Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Choosing my battles

As parents we must carefully choose which "battles" to fight with our kids. I have found that tackling 1-2 big battles at a time is plenty. If we are having food issues, bedtime issues, and discipline issues we don't tackle them all at once. Sure this may make me look like a bad parent to onlookers, for instance if that means our two year old eats 1/2 a loaf of bread for dinner at the restaurant. What a bad parent I am to allow such a poor diet! What the onlooker didn't notice is that for the first time in a month my child isn't throwing a fit at the restaurant. As soon as we take care of the fit throwing (a mix of teaching obedience and proper discipline), we will work on the diet, etc. (And by the way judgmental onlooker, she ate a plate full of broccoli, a banana, and a cheese sandwich for lunch!!...may we all judge less and less...) AND working on the diet will be a lot easier when obedience and discipline is established.

There are a few battles that I have chosen not to fight in the past 6 months, knowing that other battles were more important at the time. But they are also battles that I really didn't want to ever fight. I was hoping they would work themselves out on their own. Alas, we are finally tackling them and really getting somewhere! 

When Jenna (3-year-old) was 2 she wasn't the typical "ALL BY MYSELF!" kid.  She sought independence in some areas, but for the most part she would rather I do things for her. I have to specifically decide to GIVE her independence because she will rarely choose to take it on her own. Recently it is getting dressed. Most kids figure this out on their own but I have had to teach this to Jenna. And it has been a battle. One that we have fought and then let die and then fought again and then let die again. Thankfully in a month we went from mommy helping her get dressed from head to toe to Jenna doing almost everything on her own! It is exciting, she is proud of herself, it takes forever... but it's worth it.

Here she is, dressing herself.  Her favorite way to be silly is to put her pull-up on her head, or get her shirt stuck on her head and run around like a crazy silly girl.  

Good work Jenna! Here's to the next battle to be fought! And by the way, I fight these battles with you because I know you can do it, and we will both be better when I win. :)


Ben & Tera said...

Good job Megan. That's great advice for us all:)

Faith said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom Megan. Choosing battles is soo tricky..sounds like you have a great outlook on the whole thing!

Jenne said...

Choosing our battles is one of the most important things we have to learn as parents. Too many battles: we exasperate our kids. Too few battles: we endanger their souls. Such a balance!