Most people understand the phrase that I am about to discuss. However I need to be very cautious about how I talk about it. Someday my thoughts will probably change, but let me just express my thoughts for now. :)
Choosing Your Battles
That's a phrase you hear, not a lot, but quite often with toddles and young children where parents or caretakers are trying to decide what battle to "deal with" or which ones to "let go."
However I'm not a fan of that phrase or what it stands for. I feel like if I happen to decide a certain "battle" is worth dealing with today, but not tomorrow what exactly does that mean? Once the child gets older they may understand this, but really is it worth waiting until then? Why are we "choosing our battles"?
My key thoughts on parenting:
1. God is holy, and we are not.
2. We all are going to mess things up. Even tell your kids when you mess up.
3. There are consequences for our actions.
4. The obvious one: How much God loves them, and how much their family loves them.
5. Respect. In all circumstances respect. (like showing the proper way to express yourself through interrupting with manners, yes means yes and no means no, and the typical take care of each other and the things God has blessed us with, etc.)
--Am I missing any other key points that come to mind? Maybe I'll add some more as time goes on, but you get the idea.
When a kid is freaking out over something I don't want them to think I'll freak out over it too. Instead I like to:
Calmly react to the situation so they know I care.
"What happened sweetie?"
Usually I'm given a baby voice or a situation that I can return with a lesson attached to it.
In most cases it ends with a happy child and a happy caretaker like me. :)
In other cases when the parent is around I sense this extra emotional thing going on.
Yes, grace is important. And letting them know you care is important.
Where's the consequence? Where's the lesson?
Today the girl I nanny for was messing with the door while waiting for her mom to return. She freaked out because it bumped her on the foot. With me she cools down VERY quickly (different story around mom). I told her I was sorry she got hurt, but to remind her doors are not things we play with. (And yes I looked at it.) She responded just fine.
Few moments later her mom came home and randomly she remembered about her foot and how it got hurt earlier. With a wimpy voice she told her mom about it. Her mom picked her up and told her let's check it out. Her mom did different things with her foot to see if it was still working okay. And then told her,
"Let's walk it off! Is it okay?"
Thank you for that! Yes, I might of done things differently. But aren't we all a little different? :) She is given the chance to see things that come her way and either: figure out why it happened or to check things out and walk away!
Battles I think are worth it. There's lessons learned every time. I'm not giving them the response they want. I'm giving them the response that will be helpful next time.