Maybe it's a first time mummy thing, but figuring out how to teach by example instead of by rules is bloody hard. Case in point, I have an 18 month old. Do you know how many times I say "No!" in a day? More than I can count. The tough part is that I try not to. I'm always trying to phrase things in the positive, trying to say We DO rather than We DON'T as much as I can. Yes, there is a time when No is the only appropriate response, but it isn't the only one I want Chou to hear.
Tuesday afternoon I picked up Chou from daycare. Her hair was in a ponytail THAT SHE WASN'T PULLING OUT. I asked her caregiver how she managed this, because frankly, Chou looks like a lion most days with her blond afro growing every week. I try and tame the beast but it's a losing battle when the kid just rips out elastics, clips and ribbons. She'll wear a headband, but only if it's someone else's and she's not supposed to have it. Sigh.
Where was I?
So I pick her up, and ask S, "How do you get it to stay in?"
She says, "Well, at first she was pulling at it. Then I started telling her how pretty it looked. How nice it was. After a while, she left it in."
See? Why can't I think of this stuff.
Sure enough. We get home and I have to put the elastic back in after the tuque came off. Chou starts pulling at it. "Wow, Chou, look how pretty it is!" She agrees and leaves it in.
Now, how do I get her to stop hitting, grabbing toys and running, jumping in the tub, not letting me wash her hair, throwing food on the ground, etc. etc. etc....in a positive way?