Supernanny – Understanding our toddler’s development
One of the books I’m reading right now is ‘Supernanny’ – How to get the best from your children‘ by Jo Frost.
I’ve seen her TV programmes (on TV and over on youtube) and there are lots of insightful stuff.
But if you ask me whether I ‘follow’ everything this book (or basically any books and websites in general) suggests, I’d say no – especially if it clashes with my own principle and beliefs.
I mean, if I feel a particular approach suits my situation and my kids, I’ll sure try it out. But there are also techniques which I choose not to implement to my kids, eg. I’ll consciously avoid using the word ‘naughty’ to Anya and Vai (or to any kids I come across actually), like in ‘What you did was NAUGHTY!’ or calling an area the ‘naughty’ corner. I prefer to describe their earlier undesired behaviour in different terms like, ‘not polite’, ‘a big no no no’ when talking to them.
But anyway, I do enjoy reading this book!
It refreshes my understanding of the different stages of a child’s development too. And by understanding our little ones better, we can approach difficult situations with more ‘sensible expectations’. It also allows better possibility for us to work out more suitable approaches when dealing with challenging situations.
Anyway, here’s a little bit more about toddlers (18 months to three years) that I’d like to share here:
> Patience is not a toddler virtue. Some toddlers can hang on for a bit, but many can’t wait
> He can’t plan ahead. If he has an impulse, he’ll act on it and he won’t have the first idea where that’s going to take him or what he’ll feel like when he gets there
> He has no sense of danger
> His memory is limited. That means you’re going to have to repeat yourself. Over and over.
> He doesn’t understand what a promise is until it’s delivered. When he wants something, he wants it right away. His mind will be set on one thing.
> He can’t cope with too many choices. A lot of things he’ll say he wants will be contradictory. He’ll want his shoes on and he’ll want his shoes off – at the same time.
> He can’t understand that his actions may affect other people’s feelings. He doesn’t want to take turns.
> He wants more attention that it is humanly possible to give and he wants it for longer than there are hours in the day.
As I read the book, I do keep a mental note : not all kids are like that because yes there are some who are just more ‘mature’ emotionally and more understanding for his age, who are simply willing to share his toys, etc.
But yes I agree that those are common characteristics of toddlers in general (wherever they’re born around the world!).
And so bearing those aspects in mind, I try to remind myself that :
> I can’t expect / force my toddler (read: Vai) to always do what I say right there and then
> I can’t expect my kids (even Anya who’s 4 years old) to not be ‘childish’ or to be understanding – ‘like an adult’ – all the time
> The need to constantly, patiently and consistently guide, instill and teach them what is right and what is wrong is even more urgent
Ah it’s not easy. And there are heaps to pick up and learn for us parents, aren’t there.
Parenting. Yes, it’s a constant learning journey.