By Allie, Shine SLP
The relationship with your child can often feel like being in a constant state of negotiation.
You may feel you are always saying “no” or “we have to do it this way.” Deep down, we all really want less conflict and more connection. When your toddler refuses to wear those socks with his shoes, and you want to make him wear them, start asking yourself “why?”. Additionally, “could the socks be bugging him? Why do I need him to do this? Often we are parenting out of fear. Is it really a big deal? Are we just conforming to what society wants or are we letting our children be comfortable and express themselves authentically?
Of course, there are “rules” that society has evolved to. The friend pictured above really wanted to do therapy in his diaper. I explained to him, the best I could, “we are in a place where others play so our clothes have to stay on” and he seemed to understand. It is challenging (and beautiful) that toddlers are so in the moment. He saw there was no one else around and he was with a familiar and safe person. We compromised that he could let one shoulder out and that was that. Before I jumped to an authoritative state, I simply paused and thought of the next best solution.
Common Myths we can bust right here:
-your child cannot be spoiled
-the aren’t manipulating you or “have you wrapped around their finger”
-they won’t expect it all of the time and if they do, is that a problem?
-he will be perceived as a baby…childhood is short, let them be little!
-they need to learn to toughen up- “this is how the world works”- our children can change the world, and that starts with us!
Life is too short. Let them wear the mismatched outfits. Let them bring their blanket to school. Enjoy the brief window of childhood! As a parent, this allows you to enjoy the freedom of choice as well and experience the world through their eyes. It’s a big world out there to enjoy!