Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finding Patience for My Three Year Old

In my parenting experience, the "terrible twos" were never an issue.  Once our children approached, or newly passed, that 3rd birthday.....that's when I found myself struggling with their behavior.  The willfulness, the big emotional ups and downs, selective listening....oh, the joys just go on and on!  Unfortunately, I find that my patience does not:(

I love the language that three year olds have....except when they start to copy something they hear that is less than appealing.  For instance, "Ha, ha, loser", which Luke heard on a Phineas and Ferb episode recently.  My little teaser loves to see us react to what he's saying...which is even more frustrating.  We have gotten him to modify it and say, "Ha, ha, silly"....but it bothers me that this sweet, little boy would say something that's so not nice.

Now that Luke has the ability to listen, but sometimes chooses not to is frustrating, too.  This usually happens when he wants to go outside.  Luke would spend every hour of every day outside digging with his trucks if I let him.  But some parts of the day need to be inside to do an occasional chore or take care of Kate.  If he opens the sliders to go outside it can be a battle of the wills to get him back in.  It's so frustrating because I just want him to listen....and it's usually not that easy.  It's a pain to go outside, get on his level and talk to him and gently guide him back inside....because threats from the door don't work and he moves as slow as molasses just.because.he.can!  Ugh!

I know that follow through is key.  So, last night when he got too rough and threw something that hurt Ellie, I told him he needed to say sorry.  He put his chin to his chest and started crying.  I led him over to Ellie.  Luke just stood  there crying with his head down.  I sat him in a dining room chair and told him he had to sit there until he said sorry to Ellie, but then he could go play.  It took him 15 minutes to finally stop crying and apologize.  Really?  Just say sorry and be done with it...usually that's what he does.  But not last night!!

I know this is an opportunity to work on patience.  Sometimes I just don't want to!  It would be nice if kids just listened when they were supposed to listen and do what they are supposed to do when they are supposed to do it!

Of course, I'm sure that's how God feels about me sometimes!  I'm so glad that He has infinite patience!  He's going to need it...especially with my kids who are wired like me!