Mia knows exactly what she wants and she will confidently let you know what it is. Oh, goodness! Let me not go into the detail of what normally happens when she doesn’t get her way. What is it with kids and boundaries? They just love playing on the edge – a dangerous place to be, but they seem to enjoy it. Although Mia might not understand the term “boundaries”, she is well aware of how to push, shove and stretch them well to their breaking point, or should I say my breaking point.
My most frustrating moments during this month were trying to do something as simple as changing Mia’s nappy. She absolutely refused to lie still and all of my attempts to set a boundary and to discipline her have been in vain. I reverted to begging and pleading but even that didn’t work, which means I lost my temper more than once and she kept on pushing that boundary. In fact, she was set on pushing many boundaries; pulling at things she knows she’s not allowed to touch or getting hold of the dog’s tail and refusing to let go.
I have to continuously remind myself that boundaries are a good thing. It is not a punishment. Mia’s job at this age is to explore and figure out how things work. It may seem like she is up to mischief, but she is experimenting and learning. Babies at this age have a greater drive to explore than to listen to our warnings or attempts to discipline and say no. Although she may not give heed to my warnings, it remains my responsibility to make sure she knows what is safe and what is not. When Mia tries to explore in areas that are dangerous or off limits, I give her a stern NO and then try to redirect her attention to something she is allowed to play with.
MommaMia Tip: Setting boundaries might be hard; however, boundaries can create a safe space for our kids. Although children tend to resist boundaries, they are far more insecure without the safety and consistency that boundaries instil. Remember that setting boundaries is an act of love.