When our cute little babies are small and innocent, it's sooooo much easier to quickly grab items out of their little hands when they aren't paying attention. But hey, at this age they don't even seem to notice and don't bother to put up a fight (come on...you know you've done it).
Just think about it, throughout their entire babyhood they completely ignore your snatching until one day it suddenly dawns on them that they want to keep whatever it was you just swiped...I can hear Dora now "Swiper NO SWIPING!". Here is where behavior problems begins.
Let's face it, they've had an entire year or more to observe your snatching (albeight for their own good). Thus, can you really blame them when they begin to imitate you?
This is exactly what I experienced with my dear daughter. Suddenly around 20 months old I noticed that she would walk up out of nowhere and snatch things away from me or refuse to hand something over while diving out of arms length in the same instant. I'll admit, at first I was apalled...where was she getting this behavior from!? Daddy, what have you been teaching her (sorry honey)!?
The good news is that God in his wisdom saw fit to enlighten me on the source of her bad behavior. Yep, I was guilty as charged. But in his mercy, he also sent some solutions my way, which I like to call God Whispers
Today, I can happily report that things changed within a few short weeks. Now, 5 months later, snatching is a rarity for my little munchkin (although I still sometimes must insist--without snatching--that she hand over the car keys, or occasional pair of eyeglasses she may get her hands on; but always with a please and thank you).
Snatching Secrets Revealed:
- Do unto others and stop snatching! I know it's inconvenient and takes more time to ask a 2 year old to hand something over (and then wait for them to actually do it). I know our darlings like to pull these shananigans at the most inconvenient times and places like when you're running late or in a quiet restaurant. But who ever said parenting was easy? The answer is just this simple: If you stop, they will stop too. You will create a new habit/default.
- When there arises the need to discipline, I give my child the opportunity to practice obedience. For instance, if my darling disobeys, I will have her "show mommy how you obey and go pick up that toy (or whatever action I so choose)". It always help to be down at her eye level and I ALWAYS follow through. Once she does what is required, I "show an increase of love" and give her praise and kudos which she always enjoys. Note: I have come to see that learning obedience to parents is how children learn obedience to God. In other words, obedience to parents transfers over, if you will, to obedience to God...which is kind of why we're on this planet.