and my making choices for her create a sort of invisible swaddling blanket. 

It started with food.  Then it was bed time.  Then it was whenever I asked her to do something.  Then it was changing her clothes.  And now it is who puts her to bed.  After a little while with these problems, I (with help) realized them for what they are.  She wants what she wants - when she wants it.  Though I know it is sin, I have also really been struggling with what the deeper issues are. 

When she was an infant and would cry a lot, I would wrap her tightly (giving her body boundaries) and she would be calmed.  Later when she was disobedient, and seemed unable to obey, I would hold her (and all of her flailing limbs) close to me until she calmed.  It always worked.  She still loves to be held closely.  She loves to have a hand pushing (not just laying) on her back when she is cuddling.  When she is sick she wants to be held tightly and not let go.  She wants needs boundaries.  Like all kids she thrives on them (although maybe a little more than other kids!)

So, it seems to me that this child that I am nurturing needs less power(less options, less decisions).  So, our discipline tactics have changed again (because we have an ever changing child) and we are giving her an invisibly swaddling blanket.  I am taking choices out of her hands so that she doesn't have to be overwhelmed.

Little by little it is working and we are seeing our sweet girl return.  She eats her carrots proudly now, and goes to sleep once again with no fussing.  She makes less fuss about changing her clothes, and soon she will stop fighting the cuddler (whoever puts her to bed - we alternate).

I am so thankful to not only have help in seeing the bigger issues and learning what I am supposed to be teaching my darling daughter - but also to have a compliant child who learns quickly.


Erika said...

I know we talked about this the other night, but it's so true! The fewer choices the fewer problems. It's really helped us too, and Ezra will almost always finish his meal without having to be force fed...there were and still sometimes are harder days, but it's SO much easier than it was!
Great post, LOVE the title.

Courtney Dey said...

I love your wisdom and thoughtfulness, Tina. It's helpful to hear your thoughts as I enter some of these battles myself. Keep up the good work! love you...

sharika roland said...

Tina I am so proud of your tenacity. You are a wonder woman. Good Job Tam for raising you the way she did. Good job for you for raising the sweet one the way you do. said...

We live in a society that demands choice--not just about pregnancy, but about EVERYTHING. It makes it difficult to see how detrimental it can be sometimes. Still, we don't want to steal a child's autonomy by never offering choice. God, in His infinite wisdom, created us to be both IN authority and UNDER authority. That is true from the beginning and never changes, only the ratio of one to the other does. Good work, most favored of daughters!