So, I know that all mom’s have been there. You tell your child 20 times to do something and they don’t but when you finally break down and raise your voice they don’t understand why in the world you are yelling. If you haven’t been there because your child(ren) are too young, just wait, you will be. I never wanted to be that mom who just yelled all the time. I wanted to be that ‘happy all the time’, ‘always cheerful’, ‘help out wherever they need’, ‘yeah, let’s be best friends’ type mom. There are days that I am that mom, that they allow me to be that mom. However, I have come to realize when they are young and learning to be independent, you can’t always be their best friend. When I say that I am not referring to the ‘you can never come to me with your problems’ aspect. I am referring to the ‘they need to learn to be independent and responsible’ aspect. There are times when my 6 year old breaks my heart but I know in the long run she will thank me and be grateful for the lessons she has learned.
This past week my husband couldn’t make it home early to take Derik to basketball so as I am sending the rest of my daycare kids home I am also packing up the car to get him to basketball, which started at 5:30. At 5:10 I started telling Mikayla to get her shoes on, she nods her head while messing with her headphone cord. 5:15 still no shoes, again Mikayla put your shoes on, her response, “ok mom just a second”. 5:20 she is still messing around with her headphones and still no shoes on. I grab the headphones, she starts screaming and crying because she needs the headphones so she wont be bored at basketball. I told her again to put on her shoes as I am walking out the door. She screams LOUDER (still not putting her shoes on). Ok, I am sure our neighbors are loving us right now. I start backing out of the garage and she comes running with her shoes (finally on) yelling for me to stop. Mind you, I didn’t even have my car all the way out of the garage so I didn’t go far. Once she is in the car and we are on our way she starts telling me how mean I am and that she was just trying to fix her headphones (which she didn’t even use by the way). I asked her why she thought I was mean and her response was “because you didn’t put my shoes on, I didn’t know where they were and you were going to leave me”. Whoa! Excuse me!? You are 6 almost 7. So I explained to her that she needs to take responsibility for herself. It is not my job to find and put her shoes on her feet. Her shoes were right by the door, right where they belong. I told her that I gave her plenty of time to put her shoes on before we had to leave so she wouldn’t be rushed but she chose not to listen. As far as me leaving, I told her that I was never going to leave her but me talking to her wasn’t getting her attention so I needed a drastic move to get it. And it worked. As for every day since then, when I tell her to put her shoes on she drops whatever it was that she was doing and puts them on.
My method might sound mean and harsh for your household. Every home is different. My children are both very strong headed and stubborn, just like me. They need to see the consequences in order for them to decide if it is really worth it to ignore something mom and dad say. As for this situation, I was never going to leave her, I knew right were her shoes were and that once she heard the car she would be right out the door.