Saturday, September 4, 2010

Temptation and Pushing Limits

I thought the word "no" was a big part of my everyday vocabulary with Ella when she wasn't even a year old yet,  but the number of times I have to say "no" these days doesn't even compare to that time. Ella is still constantly exploring and learning. But now, she's doing more than just exploring and learning-she's testing us. She is trying to push the limits. She's seeing how far we'll let her go. Take, for instance, just a few days ago when we left some boxes of cokes out within her reach (ok, technically not "Cokes" but in our world sodas are cokes).

First, she is carefully inspecting them from a distance.

She gets closer, and I tell her not to touch them.

She runs off for a bit.

But then the temptation is too much. I can even tell she knows she isn't supposed to be touching the boxes (that is why she is only using one finger . . .testing me to see if perhaps using just one finger would be OK).

I have to make sure that I don't let her get the best of me, and by that I mean, I need to be consistent, and not let her wear me down. If I tell her "no" there is a reason I've told her "no" (or at least there should be) and she needs to respect that I told her "no." Sure, touching the coke cans is little in the scheme of things, but she needs to understand that "no" means "no." After all, what if I'm telling her "no" because she is about to do something that will hurt her whether that be physically, emotionally, or spiritually? I firmly believe it is important for us to train her from the beginning, and my consistency with her is an important part of that training.