Mommy drama! 

Being a mom is a super tough job! Joshua my toddler, who is more expressive nowadays, tests my patience on so many levels. We have arguments everyday and I get soooo tired from all the daily dramas. In a week we would probably complete a drama series for eating, for bathing, for sleeping, for waking, and for playing. 
He is a kid and tantrums come along with 2 year olds… However, Joshua is also processing his feelings of jealousy over his sister. I am seeing some regression on some milestones. Like his desire for eating has lessened and he prefers drinking milk in the bottle. He also demands for my full attention and time especially when he sees me nursing Anna. 

   
He has fully articulated his jealousy by saying “I don’t like Anna”, ” I want mommy and Anna go to Ate Kim (Anna’s nanny)”, and one of his worst crying episodes he said, “mommy, I want Joshua patay (dead) so mommy would cry.” I cried with that remark. 
 I tell him “Anna is your sister, she loves you and Mommy loves you so much. We are a family and this is God’s blessing.”  Because Joshua feels jealous, I spend most of my time with him. I only leave him shortly just to feed Anna. Every move I make he calls to check if I am still around. He calls my name almost crying and then he would smile and laugh in relief that I have not left him!

I figured this boy’s love language is time. And I do spend a lot of time with him. We are inseparable. But when he gets his tantrums and he starts screaming and crying because he wants mommy, (even if I am around)… I ask him kindly to stop crying. But his crying escalates further into screams and irritation that soon, I start losing my own patience. 

I try not to discipline him about his crying. But I realized that he was using it as a tool to communicate with almost anything. When he dislikes something he would cry. When he wants something he would cry. When he sees me walk out the door he would cry and give an all out tantrum. I try to not get angry, but I must confess seeing a crying face with screams and occasional arm slaps just gets me frustrated and angry.  This just went on for a week… 
  
I started to cry out of frustration because nothing worked. Explaining nicely and reassuring Josh by hugs and talks just does not cut it!  So I tried yelling and screaming for him to stop. I tried threatening him that if he does not stop, I would leave. None of it worked. 😦  For one week it was this non stop cycle of crying and we end up fighting because Josh would fall into a tantrum even when I am giving him full attention (except during feedings). 
I asked friends to pray for me. I cried to the Lord and asked “how can I be a better mom to my son?”  I was so discouraged that even when Steve says, “you are doing a good job”, I still feel I am failing.
Then I remembered excerpts from a parenting seminar I attended. It was discussed when a child who deliberately disobeys or disrespects his or her parent they should be disciplined. I must admit, I get lazy to do this because it requires so much to get into a room with a defiant 2 yr old who will not submit to be disciplined. 

The bible says: 
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.


I knew I had to correct Joshua’s behavior and work on his attitude. I had to teach him that he can’t always cry his way. I also had to reassure him that he must respect his parents because we love him.  I disciplined him and took time to explain. Joshua immediately stopped crying. In fact when we got out of the room, his mood changed and started playing.
  
I learned that I really should exercise discipline when the need arises and teach my son.  Otherwise, I will develop a bad habit in his character. It’s almost a week since his last tantrum after the discipline.  Joshua has been speaking instead of crying. 

How do I know that he understood what we did in the discipline room? He plays with his avenger toys and then he would pretend one would be crying. Later he will have the other toy say – “stop crying… If you don’t stop, you get a spank”. 
To learn more about biblical discipline I am suggesting you this link. Read more:

http://www.gotquestions.org/disciplining-children.html

Age of Discipline

This topic could be very trivial to some moms. I know some parents do not believe in physical discipline. But after attending parenting seminars, I am convinced that discipline help train up a child.

When my son started showing tantrums, I had to assess if I should start giving him the spank or not. Many times when he was 11 to 12 months I would tell him “no” to certain things (such as not placing his hand on the electric fan). I had to make him understand that there could be situations that he could get hurt. But his explorative stage made it a little confusing. So, I had to stand firm when I say “no” and remained consistent with it. It was repeated to him over and over, so he began to understand.

Joshua had limited words as a one year old. I feel that he would get frustrated because I don’t understand what he is expressing to me and he would have some angry fits. Initially, I did not know what to do when my little boy would get angry. I would try to calmly talk to him, but that did not work. Soon, his anger would now include him throwing things on the floor or at me. I would talk to him in my angry voice and say “no! Stop throwing”. Oh that worked for maybe 6 times only. Soon, it did not bother him that I raised my voice. He would throw things on the floor, and look at me. I would say “no!” again. He would get another book or toy and throw it and look at me with his little angry eyes. You may think I am exaggerating. I am not. I could not believe that my little angel would have that kind of angry fit at that age. After letting it go for about 1 week, I decided not to delay discipline any longer. If I do not bring this to Joshua’s attention, he will try to overpower me with his tantrums.
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So, I learned from parenting class that discipline should be for 2 reasons only. It is for DISOBEDIENCE and DISRESPECT. With Joshua, it was his disobedience on my instructions of not throwing things when he was told. That first time I spanked him it was a epic failure. He got his tantrum because he did not get the toy he wanted to play with. He was angry and started throwing things even when I told him not to. Then I decided to call him and told him, “Come here, I am going to spank you.” I then panicked because I had no object to spank him with. I have no heart to use my hands. I learned that our hands are used for loving and embraces so I needed another object to spank/discipline him with. Guess what I found?… a Lei with a button pin that says “Philippine Councilors League”. (Yes you can laugh at me now!) I made my little Josh bend over and I took a swing with that lei on his butt. However, I forgot he had diapers on. So it hit only his diapers! Talk about a capital “F” for failure! Hahahaha!!

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My spanking object

So, the very next day, another incident made my son start throwing things in his anger. After I warned him and said “no”, he again continued to throw things at me. This time, I told him, ” Come here, I am going to spank you”. I had the lei with the button pin ready and put down his diaper and gave that swing on his buttocks. Joshua cried and looked at me, and ran towards me in tears. I hugged him and I kissed him, and I told him “Joshua mommy loves you, so please no more throwing. If you continue to throw, I will spank.”

Joshua learned after 2 more spanks that I was serious about the no throwing of things when he was upset. Don’t get me wrong, I allow my son to feel angry or frustrated. I am just not allowing him to throw things at me when he is upset. After teaching him that, I only have to say, “Mommy will spank”. He automatically changes his mind about throwing that toy or book. I also can just pull out that Lei and ask him, “you want spank?”. Then, he would walk away from that item he intended to throw at me.

I had to also ask my other mommy blogger friends how old they started disciplining their kids. The result of the survey is as early as one year old! Even one year olds, can challenge their parents on how far they can get their way. If discipline is not applied, we would be raising spoiled and whiny kids. We had a great discussion on the reasons and styles of discipline. I honestly felt like I had a support group that agreed with this method.

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SoX Women & Mommy Bloggers

Just last night, Joshua was whining and he was again tempted to throw his book at me. I whispered in his ear, “Please do not throw. If you throw, mommy will spank”. He became quiet, looked at me, and with laughter he turns to embrace me. My 1 year and 4 months old understands discipline! Here are some encouraging verses from the bible about discipline.

Proverbs 13:24 (CEB)
Those who withhold the rod hate their children, but the one who loves them applies discipline.

Hebrews 12:11 (CEB)
No discipline is fun while it lasts, but it seems painful at the time. Later, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it.