I mentioned in this post that I have been reading an excellent book about parenting with wisdom. One of the things I have taken from this book is that we need to get to the motivation behind our children's behavior, rather than reacting to and/or disciplining the behavior alone.
I think this is very wise. If a child is just being, well, childish, it is not a sinful action and is not something that requires parental attention, other than perhaps redirection.
I have been praying even before reading this book about the naptime battle I blogged about a while ago. It was not getting better. I had discussed with a friend about it and one suggestion she made was wondering whether or not Miss M was getting enough "mommy time." I thought about this for a while and decided that was part of the problem, so I have been making a concerted effort to give her more of this. Yet, it was not helping.
So, the other day when we were in the midst of a fit I was praying and thinking. Suddenly it hit me - is wanting her mommy a sinful motivation? No, it is not. It is normal and natural. Two year olds want their mommies. Her behavior was sinful, because screaming and throwing a fit when you do not get your way is selfish and acting out of anger, but the motivation behind the behavior I could honestly say was not sinful, selfish, or otherwise wrong.
In light of this, I have changed my tactics. Now, as long as she is resting quietly I will sit in her room until she falls asleep. I simply take my book in there or my computer to start working and sit on her floor. Inconvenient? Possibly. Impossible? Nope.
The first several day I have done this she has fallen asleep within 20 minutes with no fight. This also allows me to calmly and carefully redirect her when she starts getting herself all worked up and playing instead of resting. Once I can get her still for five minutes, she falls asleep.
If, however, she is throwing a fit I will not go in there. So, I am giving her what she needs (mommy) while not allowing her to behave in a sinful way (throwing a fit) and even getting my work done (taking computer with me). This seems to be a very workable solution leading to a peaceful naptime in this house once again!
Mercy: Help When We Are Weak
4 months ago