Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Our love affair, continued

Phoenix is going through a lovely phase right now. She is still cuddly and loving, she thanks us for everything, and she has started to do a better job of engaging her sisters in play that is appropriate to their being 1. Just yesterday Phoenix watched Wren climb over the arm of the couch onto the side table and said "Be careful sister!".

Although Phoenix does a lot of independent play, she has started to play hide and seek under the blanket with both sisters and makes sure her sisters are covered so that myself of their dad can raise the blanket and say "Peek a boo!" to them all.

Phoenix is having to make some hard adjustments as she gives up her sacred territory on the couch to her sisters who are increasingly more agile. There is almost nowhere where Phoenix can place her snacks, water bottle or ipad so that her sisters can't get them. It's a hard transition when the little siblings start invading the space of a former only child.

To help the situation I decided to go on a mommy daughter date with Phoenix to the MacDonald's play land in our town. We have great experiences at this play land, and Phoenix always finds someone to play with, or an older girl who takes Phoenix under her wings and engages Phoenix in play. It's lovely to witness.

We picked a seat and Phoenix sat and waited for me while I went up and bought our food and drinks. I was so, so impressed that she just waited for me instead of getting up and running into the play area or going to explore the restaurant. It definitely showed to me that she is maturing as well as learning to wait for things.

Then she went and played independently for over an hour while I drank my coffee and enjoyed "me" time. She willingly left later to go shopping with me.

When I reflect on our time together, I can't help but feel pride.

I've been thinking a lot about why she is such an awesome little kid. Part of it is obviously inborn personality traits. Part of it is our parenting. But part of it is the interaction between her personality and our parenting which seems to be a great fit.

As parents, we don't believe in spanking or corporal punishment. In fact, the majority of what we do on a day to day basis is to recognize, all the time, what she is doing right. We praise ALL THE TIME. She gets so many messages about what she is doing that pleases us. Don't get me wrong, she is still a kid and still refuses to do things at times. But because she knows we will follow through on threats to take her ipad away or to put her in her room, she complies when we have to resort to a threat.

One of the things we are working on right now is only having to ask once. My new strategy is to ask the first time, then ask "What did Mom/Grandma/Jen/Dad say?" I don't want to ask her 3 times to sit at the table to eat. I want to ask once and have her comply. Obviously, this isn't a DS thing, but is a parenting thing that most parents can relate to. But it's excellent practise for when we have two toddlers and preschoolers testing their boundaries. And it's great for the sisters to hear that we expect to only ask once and then they comply.

1 comment:

  1. She sounds like a great kid! Keep up the good parenting work- I'm sure some of it is her personality, but even the most naturally well behaved child will fail without good parents.