As Kenny Rogers so famously put it, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em,” and that’s never so true as it is when you’re dealing with a young child. If you were to stand firm every time you and your little one disagreed, you would spend almost all of your time arguing. And even though the hills worth defending will be different for every family, I’ve got some suggestions today to help you evaluate where you might want to give up some ground in exchange for a little peace and serenity.
You know that old saying pick your battles? Well, we’re gonna talk about that today, picking your battles. Here’s a few areas in which I think it’s not worth the battle. Honestly, it’s not.
One is around deciding what to wear every morning. I get asked this question a lot and it’s usually from moms with daughters if I’m being totally honest here and I would say that I probably stepped into this once or twice in my life too.
So when a toddler begins to make some choices, right, that is part of the natural developing sense of autonomy that we all get as we become older children and into childhood and adulthood, we begin to understand that hey, I get to make some decisions here in life, that’s pretty cool and picking out what to wear is usually one of the first things that shows up and it can become a battle, right?
If you put out this beautiful pink dress that you would love her to wear and she walks into her room and throws that one on the floor and goes to pick out something you would prefer her not to wear, this can become a battle.
I think it’s a battle not worth fighting. If I’m being totally honest, I really don’t think it’s worth going there because here’s why.
She will always be this way.
This isn’t gonna change, right? This is actually gonna get worse. I have a 11 and a half year old daughter right now and I can tell you that it’s better if I just keep my mouth zipped about what she’s wearing, honestly. I mean, I want, if she came out in shorty shorts or something like that, I’m gonna say uh-uh, go back and change but I don’t put a lot of pressure on what she should wear because I have found through mistakes that I have made that it just creates tension and it steps into her right and her realm, right?
What we put on our bodies is a very individual thing, it’s a very personal thing, it’s sometimes a representation of who we think we are at the moment in our lives and we need to allow our children to find these things out. Hey, if I go outside in a T-shirt and it’s cold, next time I’m gonna wear a jacket. That makes sense, right? If we constantly are making these decisions for them then they’re never really going to figure it out and they’re going to probably push back.
If I say to my 15 year old, oh, you should take a sweater today, it’s cold, he’s not gonna take a sweater right now ’cause I said it and he’s gonna go out and be cold and maybe tomorrow when I don’t say anything, he’s gonna take his sweater.
So just be really careful. It doesn’t matter if she’s, her clothes don’t match or she’s wearing a dress with jeans underneath. It doesn’t matter, right, and you can tell everybody behind her she dressed herself today, she dressed herself today if it makes you embarrassed in any way but just don’t fight that battle.
Another one is throwing food on the floor from the high chair. I don’t think it’s a battle worth fighting honestly. Again, I’ve gone down this road. I’ve tried. I tried and at some point I thought, it’s just not worth it, it’s not worth it. There’s no real great consequence to throwing your food on the floor. It just means I have to get you out of your high chair and maybe then worry that you’re still hungry later.
So what I used to do is just put my kids, their high chair in an area where there’s no carpeting underneath, it’s very easy to clean up if they throw things on the floor and here’s the best part.
When I started ignoring it, it stopped.
It’s true. It’s an attention-getting strategy. So as soon as you take the attention away, eh, what’s the point, right? I throw this on the floor, she doesn’t do anything, she doesn’t say anything, it’s no big deal. I’m gonna stop doing it.
Alright, so it’s always worth reflecting, is this worth the fight and sometimes it absolutely is and in most cases, yeah, it really is worth the battle but you’ve gotta be selective and ask yourself repeatedly, is this worth it or not and if it’s not, let it go.
Thanks so much for watching today. Sleep well.
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from Blog – The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman https://sleepsense.net/picking-your-battles/