“No! No! It’s MINE!” my two year old screamed as I chased around her around the room for the remote control. A few minutes later I was negotiating with her for a bottle of ketchup at the dinner table. And before bedtime, we watched a series of three Veggie Tales videos over and over again until both of us were exhausted for the night.
After my daughter fell asleep, I began to mull over in my mind the events of the day. Was my two year old controlling my life?
Ha! She sure was. But WHY? Wasn’t I the parent?
That’s when I really began to do some soul-searching. I’d seen way too many parents of young children running themselves ragged to appease their children in every way. Giving in to each request was not something I’d planned on, but had just become the easy way out.
I knew what I’d have to do. I’d have to set rules and limits and follow through with them, and get this…ALL the time!
Not having had much practice at this, I knew I was going to be in for a treat once I began to implement it.
So the next morning, my little one stumbled out of bed and demanded a small bag of fruit juice snacks for breakfast. I rolled my eyes. Not the snacks for breakfast again! I was going to have to make a wise choice and serve her something nutritious instead…eggs and oatmeal maybe?
“No! No! No eggs! CHEWIES!” my daughter screamed. By the time I had adamantly refused the second time around, she was on the floor pouncing and flinging herself all over the place.
“Just be calm” I told myself. “She’ll figure out soon enough that you aren’t going to budge.”
And she did.
And she stood up, sat at the table, and ate eggs and oatmeal.
How easy was that!
Being the parent has become a whole lot easier now that I’ve realized the importance of setting limits.
Setting limits is not an overnight process. It takes some time. I am aware that there will be plenty of mornings awaiting me when I will be faced with new and different challenges. But you know what the best part of this journey is?
Being the parent.
Demetria Zinga is the founder and owner of Faith Media, a technology and consulting firm which specializes in web design and hosting, graphics and print designs, internet marketing, and e-training. She is also the founder of Christian Ladies Connect, an interactive ezine, blog, and podcast for Christian women.
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Congratulations! And thank the Lord that you learned this valuable lesson when your daughter is 2 and not 14 or 15 - setting limits is not always fun for either the parent or the child, but it shows your love and it's practicing parenting the way God parents us - God bless you and your daughter and keep up the good parenting!