I try to be as gentle a parent as I can and that means most of the time there are few tears in our house. But my son is 21 months now and and some days just wants me to follow him around everywhere he goes. This morning I was feeling awful and he just wanted me to walk all over the house. I told him no, that I was staying on the couch and he LOST it. He screamed and screamed, but I decided that today I going to sit on the couch for a little bit.
Is this just life now that he's nearing two? Or will he eventually learn that no means no?
Most of the time I do what he wants because I love and adore him. But occasionally I'm doing something or just need a few minutes to drink a cup of tea, and every time this happens he cries for quite a while (then my time isn't so enjoyable anyway). Sigh..... Sometimes we compormise, I will sit in the room he wants to be in while I drink my tea. Or he will go on my back while I get things done, but this only works sometimes.
Things do change quite a bit when your babies hit this stage! They are beginning what is really a life long lesson in how to get their own wants/needs met versus other's wants and needs. I would encourage you to look at it as a life long learning process, not as a stage to get through quickly and then he will learn what "no" means. Because "no" changes shape at every stage! Now it is walking around the house. At adolescence the questions around "no" are much more complicated! We all have to keep learning, negotiating, figuring out a balance-- forever, when we are parents!
Another thing to think about is your view of crying, sadness, etc. I think we get mixed up with gentle parenting, thinking that our children can never be sad. They will be sad! There are things they cannot do, things they must do that they don't want to do. Sadness and crying are a natural part of living that baby must learn how to feel and adjust to. The work of Aletha Solter was very influential in helping me think this through. My midwives gave me one of her books to read. Gentle discipline does not mean no limits or no tears. Tears are healing and help us all to learn how to adjust to things we don't prefer or that make us sad.
That said, it is hard for a toddler to understand why mommy suddenly wants to sit on the couch. Perhaps you could explain to him, and give it a time limit. (with an actual timer?) Toddlers are very active and do like to be on the go. The challenge is to keep your baby stimulated and learning while also getting your needs met. Make sure you are getting enough rest and water and nutritional foods so that you can keep up! What will change is that your toddler will eventually become more self-sufficient and able to play on his own a bit, which will give you more natural breaks. But at 21 months, that is not a reality yet!
I hope this makes sense and that it doesn't come across like I am contradicting myself!
lauren... that makes perfect sense. I know this is all normal.. just looking for some been there done that stories! And I just needed to vent. I was so exausted beucase DS got up two hours earlier than normal! I was just not ready to be awake!
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