Consistency is a pivotal part of any successful training method, be it with a dog, child, or man. You have to maintain a strict set of rules so the boundaries are clear. I find this to be a lot easier with beasts that drool and can be easily satiated with meat, but children are a bit more complex.
If I am totally focused on The Munch and prepared for whatever emotional outcome my rules might inspire, then I can be decent at monitoring her behavior and making sure she follows them. Come to think of it, I don’t have that many rules for her to obey. Don’t touch mommy’s computer, don’t use mommy’s phone to make calls to people mommy doesn’t want to talk to, and don’t drink martinis before sunset.
Recently The Munch has gotten really interested in standing in her high chair while she is eating. When this first began I would be very stern, tell her to “sit down,” and she would comply. But then one fateful day I was talking on the phone having a pretty intense conversation and The Munch just kept standing in her dumb chair. I got embarrassed telling her to sit down every 7 seconds so I lurked over her and fed her as I yammered on, figuring she would forget about this one lackadaisical moment.
Do you see where this is going?
Now every time she sits down to eat I spend 90% of the time threatening her, coaxing her, counting to three, looking mad, and then getting up to physically take her from the chair. It is only just as I am about to pick her up that she sits down, so my entire meal is spent working on my thighs I have to get up so many times.
So what lessons have I learnt? Well, for one that my ass is looking amazing, and for two to press mute when it is not my turn to talk on the phone so I can keep telling my kid what to do but act like I am paying attention.