A Toddler's Tale - Here come the words...
Hey there! I'm "NoMummy". My partner "Dus" and I have a 20 month old toddler who is proving to be one of life's beautiful challenges, a little ferocious rhino in human form, but don't we just love them so much, in fact Id be quite happy to have another 2, perhaps even 3. My little gal is so lovable, extremely headstrong, far too independent and really quite a demanding toddler. But then, she is a Toddler. And a Scorpio.
Addie has always been quite headstrong, but I think we both thought we had some more time to adjust to the fact that Addie would soon be talking, and copying us. At 18 months old, she had compiled a little verbal dictionary, and while it is beautiful to hear Addie now name her facial parts "ose"(nose), "teeth", "eyebaaa" (eyebrow), it is alarming how intentional her listening is, as I walked past the compost one morning complaining about the smell, Addie screamed in reply "Poo-poo gucky!" LOL.
Addie has always been quite physically advanced, we always joke that she was built with a bodybuilders physique, and she has been climbing ladder frames since she was 7 months old (overly ambitious Mumma right here), but her speech wasn't so quick to develop. So we went about our daily life, and occasionally friends would swear around Addie and cover their mouth quickly, eyes darting towards Addie "Oh she's fine". In fact, we didn't really hear a peep from her until I one day tried to brush her teeth and she snatched the toothbrush from me and said "NO Mummy!". I was shook. Hang on, I've got more time till the terrible twos, you're joking arent you? And then everything was "No Mummy". In fact, I turned from "Mumma" into "NoMummy"
In between the tantrums, the defiance and the fierce independence that this little toddler is demonstrating to a high degree, this was the kick I needed to do a little research into the Montessori method and the way of speaking to a toddler to ensure she is given her independence. To raise her in a loving, caring environment where she is respected as her own little individual. As a childcare Educator, I thought I knew how to speak to a child, but when that child is yours 24/7, its hard not to raise your voice and lock yourself in a room with a wine, 12 hours of the day. Which is absolutely compulsory at times.
I turned my attention to 'The Montessori Toddler' by Simone Davies and I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you are a parent to a Toddler, you need this book in your life. I read this book cover to cover in a matter of days and discussed with my partner how we can both change our speech habits.
I learnt to give feedback instead of praise. I explain her actions to her when she is throwing her food bowl across the table, and understand she must be finished. I ask her to use her words or point to what she wants instead of whining. And we are careful of the words we say. We want Addie to have respect for herself and us and we want to raise her in a way that she is comfortable and can voice her opinions in a safe, loving environment. And I want her to stop saying "No Mummy". Because it is really grinding my gears. Not that I would tell her that. I respect her too much as an individual...