Monday, June 27, 2011

What Do I Do?

Do you ever have one of those days where you are just stuck in an emotional rut? Today happens to be one for me, which is weird because I am a very upbeat and positive person, so I think it is extra annoying when I am like least for myself it is. I am worried I am not teaching my daughter discipline very well. In addition, I think I have been a little hard on A recently. I know these are the antithesis of each other but just stick with me here.

 I know she is only 16 months, but I think she needs to follow directions, or at least try to follow directions from me. Now, before you think I am being unrealistic, let me explain our daughter to you. She is very smart (I know every mom says this, but I think she is a little advanced), and knows what we are saying. Not only does she already talk to us using understandable words ( I counted about 40), but she even strung together "no, Mommy" the other day. I can ask A to get her juice from the family room, or clean up her books, or come into the kitchen (without using any gestures) and she will do whatever I ask...well when I am convincing enough to make her think there is something in it for her!

  I am doing a terrible job explaining myself today so let me use an example for my plight. We were in music class the other day and are all sitting in a circle singing songs and playing with the instruments, but A has no interest in playing the instrument all she wants to do is run around the room. It didn't bother me too much until A would go up to the other kids who were sitting nicely and say "hi", aka distracting them when the teacher was talking. Not only was I having flashbacks to when I was an elementary school teacher, but I think I was getting some serious death stares from the other moms. I know she is young, but I think she should listen to me when I ask her to sit with me (read: sit her down on my lap and not let her get up and run around for a very small period of time). But whenever I do get her to sit in my lap she only starts to whine and arch her way off. Then I start to worry that I have let her "be herself" since she has been born and have not really made any requests of her behavior. Sure, she gets the standard, "no" and "don't touch" when it is a safety issue...but that is about it! Should I have started at an earlier age enforcing certain types of behavior and not just let her explore and be free? But then, I want her to be a kid and figure out the world on her own....

Maybe I am being unrealistic but I don't want the kid who is unruly, running around preschool and not sharing (a whole other post for a different day). Am I being too optimistic to think an almost 1 1/2 year old can follow "please sit here" directions or have I already hindered her by not being more strict?

Please Help!
Daily Mom


  1. At this age, I don't think it's an issue of "being more strict". Although she has the capabilities to "listen", she doesn't have the capabilities and long term memory. . . (no matter how intelligent she is) to do exactly what you're asking of her. I think that you'll only end up driving yourself crazy if you think that you can always get her to do what you want. Make sense? The only reason I know this is because I have 2 very strong-willed kids who are also very intelligent :) I don't think that they are trying to be disrespectful or bad. They are just in their own little world and things "captivate" them and take their attention away, even if they've heard you. They hear you one second, but then they see or do something else and then they've "forgotten" what you've asked them to do. I believe it's even harder when they ARE more intelligent, b/c their little brains are moving so much faster! I don't know if anything I said made sense or if it helped at all. But, mine are 4 & 6 now, and I'm sure they didn't always do what I wanted to them to do then. It really comes down to impulse control and we actually had to hold my son back to pre-K instead of Kindergarten b/c he couldn't sit still in circle time and focus. He always had his own agenda.

  2. she may undersand what you are saying when you give direction but she won't understand WHY you are saying those things/want her to stop, etc. their brains are not developed in that way yet. don't stress- i am sure she'll turn out just fine :)
    my 3 year old son is CRAZY strong willed but he is also a smarty and i think that some day he will be a leader with that will-- hopefully he will be easier to parent then, because he sure isn't now! we are just now starting to see the 'tude in our 15 month old so time will tell with her. good luck!
    thanks for stopping by- new follower


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