We get some expert help...
In the two to three years before i got pregnant with Henry i was what they call "baby crazy." I was obsessed with having a baby and i channeled the delay before we were both ready into reading absolutely everything i could get my hands on. I was still supporting us both while JT went to law school so i read every parenting book in the Chicago library system and pretty much every book on the shelves of the Barnes and Noble-- while nestled into their comfy chairs.
By the time i actually got pregnant, i was basically done with pregnancy books and focused all my efforts on books about infancy, childcare, and toddlers. When Henry was actually born and had his various ailments including colic and sleep troubles-- i read what i could find on those topics as well. Once we thankfully moved on from these i was a bit burned out on reading and for approximately the past 3.5 years i've mostly winged it.
I have a monthly subscription to a parenting magazines so i'm up on the latest child-rearing sound bites. And i have a resident early-childhood expert on speed dial so i wasn't completely out of touch, but mostly we've felt pretty good about being able to tackle what came based on our own ideas and approaches.
But then, in the past several months we started having some real behavioral challenges with Henry. Nothing completely out of the ordinary but unpleasant all the same. He's defiant, easily upset, sometimes sulky and was starting to throw some serious tantrums. I'm a very patient person and i don't have that much of a temper. And yet, i was finding myself irritated a lot and getting angry and even, gasp-- yelling more and more. Between Henry's phase and Silas' normal toddler antics i felt like we just weren't doing the best we could-- for them and us!
So i've checked another round of books out from the library and the first one i read; "Mom I Hate You: Children's Provocative Communication," has proven extremely helpful. The author is a Psychiatrist and the books deals with helping you understand why kids say things that press our buttons and how to deal with these situations in a way that takes power away from provocative statements and teaches them how to behave better. We're experiencing pretty dramatic improvements with Henry just by using some of the initial approaches he suggests. Next up is a book called "Positive Discipline" so i'll let you know how that one goes.