Once a child begins to express their own opinions and desires their parent has one of two options: 1. Fight every battle to get their own way, or 2. Pick the battles that are the most important.
My mind set before I had children was that the first option was the most important. A child should know who's boss right? Oh my my my has my opinion changed. Honestly, my opinion on parenting has changed by leaps and bounds since I've had children.
I read a quote that sums up my current parenting philosophy, "If you choose to fight every battle you won't have the energy to win the battles that are the most important." (I'm paraphrasing) Honestly, I do not remember where I read the quote, but it is totally legit. Firecracker wants to wear a pair of pants that are too small and look like high waters? Whatever, as long as he understands that will be the last time he wears them before they are passed down to tank, his cousin. (Seriously, I don't know where he finds the clothes that are too small. I go through his clothes pretty regularly to get rid of ones that no longer fit. I think they just appear out of thin air.) Sweet pea wants to wear leggins that are hot pink, green and hot orange striped with a dress that is yellow plaid? Sure, whatever. She is proud she picks out her own clothes, and I am happy she isn't naked.
You may be asking what battles will I fight? To me the important ones include things like obeying immediately when I tell them something. Sweet pea doesn't want to stop running ahead of me in the store? That is a battle I will fight. Firecracker wants to talk back? Oh yeah, Mom is gonna win that one.
Like I said, I WILL FIGHT the battles that are important to me. The way I see it the clothes they wear at this age (6 and 4) and (most of) the games they play aren't going to shape their little personalities. However, the things that matter in the long run that will affect the people they will become? Those are battles worth fighting for.
It has taken me 6 years to become this kind of parent. And I'm glad I've learned this lesson now. I hate to think that if I fight every battle just to make sure I win that I will push my kid away, because no one likes to be dictated to constantly. They need room to let their personalities flourish, however, they also need boundaries to understand there are rules. It is a delicate balance we parents have to try to strike daily. Honestly, some days I get it right and sadly, far too often I get it wrong. I can only pray that my kiddos will know that I love them and am trying to do the best I can.
Have a great day,
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