This post might be a jumbled mess of thoughts, so my apologies.
Life is always easier said than done. "If I were her mother, I'd set her straight." or "My child would never be such a bully." (I think in bold and italics. Deal with it!) I realize now that parenting is much easier when it's not your child, you're not emotionally involved, and you think a textbook answer is sufficient and would work in every situation. It's easy to think "good parent, good child" or "naughty child, bad parent". But the truth of the matter is that children have their agency and their own minds just like adults! Kids can just come high strung, low key, mellow, angry, helpful, soft spoken, outgoing, introverted, slow to warm up, easy etc. Every child requires something different, and it's really hard to know what "good parenting" is!
I have been struggling with knowing how to respond to Dean's heightened disobedience. He's really into testing our limits and resolve. We currently employ time-outs when he misbehaves, but Matt and I have different ideas of what behavior warrants a time-out. I generally like to reserve an official 2 min. time out (one min. per year of his life) for harmful behavior. That means if he is destroying my house/items or kicking, hitting, biting, etc. people he will be put in a time out after a warning. I tell him why he's going into time out before, and have him tell me why he was in time out when I get him.
Matt thinks a 2 min. time out should be used any time he disobeys. And if it were up to him, he would leave Dean in time out for 15 min. if his behavior was very harmful (though this hasn't happened because I don't think that a 15 min. time out is appropriate for a 2 year old!). He also stresses to Dean that he is being punished because he's being bad. I really don't like the emphasis on punishment, but I understand why he feels it's necessary.
I would love to know how to better teach and positively reinforce in the heat of the moment rather than punish and yell. (Any suggestion on things that help you?) I don't want to be the yelling mom, and I find myself yelling way more than I should. My anger is short lived and I do show lots of love after and admit I am in the wrong when I do, but still...I should not be a victim of my emotions. I control my emotions and am self-deceived if I think otherwise.
I often get angry at having to repeat over and over and over for him to stop doing something. I'll physically remove him from a situation and try to divert his attention to have him dart right back to what he's not supposed to do. And oh does that irk me. I know, I know. This is normal and he is only two. That's hard to remember sometimes in the heat of the moment.
Once when he repeatedly did naughty things to Walt, I roughly picked him up, swatted him on the bum, carried him to his room, and practically threw him in his crib (yelling all the while). As I was yelling at him, I realized that at that very moment I was doing something I knew I shouldn't. I was reacting out of anger rather than acting out of love. I know it's not good or effective parenting tactic. I know it's not sanctified by God. I know it's something that Satan revels in. And yet I was doing it. And I'm an adult!! How can I get so angry at him for disobeying me when I am disobedient myself? I understand that I'm acting inappropriately. He doesn't really.
This morning I thought, "I wonder if God wants to pull his hair out and scream when we're repeatedly disobedient. Or if He ever thinks, 'how many times do I have to tell you [...]'. or 'if you just obeyed me you wouldn't have gotten hurt!'"
I really need to work on obeying God and more consistently act out of love instead of react out of anger.