The past few days we have been briefly working on training our 21 month old daughter to sit still on our lap. Raising Godly Tomatoes by Elizabeth Krueger gives some direction on training your child in this very simple (sounding) act.

“Place your baby (after he has been fed and changed) on your lap, facing away from you. When he tries to arch his back or roll over, push his tummy back down and tell him “No.” Do not hold him down. (But don’t let him fall on the floor either!) Do this when you have time to keep it up until he stops resisting you. Outlast him…”

This has proven to work and been very beneficial as we have many outings where she needs to sit during the Christmas season. It is amazing how responsive little ones are to this type of training. Highly recommend the book and the training…

As we went about training our daughter in this, I contemplated the difference in the parenting I am giving her compared to my oldest daughter. My parenting with my first daughter was much more reactive in the sense that I dealt with problems as they came and escalated. This goes for dealing with sleep and an overtired baby. Dealing with the “terrible twos” and defiance… I think this is common with first children and common in parenting in general. With my second child, we had already established boundaries and protocol and been around the block once. Things went much smoother- but it was still more reactive, I wasn’t preventing problems from occurring – thankfully I had a plan for what to do when the problems arose.

Now, with child #3, she is only 21 months old and we have higher standards for her behavior (we know how much they understand and are capable of), spend more time modeling verbally and physically how to obey and how to make good choices (we understand that they don’t always know what obedience looks like- modeling and repeating that modeling is so important- they need an example of what we expect!). And we are doing these things to begin training her before we become reactive trying to figure out how to get her to obey when she hits the “terrible twos”.

Note: Training takes time but it is well worth it!