There is a Tonka car carrier filled with matchbox cars on my mantle. Why? you ask. Because on Tuesday I decided I was tired of yelling at my kids, I was tired of make empty threats, and I was tired of not enjoying them (the kids, not the threats.) After bathtime I told G that I would play any game he liked, or watch his fav cartoon, or do a craft alone with him once his cars were picked. Which ever cars were left on the floor at bedtime would be put away and had to be earned back, fair enough, right? Once L was asleep I gave G 1 more reminder about the cars being picked up and my promise of spending to alone time with Mama, then I finished cleaning the kitchen.
I watched him play with several other toys and never go near his car carrier and matchbox cars. I wanted to take his hand and say “Son please pick up your cars so we can cuddle and watch Umizoomi. I don;t want to have to take your cars away.” I resisted the urge and continued with my own chores. As bedtime approached I offer to help him pick, his reply “No, you can go ahead and pick up. I don’t feel like it.” So I broke the Love & Logic rule (I am such a rebel) and reminded him one last time about taking his toys if they were not cleaned up. He just looked at me and kept playing. At this point I was a little annoyed. We started our bedtime routine and read books, all the while I tried not to be bad at him for not picking up like I had ask him too. I picked up his cars and placed them inside the car carrier and parked it on the mantle, right where I knew he would see it in the morning.
When we asked about the truck the next day I informed him that he had to earn it back, as you can imagine it didn’t go over well. He threw an enormous tantrum and I let him do it; this is something I have been meaning to work on. I need to let my kids deal with their own problems and not try to make G’s problems my own. After what seemed like hours he asked again for the truck and I repeated my early comments; and he cried some more. He asked again and this time he asked what he could do to earn them back. I had already decided that he could empty the small trash cans in the bathrooms into the kitchen trash for me. He didn’t like my idea. So today is Friday and the truck is still on the mantle.
What have I learned from this?
- My kid is as stubborn as a mule.
- My kids have too many toys, because he has managed to find other toys to replace his beloved car carrier.
- Sticking to my guns isn’t easy or fun.
- Being a parent means making the right choice not the easy choice.
Yesterday we packed up and headed to the Botanical Gardens to help us forget about Wednesday’s struggles and we had so much fun. No one cried or screamed, no one hit or pinched, we just had fun! And we needed it! When we got home he looked at the truck and said “I guess I need to empty the trash to get it back huh?” No crying or complaining he just shrugged and walked away. I suppose at some point he will decide we wants it bad enough, but until them it will be adding to the decor on my mantle.
Anyone have a great parenting story to share?