Dealing with My Child’s Endless No’s

Along with aggression, my little girl has become obsessed with the word “No!” Whenever I ask her to do something, or whenever I would put on her diaper, she would not allow me to do so and instead do all sorts of things to avoid me.

With a little research, here are some strategies that I currently employ in order for her do what I want her to do:

  • Offer choices – I discovered that whenever I ask Kaila if she wants to eat, she answers back with a “No.” So what I did was to give her choices. When it is eating time, I ask her something like this, “Kaila, do you want some potatoes or papaya?” This way, I get to avoid hearing her refusal to eat.
  • Respond with amusement – This is my husband’s expertise. When Kaila does not want to cooperate, for instance she does not want to wear her clothes after her bath, my husband plays with her clothes. He would try on her clothes, she would laugh, and she would end up wearing her clothes.
  • Sing a song. It has always been a problem brushing Kaila’s teeth. One time, while we were watching her DVDs, we saw children brushing their teeth to the tune of “This is the way.” Every time I brush her teeth, we would sing that song together and she would let me brush her teeth.
  • Use some audience. Again, during our brushing time, I would ask her Dad or her Uncle to watch her while she is brushing her teeth. This has always been an effective strategy.
  • Look at her straight in the eye. When I am really serious, I ask her to look at me straight in the eye. This sends her my message that I really mean business.
  • Take turns. I allow Kaila to brush her teeth, put on her clothes, or eat by herself. When she is unable to do it, I show her how to do it.

When your kids begin expressing their independence, it pays to be creative in dealing with it rather than letting your temper get in the way.

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Myself as a Mommy

The first time someone greeted me “Happy Mother’s Day!” I could not explain the feeling. I was 25, working, and get to see my little girl only on weekends. I was a week-end mom then. After my three-year contract with the bank, I decided to leave my job to focus on my family. That was one of the biggest decisions of my life: choosing family over my blossoming career.

Tomorrow is my second year as a mother. It has been three months since I became a full-time mom. I realized that being a mother is both difficult and fulfilling. There are times when I just want to cry because of frustration and anger. There are moments when I find myself looking for jobs or dreaming of being in law school. But whenever I see my baby smiling at me, whenever she hugs and kisses me, whenever she disturbs me with whatever I’m doing just to ask if we could play, I know that I’ve made the right choice.

Being a mother is the best job any woman could ever have. No monetary compensation can match the fulfillment one feels when you see your child walk for the first time, or when you hear her say “I love you Mommy,” or when you sit close to her as she learn her ABCs. I am always asking God to make me a good Mom, to make me become the best that I can be. I want my child and future children to grow up to become good individuals. I want to inspire them, I want to share them every beautiful thing in this world. I think that’s what every mom desires her children to be.

I am not very close to my mom. We don’t have heart-to-heart conversations. We never discussed feelings, boys, secrets. As I strive to further deepen my relationship with my mom, I am also striving to open me and my daughter’s communication lines. Every night, I always tell her how much I love her. I always share stories to her. Still at a very young age, I know she does not comprehend every word I say but I want to make it a habit to share almost everything to her.

I  still have a long way to go. And we (I and Melvin) are still experimenting with parenting. I always pray that God guides us in our parental duties so that we become good parents to Kaila (and our future kids) and that Kaila (and future kids) grow up to become good persons as well.

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Happy Mothers’ Day to my mommy and my nanay (melvin’s mom) and all the mothers in the world.

Baby milestone: Aggression at 21 Months Old

I am often a victim of Kaila’s pinching and hitting. Being a short-tempered mother, I remember myself slapping my baby’s hands or getting angry every time she hit my face or pinch my arms.

Surprisingly for me, aggression is part of my child growing up. Aggression is my toddler’s way of expressing frustration over things that she cannot control. Since she has not fully developed her communication skills, she oftentimes get physical especially when she wants something or she is denied of something. Some say it’s a toddler’s way to express independence.

How am I dealing with this?

Patience is a virtue. Based on my experience, yelling or telling my child that she’s “bad” will not get her to follow my orders. Instead, I make her angrier and more riled up when I do that. Normally, I try to keep my cool, close my eyes, and stop myself from doing something that my child might imitate.

Comfort with discipline. Reasoning out with a toddler will not work. Rather than explaining to her the consequences of her actions, I comfort her first and make her feel that I understand what she is feeling. Oftentimes, she would not want conversations especially when she is angry but eventually, she learned that there is nothing she can do about it. I try to respond to her aggression just as I responded the last time that she had that episode. This way, I am able to build a pattern that my child recognizes so that every time she hits me or someone else, she knows what will be my response.

Talk and listen. The best way to deal with an angry child after calming her down is to talk. I explain to her what happened and ask her what she thinks and feels. (Yes, my 21-month old baby responds really well.)

It is really difficult to understand children. As a mother, I am still learning how to respond to her. There is still a lot to know. Being a mother is a work in progress.