Sunday, February 15, 2009

Choose your Battles

I heard Joel Osteen this morning and he had a very interesting sermon on Choosing your Battles. He gave examples of Road rage, like just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn't mean you have to engage in a battle over it. There isn't a payoff to getting involved. Or at work if someone doesn't like you or treats you badly its best to just 'Let it Go' Not all people will like us and we need to just get over it.

He also mentioned that often there is something about our spouse that we are not happy with and may constantly try to change. Like if your spouse always leaves the lights on and you are constanly harping on it, that maybe you need to just let it go...Ten dollars a month worth of electricity is worth having peace in your home. Most of us would like about 20% of our spouse to be different and the grass can often look greener on the other side of the fence, but it still needs to be mowed! No one person can be everything to another person.

Whew! Lots of lessons that I need to work on, in that little 20 minute sermon I listened to this morning! Some of them deal with marriage or coworker/boss relations, but what I really got to thinking about was the Choose the Battles thing with Jamie.

The thing about 'Choosing your battles' with kids is it's often easier to just give in to their desires. Like with clothes. Jamie would prefer to be in dresses and skirts every day. She plays pretty rough on the playground, she often comes home with her knees and bum blackened from rolling around on the playground, so I really prefer to send her in pants and a top. To keep her somewhat appeased I have been putting a skirt on over her stretch pants - so the poor kid looks like a little Madonna! But it avoids a battle every morning.

On the other hand I don't want to raise a brat who thinks it's her way or the highway. And I love to shop at the thrift and consignment shops so I can just go in search of some dresses. (Love that rationalization!) Last week I brought home 3 jumper type dresses:

(Pictured) One of them was a black with red Scotty dogs cordoroy dress with a red top, and I had her try it on. What a meltdown!! I thought this dress was the cutest thing but she will not wear it! Oh and today I tried to put on some Elmo and Zoey Overalls and she said 'THAT is not Cool...That is not a dress'. Sheesh, she loved those overalls last month! She just loves wearing girly girl dresses, here are some shots of her fashioning dresses she does like to wear, none of which are really appropriate for her to wear to school.(Top photo)

At lunch I found a little bottle of chocolate milk from one of those happy meals in the frig. Well I was mixing it with milk as I dont want her drinking straight chocolate milk if I can help it, and she threw a fit. I mean a screaming, yelling,tearful tantrum! She wants what she wants - when she wants it. She got a Time out for her trouble. I know, I am a mean mom I am sure I will be hearing that soon enough. I am already hearing - "You are not my friend", which must be the preschool battle cry at her school.

But in good battle news, Mike has found the magic routine/threat at bedtimes of telling her we will be taking her stuff and then staying firm with it when she acts up and gets up. Just now at nap I told her if she got up again I was going to take her Barbie. And she got up again, so Mike took her Barbie. He told her he would bring it back if she stayed quiet and then didn't do it right away. He said to me "I just broke a promise to her..." I said take it up to her now! So he did. She will see Barbie there when she wakes up and remember. I think it's good that we are showing her consequences of her actions. We just need to be careful of threatening something that we aren't going to follow through with...

What kind of battles do you have with your kids? Is age three a common age to be standing up for what they want so fervently?

Or if you don't have kids can you see how 'Letting it Go could be helpful for Marital Harmony? What kind of techniques have you used to Let go of something that is bothering you about your spouse or anyone else for that matter?


greedygrace said...

Ah, yes.... we most definitely have to choose our battles! I see it at the mall most often, when we walk past the kids play area. Do I deal with screaming fits if I don't let her play? Or do I give in for 5 minutes and let her play?

You bet I let her play!

I love the scotty jumper!

Cinda said...

Oh, we had extreme meltdown last night over chocolate milk and grahams with some frosting. Started screaming first of all that he wouldn't drink white milk, and then screaming that he wanted more of the snack.. nothing was good enough..... he ended up losing all of his snack to daddy's tummy and went to bed with no snack. That was the worst crying I've seen in awhile.!!!

Patty said...

I think you're doing a great job. Telling a child constantly that if they don't stop or if they do that will teach them to "block out the lecture" YOU WILL go away sooner or later.

Teaching Jamie that there are consequences for her actions is very, very difficult, I'm sure but I also think you will see the rewards. She is a wonderful child & very easy to be around. YOU ARE NOT A MEAN MOM . . . remember, allowing your child to "lead the way" is not love, it is giving in to what's "easiest" and you & your child will suffer the consequences.

Kudos to Mike as well. One of the hardest things a parent can do is discipline their child . . . I'm sure it can be incredibly heartbreaking but I think as you watch Jamie grow, you will see you have done right. (Take it from me, the one who never had children . . . lol. Keep up the good work, you are doing a fabulous job ! ! !

BTW, what did John & I finally give Jamie for her birthday? I sure hope it was other new outfits that would fit her.

P. S. Who is Joel Osmund?

Frederik Urshgur said...

As far as getting young-uns to sleep, I've found that a nice toddy works quite well. A shot of Vodka mixes well with any fruit juice, and they usually go right out. And the good thing is that you don't have to waste the good stuff on them, Popov works just fine. You can save the Stoli or Grey Goose for Moms and Poppie.

Marthavmuffin said...

Very funny Frederik. By the way everyone this a an old friend from my college days and you can see he isn't of the child bearing nuturing type. He really is very funny even if it doesn't seem that way at first. You have to get used to his humour. LOL

Patty thanks for the Kudus on Parenting Jamie and I haven't been to Target yet for the gift exchange. It will probably be some new Stretch pants in solid colors I can put under dresses and maybe some tights (that she can ruin in one wearing!) And I meant Joel Osteen! I corrected that typo last night.

Cinda that is exactly why I don't want to give her 'Pure' Chocolate milk!

Grace I knew you can relate as the AC and Jamie sound so similar in so many ways...They even look a bit alike. Wish we were closer so we could meet in person!

Frederik Urshgur said...

Ms. Muffin,
You must be mistaken. I am a Chinchilla rancher from Taos, New Mexico. I found your site whilst searching the net for zircon-encrusted tweezers to use on my charming little rodents.