Apr 24, 2014

How To Train a Brayce

Brayce is our LOUD, funny, sweet but ornery 3 year old little girl.
She is constantly saying, "But I do what Sissy do's!!" Even if that means we just told Kairi no don't do that. Brayce is right behind her doing it. Brayce has no concept of an inside voice. Her daddy told her tonight right after she let out the highest pitched shrill, "Brayce! Inside voice." And she replied, "but I'm outside!!" (She was in the car in the driveway.)
She has a mind of her own and when she has a mission (her own made up one) she's going to do whatever that is and you might as well just wait because there's no changing her mind or interuppting her. She's very, very slow and is never in a hurry - even if you are. She's carefree.
And boy is she funny!!! Anyone who knows Brayce would agree with me that she is the funniest person they have ever met. She is always making people laugh. I can't explain her humor, but she can make you laugh until you are in tears.
Did I mention her big brown eyes and her pig tails?!

Yes. This little girl is hard to say no to. And I am the first to admit, I have trouble disciplining her.

Brayce surprises me daily and keeps me on my toes. Her big sister Kairi is a very predictable girl (she's just like her momma), but yet Brayce - I can not figure her out.

Brayce has always gotten away with most everything when it comes to me and I stick up for her when her Daddy tries to step in. I have always and always will have a big soft spot for this little girl.

However, recently we have been noticing more disobedience from her. She is talking back, not listening, telling us no and runs away from us when we tell her to come. All normal things for a 3 year old, yes. But I know it's more than that, I can no longer let her get away with everything and not learn how to be an obedient, kind, and mannerly child. (Even if that means closing my eyes when she is in trouble. Remember those big brown eyes? I must avoid eye contact.)


So what works with Brayce? How do we let her keep that big, fun personality and mold her into a well-behaved child?

This has been my prayer this past week. I have been asking God to show me and to teach me.

I do not think spankings are bad and if done right they can be used for good parenting. However, I do not like them. I don't like getting onto my children and disciplining them. I dont want to be a mean mom. I don't like the way it makes me feel. I don't like to lose my patience with them and grow frustrated. However, I am not doing anyone a favor, especially Brayce by letting her do whatever she pleases because it is easier than teaching her. God tells us that discipline is a good thing when done out of love. And I do love my children. I love them so much that I am going to discipline them and teach them grace.

A few days ago, my husband inspired this molding of Brayce to begin. We both have noticed her increase of bad behavior. He started with consequences being spankings for every time she didn't listen or ran away from him. My husband and I are a united front so I tried to get on board with this. The next day I gave Brayce 2 spankings and there was no improvement in behavior. I sat down and prayed for Brayce and for me to be the mother that she needs. I prayed for patience and for what my expectations should be with her. I knew I needed to lean into God's Word.

And then immediately after praying, we had an argument about her iPad and that's when I decided to take it away and told her she would not be getting it back until she learned to behave. (Yes, my 3 year old has her own iPad. We like technology and Apple in our house.) There were tears and I took her to her room to sit on her bed. I went back after 3 minutes and laid down next to her and snuggled. I talked to her about her behavior, what I wanted from her, and how I loved her. And I told her that God wants her to obey her parents. And then we laid there for close to an hour talking, laughing, smiling and getting to know each other even better.

This is day 3 of no iPad and it's been great. She doesn't ask for it, and I am seeing improvement in behavior. I am not blaming the iPad for her poor behavior but I do know that this is a great opportunity to learn to limit the time spent on it. It can easily be used for baby-sitting and lazy parenting if done in excess. I don't want NetFlix to spend more face time with my daughter than I do. So I will be letting her have her privilege of the iPad back soon, but I will be monitoring it more closely.

I am learning to pray over my children and to go to his Word for instruction on how to raise them. I will never expect perfection from my children, but I do want to give them the love and guidance they need to be loving, kind, Godly children.

I love you Braycee girl. There will be hard times, but oh my there will be many many many more good times.

You are a sweet girl, you are funny, you adore your baby brother - seriously you are such a great big sister to him and you are your big sister's best friend. You bring so much joy to our lives. Keep laughing and keep loving.

Mommy loves you.


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