Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Yes Drawer

I have a very active, curious and stubborn 11 month old. He is always discovering where he can climb into and onto, what he can grab, pull, drop, and what he can open and close. Inevitably, this proves to be dangerous at times. I began to hear the word "No" coming from my mouth much too often, even I started getting sick of hearing it. What could I do to put a more positive spin on the situation?

One of Isaac's most favorite forbidden things to do was to open the bottom drawer in the kitchen. This drawer contained things like elastics, twists ties, recycling bags, other plastic bags, and some other miscellaneous objects. Objects which a baby should not play with!

So I decided to make that drawer his "Yes" drawer! I took everything out and found another place for things. I then filled the drawer with interesting, but safe objects he could play with. I put in container lids, a plastic colander, some spatulas, and of course some baby toys. It was an instant hit!

Now Isaac knows he can find something fun in there, he can also practice and perfect his skill of opening and closing the drawer. I am happy to report he no longer gets his fingers stuck!

One of the ideas supporters of Attachment Parenting find useful is to use Positive Discipline. My favorite {easy to read} books are The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears and The No Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. But there are many, many wonderful resources out there, you just have to find which resonate best with you.

The practicality of practicing Positive Discipline is often difficult, because many times we as parents don't know what or how to. It's always helpful to chat with other parents to find out what they might do. It's also helpful to read ideas. But most importantly we should follow our mommy (or daddy) instincts. When I do this, I seem to find myself viewing the situation from my children's eyes. It's useful to ask the question, "What would my child like me as his mommy to say to him and do right now?" When this happens, we have taken a moment to pause, re-route our reaction and change it into a more gentle, more productive action. We have created a teachable moment. Which is what discipline is all about!

Much love,


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