So, somewhere between my last post Sunday night and Monday morning I decided that I'd try to kill Eliana's bad attitude with kindness. I don't mean giving her everything she wants and allowing bad behavior, but rather trying to set a positive tone in the home, praise her for everything she does right, and take time out of my day to make her feel special.
I think Michelle Duggar is a great example of a gentle, Godly mother. Say whatever you want about the number of kids they have, but there's not much negative you can say about the way she parents. She gets on eye level with her children and speaks the discipline in so soft a voice it's almost a whisper. This causes the children to have to stop, listen, and take her seriously. And what a positive tone she puts into the whole household by not yelling and losing her temper. And she has 19 kids to do this with! I think it takes more work sometimes to stop ourselves from getting angry and deal with things kindly, but the payoff seems so great. Eliana has been gentler, kinder, less needy, and much happier. Instead of barking an order or demand, I've been quieting my voice and gently making my request of her or letting her know the answer is no to whatever she asked. I've been enlisting her in helping me with things even more than normal, too. She loves to be a helper. She calls herself Mama Elly :) Today she sat on the floor with my nursing pillow and her shirt lifted up to nurse her baby while I was nursing Evangeline. SO cute!
Earlier today Evangeline was struggling. Didn't want to nurse, didn't want to be Moby'd, didn't want her paci....it was frustrating. I had to talk myself through it in my head to stay calm since while Evie was screaming Elly was also asking multiple times to watch Dora and read her Dora book. I wanted to yell, "Not now Elly!" But I told her we'd watch Dora another day and that I'd be happy to read to her. She crawled up on the couch by us while I was bouncing the screaming Evangeline and we read the book. Eventually Evangeline calmed down and I was glad that I kept my cool and didn't take it out on Elly.
Granted I'm only 3 days in on trying to stay more positive and it's really about taking it one hour at a time, but I'm trying, really trying, and I think that's what matters. I want Eliana to feel special and needed in this home, just like how I want to feel. Because I'm the one home all day with the kids, it's up to me to set that tone in the home.
So, thank you Michelle for setting a good example of gentle mothering! And no, I don't want 19 kids :)