Listening ears

By Published On: April 3rd, 2013

A couple of months ago I thought about having Matilda’s […]

040313aim-featureA couple of months ago I thought about having Matilda’s hearing checked. Surely, my sweet child would not just ignore me? After careful examination I realized the sad truth… it was indeed just that. She was tuning me out. Parenting can feel impossible sometimes. You feel like you’re doing everything wrong. You’re either too sweet or too hard on them. Everyone has an opinion and whether you ask for it or not you’re likely to hear it (my ears are working justttt fine).
My biggest challenge right now is to harness Matilda’s spirited energy. She is so full of life and creativity, warmth and gentleness, but from time to time this other creature emerges. She can be disrespectful, rude, LOUD, and unresponsive. I feel like it’s much harder to handle right now when my arms are usually filled with baby. I get both ends of the spectrum. Phoebe just looks at me and grins this big toothless smile when Matilda is basically losing her mind. What’s a mama to do?
I want to encourage the good behavior that I see every day, the sweet words to her sister, the adorable blessings that she offers up before meals, the way she says mama in the most angelic tone, how she helps anyone without having to be asked. It’s so tricky, you hear “don’t reward expected behavior,” but how else are you supposed to encourage them? Sometimes a “thank you” just doesn’t seem to be motivation enough. I would love to hear from you about how you curbed meltdowns and rebellion in early childhood. Any books or words of wisdom? This mama needs a little guidance.