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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When DS was little, between newborn and 2, I could use the Baby Book to get an idea of where he was developmentally, how to meet his needs, what kind of behavior to expect, etc. And I know once he's 4 or 5 and starts some kind of schooling, I will have a good idea of what he should be learning, where he is behaviorally and what he should be able to accomplish.<br>
But right now he's 2 1/2, and I'm so confused. Some days I feel like I do nothing to stimulate him, I don't introduce him to anything new, and I don't have many ideas about structured activities to prepare him for learning things like ABC's. He's started counting on his own, I never tried to teach him that.<br>
And then there's the discipline thing. How do I know when I'm being too strict? Or too lenient. How long should a 2 1/2 year old be able to sit in a booth at a restaurant before he loses it and it's time to go? And if he gets squirmy and wants to crawl under the table, which I remember being quite entertaining myself, when do I allow that (if ever) and when do I not? I have all the discipline books, but they are so general, and they never really talk in terms of "By X number of years your child should be able to sit through a meal without getting out of control" I know every child is different. I know it's not practical to make statements like that about toddlers/preschoolers, and yet I feel there must be some general guidelines out there!<br>
It's just not simple any more, and I feel like a failure because I don't have any developmental guidelines to help me know we are on target. I'm so goal oriented, I need to be able to evaluate myself and make a plan for what to do during this strange period of his life.<br>
Please tell me some of you have this problem!!!<br>
Steph
 

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Maybe it would help you to adjust your focus a little. It is a relationship, NOT a project! You are their to guide and teach, but you are *not* in 100% control of the outcome. Most of it is in *his* little hands.<br><br>
"good" friends are good because they stay connected. "good" spouses are good because they stay connected. "good" parents are good because they stay connected. Relationships are not about producing. He is in charge of meeting his own developmental goals. You are in charge of being there for him through it all.<br><br>
As far as sitting in a resteraunt -- every kid is different. You are not a failure if your kid wont' sit still in a resteraunt. I am not a "success" when mine *does* sit still in a resteraunt! You just can't measure it that way.
 

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Although ITA with Mamaduck, I do understand a bit of what you're talking about. In the beginning you feel more connected when you can follow along in a book and see each new phase unfolding. Then there comes a gap in material for what is expected. One thing you can be sure of is that at 2.5 (dd is in the same place) they are testing their autonomity and as long as you're consistent you'll help your son feel secure. He may not be able to sit long in a restaraunt without wanting to explore, but as long as your approach remains constant, he'll learn what is expected of him. He may not always produce the results you invision for him, but he will feel loved and safe. Also, at 2.5 he should be becomming verbal enough to express some of his own interests to you and you can help enrich his learning experience by finding ways for him to explore his interests. You may also wish to take trips to the library and work your way through a topic like say... dinosaurs or insects (those are two we've been delving into.) If he's not interested you'll know. It's great that he's decided to start counting. Dd did the same thing with her ABC's. If he likes music you might want to get an old oatmeal container and decorate it and make it into a drum so he can pound along while you listen to his favorite tunes. Two and a half year olds are also still very much sensory learners. We've found that play dough is a great creative outlet. You could also have story times that you start a story and let him make up the ending. Dd loves to do this. This age is so much fun because imaginative play really begins to unfold and blossom. Dd has invented an entire imaginary world and I like to play along to see where how far she can take me. There are books you can get on older toddlers and development, but you'll learn so much more by digging in there and getting to know your special little guy instead. Make play dates with other children his age and see what they teach each other. Unless you suspect delays, you really shouldn't worry. You're doing a good job. I know, easier said than done. We all have our moments of doubt, but the most important thing as Mamaduck said is developing the relationship with your child and really getting connected with him as a person. Oh, and relax.
 

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Remember the most important thing in doing a good job is the child knowing how much you care about them. Children will always learn their ABC's and 123s. The fact that you are concerned generally shows that you are doing a good job. By 2 yrs old children are so different that it is much harder for a book to layout what they should be doing. Their interests very so much. Just go with the flow and your child will learn. Learning is a result of being curious not necessarily of sitting down and teaching.
 

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The Penelope Leach book is good - Your Baby and Child - it was a good extension of the Sears books for me.<br><br>
Kid up from nap. More later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mamaduck, I was trained as a scientist, everything has to be quantifiable <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
Seriously, though, I see people who have good relationships with their children, and people who don't. I see children who are gently disciplined and a pleasure to be around, and I see children who are completely draining and unhappy most of the time. And those are the things that I tell myself I have some control over, there must be some difference between the way these people chose to parent (within reason, I know some children are very spirited and that can change everything).<br>
And I absolutely see this relationship as a project, the most important project I've ever been involved with. In fact, I've always seen my relationships as projects in a sense, whether it be with my mother, a new friend, my husband, or my child. I think that's just the way my mind works. I think relationships take time and effort and often a great deal of thought. Since I grew up in a less-than-ideal environment, I have to work hard to come up with a healthy approach to my more intimate relationships. I've had to read a lot and attend parenting classes to figure out what my own philosophy is about discipline, because I didn't have a healthy model to follow from my own childhood.<br>
The scientist/organizer/acheiver in me wishes there was a recipe for success, but the mother in me knows there's not. Still, I strive to have all the healthiest ingredients in my home, and I learn so much from all you wise mama's about what those ingredients are. Thank you for that!!!!<br>
Steph
 

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I understand your need for the written out "recipe" for raising a happy, successful, independent child who stands by his convictions and beliefs no matter what the circumstances. I think that's what we all want in our children. BUT the thing is, even those books that gave you advice on development were a GENERAL GUIDELINE. There were all these silly little disclaimers everywhere in those books. My daughter rolled over at 8 days old and walked at 8 months old. Does that mean that all her milestones were as early? No. In fact, she didnt' sit up well until 7 months and she didn't say her first word until 13months. but now she says words like apologize and irritate and comprehend and irresponsible. So it's really not an indicator of development. The thing is, all kids are so different, it's hard to quantify things like this. My daughter, at just over 3 years old now, cannot sit through a restaurant dinner on her hiney. she's up, she's down, she's turning around, etc. She won't sit still, even with toys and crayons. But take her to a free concert in the park or a ballet expo and she will sit there for an hour just watching contentedly as long as there is steady dialogue from me about it. she can pick out her own clothing and get dressed by herself most days though I don't ask her to. She can feed herself but she asks me to feed her most days. it's really all about each child. They are so very different. I learned from the very beginning not to look at those books because they would just upset me if my daughter wasn't "normal" in her development.<br>
How do you know if you are doing a good job? If you have a kindhearted child who respects others around him/her and respects him/herself. that's all that matters. Love for yourself and for others. Everything else will fall into place eventually. I wouldn't worry about actively "teaching" your child at this point. Take the opportunity to count apples at the market or spell out loud a child's name as you write it but don't actively sit down with your son/daughter and try to "teach" them anything. Their attention spans are just too short at this age.<br>
Meg<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 
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