The Best Kind of Love…
Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees when it comes to our little ones. This is exactly what happened for me and my husband when we were trying to figure out how to handle a situation that was just not ok on so many levels - mostly safety - but also general listening to an adult in charge too.
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Here’s what happened
When walking the kids to school one morning, my daughter (5.5 years old) saw one of her friends that she loves up ahead walking too. She called her name, and then took off to catch up to her. After yelling STOP several times, she continued, ran across the street (every parent’s nightmare), and continued right into the school without even stopping or turning around.
All the emotions rushed in!
The fear of her 1. possibility of getting hurt running across the street was heart stopping and 2. not hearing our voices was another. We needed to talk about this and figure this out.
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When I saw her, I told her what happened was not ok. We love her too much to let anything happen to her and that she must practice holding our hands when walking to school until we feel comfortable. The good news is that she gets to practice and show us. What she really wants is for us to use carpool (a daily argument between her and my son - drop off or walk in). So, no more drop off for now. She said she was very sorry and understands.
But that wasn’t enough… We needed to find a logical consequence, so she knows how important this is and have it sink in. Taking away iPad time was just not going to cut it, but we couldn’t figure out what to do. So, we turned to our trusted advisor because we were too involved in the details of the problem to look at the situation as a whole.
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what we did
We told her, “We are glad she’s sorry and this was very serious. It is so important that you respect and listen to what we tell you, even if in that moment you just feel like doing what you want to. This cannot happen. We need to keep you safe, and we need to know that you will hear our voices when we speak.”
“We need to know that no matter where we are you’re going to pay attention and follow the rules.”
To make it logical, we let her know we needed to see her practice following what we say and know she will listen to any other adult that’s in charge too - whether at a party, event or playdate. So, we told her that she was not allowed to go to an event that night she was looking forward to (this was really hard to do as a parent).
The event was a crowded place, so it was actually a very logical consequence. We needed to know that no matter where we were, she was going to pay attention and follow our rules. We told her the good news was that she gets to really show that she is sorry by practicing listening skills with us, and there will be more events like this one. We told her, “We know you’re sorry and you only need to miss this one event because I’m sure you’ll be a better listener after that.”
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She had several meltdowns that day and was super angry saying how unfair it was because our son got to go but she didn’t. She cried and said she wanted to go. I told her the good news one more time and validated her feelings without over engaging. She asked if I was going with our son, and I said yes. And when I had told her the good news, she angrily said “I know you’ve already told me 30 times.” (hahaha - just twice).
I was uninvited to her birthday (in November), and she told me several times how mad at me she was and everyone else. I was also told that I’m not making her birthday cake…. continued on how it's so unfair and a kicker - how could I split up the family and not let us all go together. She then balled right as we left and cried out madly “and when you get home I’m going to be asleep!” Enter more tears.
It was quite the dramatic day, but I’m glad to say she was back to loving me the next morning, and even saw a cake she liked and asked if I’d make her that one. I was glad to be back in her good graces.
This may not be our last rodeo knowing her tenacity, but we definitely feel more equipped moving forward. Thank you Sharyn Timerman for helping us see the forest through the trees. It can be so hard to figure out our own affairs and easier to see and help others. I can’t tell you how important it is to have a village of trusted people who won’t judge but help us all in this parenthood journey. I will always continue to learn and grow and do the same for you.
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last but not least…
If you need a little extra guidance with something behavioral you’re struggling with your little one, I’ve got ya (and Sharyn too if I need her)! Go here to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me, and we can chat about it! Better yet, join my Healthy Little Village where you can ask questions, learn more about sleep, behavior, development, and connect with me live every month!
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OH, ONE MORE THING!
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