Parenting 2.0

For the past 3 months, parenting has kind of been on cruise control. I knew the skills my daughter needed to learn and we practiced. So we did all the mixing, stacking, pretending, drawing, painting, eating, singing, dancing, molding, stamping, sticking and sharing in the world. We fell into a familiar routine that seemed to complement her needs. My words were golden and I felt like an effective parent. After one quarter, I think we need to upgrade the curriculum because she’s been awfully noisy– whining, refusing, lying down on the floor…your  basic nightmare.

So for the past few weeks, we’ve been upgrading her routine by introducing different tools and mediums ( in addition to her potty training sticker incentive program) :

Painting with letter sponges

We introduced sponges and popsicle sticks to painting sessions. Found these alphabet ones at Japan Home Center

Painting a balloon tower

Brought home a balloon tower and painted it. She just loved that her canvass was so large.

Another way to eat fruit

Inspired by fruit kebabs we used toothpicks to eat her breakfast fruit and she stopped clamoring for more eggs.

Honestly, she’s just * gulp * growing up. It’s funny I totally missed that since she did just celebrate her 2nd birthday. But I guess mothers tend to view their kids with the same pair of glasses. (For the record, I love age 1 to 2. Parenting 1.0 was FUN. As for age 2 to 3: no comment) It has taken a lot of noise for this mother to wake up, take off the rose- tinted glasses and just view her kid with a fresh pair of eyes. So here is my daughter in 2 year old form: she needs more challenges, more words, and more variety to supplement her growing need for independence.

The only thing I can compare it to is learning a new sport. You get a  coach  to learn the basics and become good enough to compete but not good enough to win. So there’s the balance of needing a coach for guidance/skill-building and practicing independently to think on your feet and win on your own. I am the coach and she is my protege.

This means changing the conversation and actually listening– she can talk now (duh). Little Libra 2.0 doesn’t do things out of pure obedience or routine. She needs to want to do it. She is a willful one and wants “control of her life.” When she doesn’t want to follow, she says “Goodbye! See you later!”  Talk about toddler-style dismissal. But when she’s interested, she flies. Force, tone or threats don’t work as effectively as appealing to her reason and natural curiosity. So I am in the process of innovating my parenting style. I’m explaining/inventing reasons why we need to brush her hair, why we need to apply lotion, why we need to take a bath, why we need to potty. And her eventual obedience is so much more satisfying since it makes sense to her. It just takes so long to get there!  But I’ll take the extra time to the noise any day.

This job doesn’t get any easier…

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5 Responses to Parenting 2.0

  1. Ani says:

    Loved this! Learning a lot from you. Although don’t tell that to my mom. She’ll use that as ammo: “hay naku. Walang bale yung learning learning na yan kung hindi ka mag-practice”. ;)

    • You completely made my day! It took me while to figure “what was going wrong.” It wasn’t her, it was me! I’m so glad you connected. I think your interest in all this is very telling and will make you all the more effective when you eventually “practice.”

  2. Tonito Payumo says:

    Totally agree, but I think its more about changing the world view than it is about practice… the mind of a two year old is a mind of its own.

  3. Nancy says:

    hi, i’d like to ask what type of paint do you used and where to buy? i’d like to have my 2yo explore painting too.

    big thanks ü

    • Hi Nancy! I like to buy non-toxic washable paint. I found a set of 6 for P180, made in the USA, at Office Warehouse. Sorry I don’t know the brand. Check OW ot National. Don’t forget to buy some different sized brushes. Happy painting!

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