Friday, 15 July 2011

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J Summary (2Y4M10D) - In Total Defiance!

We went to IKEA after work today, because I would like to get some children furniture for our church nursery. After having our dinner at IKEA's restaurant, we were ready to shop.

However, J wanted to play at the play area in the restaurant. We tried to drag him out of the restaurant and shortly after, he refused to move. Daddy stayed behind while I quickly went to the children's section which is just a stone throw away. Then J threw himself down on the floor, and Daddy came to look for me.

We went back to the spot and J was gone! We tried frantically to look for him, but we could not find him. I didn't think that he would know how to make his way back to the play area, as one would have to turn left, walk a few steps, down a flight of 4-5 stairs into the very crowded restaurant, walk straight, turn right and walk to the end of the room, where the play area was located, take off shoes before going into the play area. That would be too complicated for him, I thought. But finally, as a last resort, I thought I would go and check if he was there.

How wrong I was! There J was at the play area! He had even followed the rules and taken off his velco sandals all by himself, before going in. I went back to tell Daddy that I found J, so that he would not be worried, and we went back to the play area.

We were at a loss about what to do at that instance. Then we decided that I would stay behind at the play area, while Daddy would go and shop for his stuff. Throughout the whole time, J was having a lot of fun at the play area, and at the same time, giving me this big victorious smile on his face.

As I sat there, waiting for Daddy to finish his shopping and waiting for J to finish playing, I took the chance to reflect. What could we have done better?

Daddy came back, and again, we had to struggle to get J to obey us and leave the play area.

We reached home without having purchased anything for the church nursery. After putting J to bed, Daddy and I talked. On hindsight, we both felt that we should not have allowed him to play in the play area, as it had given J the victory, after being totally defiant - throwing himself down on the floor in a tantrum, running away to the play area, without informing us or asking us for permission - he could have gotten lost!

On hindsight, we should have just left IKEA, when he threw himself down on the floor. When we have reached home, we could explain to him that he behaved so badly, and thus the privilege of going for a trip out was taken away from him. That would have taught him a lesson and kept our authority in-tact as parents.

After this incident, I will never bring J to IKEA again... if I can resist it. I will now get someone else help to buy those things we need for the church nursery.

We have parented out of the funnel in this case, and given J too much freedom. It would be hard to take it back. We all make mistakes, and we all learn.

This incident also made us realize that children can surprise us with new ability everyday. From now on, we will need to be more careful with J.

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