- on sunday, bl carefully pushed a stool over to the toybox in front of the tele and used it as a prop to clamber onto the toybox and reach a doll on the top of the tele
- on monday while visiting a friend, bl was presented with a plate of sliced fruit. she wasn't interested in eating it and so tipped the plate over
so they're totally different instances, but for they've started me thinking about parenting philosophies and encouraging positive behaviour in toglas.
in situation 1, the most important issue is safety. but in some ways I applaud her ingenuity. I don't want to just say "naughty girl" when she's being inventive, not bad. I said "well done - great climbing. mummy doesn't want you so close to the tele though darling - let's put the stool in another room". but I don't want to encourage potentially dangerous climbing.
in situation 2, I was acutely aware we were at someone's house and I really felt like I was on display as a mum. I said "let's keep the food on the plate. if you don't want any, I can put it away". and yet I don't want to become an ineffectual mother who brushes aside delinquent behaviours as all being "cute". having said that, in that instance I don't think bl was being intentionally destructive - so it's not a strict discipline thing either.
lot's of book blurbs I've read talk about discipline which makes me a bit uncomfortable. I think there have to be ways to encourage positive social behaviours while still making clear boundaries. I'm conscious too, that consistency in approach will be crucial.
I worry about the messages children hear when we label them as naughty or nice, good or bad. I feel really uncomfortable when I hear parents talking about their child in negative ways - especially within earshot. I cringe when I hear parents describe children as difficult, high maintenance or highly strung.
praps I'm coming to this later than other mums, almost certainly I'm over thinking it. what do you do to encourage positive behaviours, and how do you respond to inappropriate ones? is there a book or philopsophy or mantra that you follow?