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I LOVE that my daughter does not behave perfectly all of the time! Do you think I’m crazy? Let me explain. My daughter is one year old. I don’t love it in the moment when she chooses to misbehave. I don’t love temper tantrums, hitting, throwing food, or coloring on tables. I don’t love disciplining my daughter, it breaks my heart. What I do love is that she has the opportunity to learn from mistakes and that there are consequences for her actions when she is in the safety of my care and those consequences are small. Here are some examples of consequences for her actions:
Throwing food…..Picking up food and cleaning the floor
Temper tantrum…..Tantrums ignored until she can calm down
Pestering the cat…..Cat swats and hisses at her
Runs on hardwood in socks…..Slips and falls
Throws books on the floor…..Slips and trips over them
You will notice that not all of these are actually misbehaving. Some are simply actions or choices that she makes that may have an unfavorable consequence. Such as running on hardwood with socks on. We usually either have shoes on or are completely barefoot. However, she is learning to take her shoes off and sometimes I don’t catch it until after she already falls. She is learning that every action in life has a consequence. I am very careful to talk with her about why things happen. “Oh no! Your socks are slippery on this hard flood. You slipped and fell. Let’s take your socks off so you don’t slip and fall again.”
I am so thankful for these learning opportunities with my daughter. If she were perfect, if she never made a mistake or a poor choice, if she never had an unfavorable outcome for an action, we would be missing out on a vital part of growing up. I am blessed with the opportunity to teach her right from wrong. I am blessed to be her safe place to land when she does make mistakes and suffers consequences.
This won’t always be the case. As she gets older and more independent, I won’t always be right there beside her. She will be at a friends house, at school, on the softball field, at high school dances, driving late at night, at parties, in college. Choices become more important with more severe consequences. Dating, drinking and driving, career choices, etc.
I don’t want my daughter to live a cushioned life. I want her to be well prepared for her teenage years and beyond. So make mistakes when the consequences are small, little one. Today I am here to catch you.
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