I have a firm policy, I will not negotiate with terrorists. The minute, or rather seconds, tears and carrying on starts (i.e. a temper tantrum) I will no longer negotiate common terms. I am immediately standing my ground all cost. And usually the cost is all mine, but it is a philosophy that I wholeheartedly support.
There are a lot of things in parenting that I think I may do wrong. Every step leading up to that temper tantrum I may mishandle. But there is one thing I feel extremely confident in (mostly because I was raised with this belief) and that is when you whine or carry on it is an automatic no! Perhaps those of whom that think a piece of cake is just in fact a piece of cake, pushing the elevator button is just pushing the elevator button or walking around carrying your food while you play is just yadda yadda, are terribly mistaken. I feel very strongly (if you can’t tell) that this only leads to adults who have the same problem hearing the word no. Maybe the world would be a better place if their parents stood their ground when they were four years old.
Now I may have come across as a rigid, tightly wound, female dog of a mother (which may be exactly what I am) but I am willing to work with almost anything. I can most definitely compromise and allow an alternative dessert, waiting for the elevator to pass in order to be the first button pusher, or walking around eating a cracker while playing. However once a fireworks display of tears come into the picture, once words are elevated to a piercing scream and limbs are thrashing everyone, all negotiations are suspended.
Some would say that is fair. Others might not. And to them I say good luck during the high school years. Good luck when the problems start to involve cars, opposite sex get togethers and alcohol. Today while at the gym day care one of the “teachers” who frequently deals with my little monster Gabby said that she would trade for her three children to be my kids’ ages. She explained that if I thought these years were hard, just wait until the teenage ones. By no means do I expect to get off scott free during the teenage years, nor am I positive that there is a direct correlation with standing your ground to a 2/4 year old will have any standing with the teenager they become. I do, however, expect my children to learn over the years that we will engage in open communication until someone mishandles the situation in which time the conversation is suspended until they can calm down to properly articulate themselves. And that lesson is what I hope they learn by my unwillingness to negotiate with terrorists 🙂