Sunday, July 10, 2011

When Children Tune Us Out...

I would say knowing how to choose battles with children is the ultimate test of parenting.  When I was in martial arts training, I learned a very important lesson.  My teacher explained that a hard blow occurs to your body, less injury occurs if we bend away (as oppossed to stiffening up).  I have applied this idea to many aspects of my life.  When I was learning to drive a car I learned that if a person is tailgating you, it's better to pull over and let them pass then it is to slam on your brakes and have them ram into you.  The same principle applies-reacting in anger can be detrimental to your well being.
When we apply this principle to raising children its obvious that the more we are rigid, the less we accomplish and therefore create more problems.  This morning my daughter and I got into a full blown battle of the wills because she wanted to get out of her room at 5:30am and my rule is not before 6am.  SO, not being awake enough to problem solve the situation in an effective manner, we ended up in a head to head battle lasting in an hour of arguing (not my proudest mommy moment) but I look at every experience as something to learn from.  What could I have done differently?  Did I do the right thing?  I'm not really sure of the correct answer in this scenerio, but what I do know is that there are times in parenting when you don't have to be "the winner" or prove a point and if you dig your heels in without seeing any other solution than you can often create big problems.
While I feel that being consistant when raising my children is extremely important I realize that sometimes avoiding battles can simply mean talking in a soft voice (while still being assertive) or finding a better time to discuss the situation when anger has subsided.

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