Of course there's that precious(ly annoying at times!) newborn stage where no matter how much you want them on a schedule, it ain't happening. The cluster feeding, the peeing/pooping in diapers the minute after you change it, oh wait...I want a baby in the near future, let's not think about all those things right now! BUT, there certainly does come a point in your baby's life where, per my research and personal experience, you can "train" them. If you want some proof, please take some time to read on our experiences with using SleepEasy to sleep train/sleep learn Braden. It worked like a charm and I really believe the research/methodology behind the theory of it.
Now that we're well on our way into toddlerhood, I still firmly believe you can train your children...to a degree. We're working very hard on making sure Braden learns that he has to eat "x" amount of his meals before he can be "done", as he would say. He has done REALLY well with this too, and he certainly doesn't get dessert unless he finishes enough of his meal. He is working on his manners and cleaning up after himself too.
That being said, I have learned, at his particular age of almost 2, he cannot be trained to:
- sit still for pictures
- "pose" for pictures
- not run away from me in public places
The good old bribe of "if you do 'this', I'll give you a cookie!" stopped working between 22-23 months, he figured that one out pretty fast!
I believe in treating infants like dogs. Before you get all fired up at me...let me explain myself a bit better!
- K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid
- Babies, infants, toddlers...they don't understand wordy explanations...so why bother? Keep it simple with as few words in your instructions & explanations.
- Example: DON'T: "You can't have dessert today because you didn't eat all of your supper, I told you that if you didn't eat your supper you wouldn't get your dessert, remember?"
- Example: DO: "No cookie, eat your num nums."
- Braden responds really well to praise. If he puts his toys away, eats at his kid table, "good boy, Braden! Good job, Braden!" with lots of hooting and hollering...he eats it up and aims to please so he can be celebrated even more!
- I'm not quite at this stage yet as Braden doesn't get time outs...but it's quickly approaching. I believe in discipline, or else he's going to end up running this household. We will be using time outs as discipline, I'm not a spanker...if Jay wants to, that's up to him.
So that is what I meant about treating your child like a dog. Mostly in the way you "train" and "speak" to them...not tying them up outside and letting them fend for themselves...however on certainly bratty days I've been tempted! ;)
As always, my disclaimer is this: everyone has the right to parent whichever way they want, whatever way that works best for them and their families...but if you're anything like me, you believe that children ARE trainable because you need your sanity! I didn't know that I would sleep train my child, but when he was waking up every hour for no apparent reason, my friend Carley came to the rescue and saved my sanity by lending me that book. You might think I'm evil for making Braden cry it out to learn how to self soothe to get to sleep, and that's okay...you don't have to do it! There's lots of parenting and child raising techniques that I do not, and will not ever, understand...but I do understand that they might work for you!
Have you had experiences where you've had to "train" your child? What works best for you and your family?