Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I had a heart breaking, yet EXCITING moment in child rearing (is that how you spell that) this morning...
Ava is obsessed with my plug in oil warmer things & equally obsessed with taking cans out of the recycle trash can (a smaller white can we keep by the garbage can in the kitchen). Both of which are huge "No, No's", obviously. Recently she's been adamant about going after these items and seems to look at me with a "look what I'm doing" attitude. Ugh. She even as recent as yesterday would point to me, smile very ornery-ily and then go for for the goods. A-nnoying!

Now, I love this child. And I want the very best things for her - which would include NOT being poisoned with scented oil or having her tiny fingers chopped apart by sharp empty pop cans. {sigh} So, now, when she goes towards the items she gets a stern verbal warning - to which she smiles or moves faster towards them. Once she touches the items, despite my warnings, she gets a smack on the hand and moved to a time out spot. I've been frustrated because I seem to be doing this all the time. People have said that I should just remove the temptations, but, I just don't agree - She has to learn to obey and LIVE in his house with us. And I know she's so little still...but, no better time to teach then early. :)

Anyway - yesterday was a really bad day with her getting into these things. So, I kind of felt like maybe it was time to step up this teaching/discipline thing and make it a little more serious. She now KNOWS how wrong this is. Introduce : spanking. (gasp!) I come from a long line of spankers. I'm a fan of it, if its done in love and followed up with more love. But, I am evidence that this form of discipline really does work. So, sure enough here goes Ava towards the oil warmer. I sternly say, "no" accompanied with a head shake and furrowed brow. (the whole mom look, ya know!) She keeps her eyes on me while reaching toward the warmer - and, is that a smirk I see?! So, I remove her hand look into her eyes and deliver one fairly light pat on the bumper with a "no" to boot. Her eyes widen and she lays her head on my shoulder... possibly an "I'm sorry mom?". Well, I'm not holding my breath on that. Anyway, after 2 spanks - she didn't mess with them anymore.

Then, TA-DA, today came. I headed upstairs to grab something from our room and it took a few minutes longer then planned. So, as I usually do - I talk to Ava from the top of the stairs just to make sure she's ok. No answers. Usually she babbles and talks back - nothing today. So I speak up... "Ave's, whatcha doing? Mommy's gonna come get you", etc. Nothing. So, I head down stairs and sure enough in the kitchen I see her little head by the oil warmer...but she doesn't see me. I walk into the kitchen and she freezes, looks up at me, and then... starts to cry. Ava disciplined herself today. I really do think she KNEW she was doing something naughty and got busted. She's very smart. So I sat down next to her and held her close and pointed at the warmer, "no, no... that is not a toy, not for Ava" and she just laid there watching me explain. I told her I loved her and gave her a smooch on the head - then we left the area. All the while my heart just in shreds over seeing that pouty lip and genuine sadness.

I've heard so many debates about spanking.... pro's and cons. And I'm not here to debate that at all. But, to share my experience. My 11 month old gets it. She's not abused or mistreated by any means... but she gets it! She's starting to understand more and more. And the more she understands and the more consistent I am with her - the less its needed. So my victory today was that Ava understood circumstances of touching the oil warmer! I'm praising the Lord for giving me patience enough yesterday to remain consistent instead of just letting it roll over. I found this shirt online which just made me laugh out loud... maybe you will get a kick out of it, too. The title of this shirt is: "I'm not spoiled, I am loved".


melanie said...

sounds like you're doing a great job!! keep up the good work. God will bless you as you choose to discipline His way!

Laura Siegrist said...

you sound just like i did when starting to discipline Ari! we did the same thing...started with the verbal, moved the smack on the hand, and then the all spank. and it does work! funny that she started crying before you did anything...Ari does the SAME thing! they know! sometimes Ari starts crying then goes right in for a kiss...trying to soften the discipline maybe? it's kind of cute, as i'm trying to talk to her and gear up for the spanking, she's grabbing my face and shoving a kiss on my lips :) but you just have to stay consistent!! that's the key! sometimes it's more about the principle than the actual act. i've questioned myself at times if i'm pushing too hard, but if i give up, then she learns that if she pushes long enough, she'll get her way! so DON'T give up!!
and i agree with you on not removing the temptation. you can't remove those things for the rest of her growing up...they do have to learn with the way your family lives.

anyway, just had to comment. so sorry i hardly ever do! sounds like you guys are doing well!