Wednesday's this month are set aside for our third parenting class in the series offered through our church. This one is called "The Toddlerhood Transition" and no, Jenica is not actually on the cover, that was just some fancy editing on my part. (The picture is of her pointing at the timer, waiting for her 'blanket time' to be over. We just started working on this skill again after quite a long break so she is not too fond of it yet, and found more enjoyment in watching the time tick by than playing with the toys on her blanket.)
These books and classes, written by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo have been invaluable in preparing us for parenthood, as well as keeping us on the right path as Jenica grows and changes. So far this book has focused on the important roles that mom and dad each play in their childrens lives, as well as the benefits of having your children (and your self) on a schedule each day. This doesn't mean that you stick to the schedule exactly, but by working on various things at home, it can make your time away from home that much less stressful. Here is a good example, which seems so much like common sense but I hadn't even thought of doing it until I read it here. They recommended that you let your toddler sit in their highchair for a period of time after meal time is over, with a toy or book of your choice, to teach them how to sit still and be content for times like grocery shopping where that skill would make moms life a lot easier. There are also other things like room time and blanket time that can teach your children how to play independently, but still within the boundaries specified by mom (or dad). I wish this teaching was offered more widely, because I would honestly recomend it to any parent or parent to be. If you live near Molalla, or wouldn't mind driving there, we offer the classes once or twice a year. Otherwise, the same authors of this serious have also written some books available to the general public.
On Becoming Baby Wise is the first one and when I skimmed through this book at Barnes and Noble one day, it looked to be exactly the same text as our "Preparation for Parenting" book that we read when we took the first class in the parenting series.
There is also this book, On Becoming Toddler Wise that I have not looked at yet but I imagine is pretty similar to what we are reading now. If you are struggling at all in the area of discipline or structure in your home, I would highly recommend these books. They not only make your child happier and more well behaved, they will make your life as a parent so much easier as well. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to put Jenica in her room to quietly play for an hour while I get the house clean or get some of my work done that I do from home.
It is hard work, I'm not going to sugar coat it, but the benefits highly out weigh the sacrifice and the "proof is in the pudding" as some would say. If you have any questions, feel free to comment here or send me an email. I would love to here from you!