08 February 2010

Something to think about

I recently had discussions with different people about the same thing: how do you teach your toddler / kiddo to make good decisions? Or do you do it at all?

I told you that Coqui is not taking any naps anymore... yes so sad - more for me than for him, I reckon. But I still have him take some quiet time by himself in his room. Since we did sleep training a long time ago, he falls asleep with a door that is only leaning, not closed. It was just quieter to check on him, or to leave his room after he had fallen asleep. When we go to bed at night, we always open the kids' doors all the way. So for Coqui, who is sleeping in a toddler bed, can leave his room at any time and come see us, like when having a bad dream or when it is thundering outside and he is afraid.

Now for quiet time, the door is leaning as well.... so my toddler can come out... which, of course, he does quite frequently, like for questions or for potty time.... I don't mind but I tell him how many more minutes he has.... Well, it has gone so far that he came out every five minutes to check the time.... AND that was enough for Mami! So I told him that he needs to stay put for thirty minutes! And if he comes out, he will lose privileges! The very first thing that goes is the TV, of course! And then other things, like favorite toys and such....

We feel that it is very important to teach him to make GOOD decisions on his own. And when, and if, he decides not to obey that there will be consequences. Just like in real life.

Now my discussions were with parents that rather lock their kids in their room, not given them the chance to make their own decisions. What do you think? What do you do with your own children (if you have any)?


C. Beth said...

I think it really just depends on the situation. It's kind of like the grown up world. There are places that I can't get into because there is a gate. There are also places that say "No Trespassing" and depend on police or security to enforce that.

So as a parent there are times I tell them what to do and give them consequences for disobeying (like telling her to clean up and putting her in time out if she doesn't.) And other times that I set a firm boundary that doesn't allow disobedience (like childproofing cabinets.

When it comes to "quiet time" we used to use a gate, and later stopped using it. She doesn't stay in her room but does know she has to stay upstairs for quiet time, and I think the gate helped teach her that in a way that kept me sane. Just like most of these things, each parent has to do what works best for their families.