Early this morning about 3:30, Peyton came into our room and said, "You know how I have to watch Shey throughout the night? Well, he just fell off the bed." I didn't hear any noise coming from Shey's room, but I followed Peyton in there anyway and sure enough Shey was lying there whimpering on the bed. I rubbed his leg a bit and climbed in bed with the both of them and after Shey drifted off to sleep I went back to my bed.
Then I started thinking about what Peyton had said. Not just simply, "Shey fell out of the bed," but "I have to watch him throughout the night." It's humorous because, really, we've never once asked Peyton to check on Shey throughout the night. Shey doesn't have some condition where he needs to be checked on throughout the night and if he did, we wouldn't ask Peyton to do it. And, also, as far as I know, Peyton doesn't get up throughout the night to check on his brother. He does get up to use the restroom and then come to our room, but to check on Shey, I don't think so.
But that's Peyton. There's always a reason for everything and it is generally in his favor or makes him look good. He definitely an interesting child, one that can't really be explained without spending some time with him.
Mom bought me Setting Limits for your Strong Willed Child and I started reading it last night during Peyton's soccer practice. Thank God, he does not act out in the manner of some of the children documented in the book, but he definitely carries the traits of a strong willed child. While Shey is a natural pleaser, Peyton likes to test and push.
The book is very easy to read and offers good sound advice without asking the parent to come up with these elaborate rewards systems and charts that you can never keep up with. A phrase that stuck in my head last night from the book was "you [the parent] are not the problem, but you can be a big part of the solution." The book explains the whys of your child's behaviour, how you shouldn't take it personally when they test and argue. If you are able to do so and not see their actions as an attack, then you can remain calm and handle the behaviour accordingly. The author emphasizes that the strong willed child will continue to test, but over time and consistency, they will learn to tune into your words and respond accordingly.
I'll be honest, this is the first child rearing book that I've actually started reading and plan on finishing. It's not overwhelming and it just makes sense. I'm looking forward to completing the book and implementing the techniques provided.