Monday, January 4, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back ...

From the moment we got home from our week-and-a-half-long Christmas festivities, we could tell Cub was going to be a challenge. His attitude seemed just a bit ... off. We went to Hobby Lobby and let him walk around and when it was time to go, we called him to us ... and he actually ran away from us. He's never done that before!! We stood there, frozen. Thankfully, he's still small, so we simply hoisted him up and headed out the door. When we got home, he was touching things he knows he isn't supposed to, he wasn't listening to a word we said, he seemed unusually cranky, and my husband and I just looked at each other, wide-eyed, wondering what in the world was going on.

And then it hit us: DUH.


That always sets things back a bit.

Cub had just been through several days of getting whatever he wanted whenever he wanted. His days were full of playing and spoiling, which is absolutely fine--for a short while! Stepping back into the reality of boundaries was a little awkward for him. I've heard this happens a lot with kids. Once we realized the issue, we were able to relax and understand that some normal time at home would do the trick. And it did. Getting back into the swing of things, re-learning how to listen to Mom and Dad, going over our training for him to come to us (we seriously practice this at home and it has paid off in public--which is why the incident at Hobby Lobby was so weird!), and replacing his newfound love of whining with making him rub his little chest for "please" soon paid off. Yesterday was amazing. Cub was back to his old self and he honestly seemed happier, too.

I'm not saying at all that there is always a monumental reason or event that causes kids to test boundaries. They just do because, well, they're supposed to! I would worry if Cub never pushed the limits a bit. But, kids also have to know that the limits are there for a reason. And it's up to the parents to keep those limits enforced. I'm learning that there will always be setbacks. And visiting grandparents and having an amazingly fun Christmas break is, for me, a pretty awesome reason to allow another setback. We just have to remember our role as parents to gently help our kids back onto the right track once life returns to normal.

Even though Cub is only barely over a year old, I'm already understanding the importance of consistency--and consistency being at home, too. With only one baby, it is easy to take them wherever you want whenever you want, for the most part, especially when they are younger. But, as Cub gets older, I know now more than ever that home can never be replaced. Home is the place where Cub not only feels the most comfortable, but it is also the place where we can lovingly show him and train him in the way he should go.

Which is, of course, towards us, not away from us. :)


  1. Sophia is totally a creature of habit and consistency. Any time anything changes a little, it throws her off. Going to grandma's and being spoiled, vacation, my husband being gone (or home) too much, etc. We quickly learned this and now know to keep our patience and in a few days, with consistency, everything goes back to normal.

  2. It's funny you should post this b/c yesterday was actually our 1st day BACK at home after all the holidays. Olivia has been like a log. We WORE her out. But you're right! CONSISTENCY is the only way: )

  3. Yes conistency is super important, but know that even the best most consistent parents will find that their little one pushes the boundaries. My son is almost 2 and a half and he has started trying things I never dreamed he would do. This is the unfortunate part were discipline becomes key. If you choose not to obey then you choose the consequences. It's not always fun and it's not always easy, but it's necessary.

  4. Sounds like my classroom the first day back after break. Line,what's a line?...Inside voice, what's that?,ummm, where's the xbox?...focus, did you see the squirrel!?...8x3,is it time for lunch yet?...
    ~HB ;)

  5. Although Miss B is only 6 months old, she was really thrown off by the travel we did. Today is her first day back at daycare in about 2 weeks I'm curious to see how she will do today. Fingers crossed.

  6. So funny...we had dinner with parents of a two-year-old the day after they returned from 2 weeks of family festivities. He was doing the same things! So much to look forward to... ;)