Thursday, September 13, 2012

It's never too late {Changing behaviors}

I use to be so proud that when I asked Leila to sit and eat her snack, she would, just like that.  She would sit down anywhere even for just for a taste of something.

Somewhere, somehow, things changed.  

Now when we go to the park she runs around, snack in hand, like she didn't hear my request, like she doesn't know the rule.  When I do enforce the rule (I do try!) she melts down, runs in circles, and practically chokes on the food in her mouth.

It's frustrating.  It's unsafe.  It's a constant battle.  

The topic of snacks came up with my friend Lauren last week.  She was wondering if Leila could eat trail mix for snack.  I explained that even though Leila has all of her teeth, I do not give her nuts because I am afraid she'll choke on them while she runs around with her food.

Lauren was surprised that Leila hadn't been sitting to eat her snack anymore.  I admitted to becoming soft and down right scared of her meltdowns when I tried to enforce the rule.

As soon as I said those words aloud, I felt embarrassed.  Embarrassed that I let my almost two year old scare me and ashamed that I was willing to risk her safety because of it.

I've had enough!  

Immediately I began implementing "snack-training" with Leila.  (You know, kinda like sleep training, but with snacks.)  I knew the first few attempts would be down right brutal.  And they were.

Leila went into a full fledged tantrum on the floor, kicking, crying, turning red in the face, the whole deal, just because I asked her to sit and drink her smoothie. The second attempt had a similar outcome (in public this time) BUT by the third day of "snack-training" she complied.  Just like that.

I learned two valuable lessons.

1.  It's never to late to make changes in undesirable, or in this case, unsafe habits.

2.  It's okay to to make mistakes or slip up (this one's for me!) as a parent.  I am constantly learning about myself as a parent.  I am a work in progress.

Ever been in a similar situation?  Tell me I'm not alone here.


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