This afternoon when I put my toddler in two minutes of time-out (he threw a toy across the room), he decided to try out some new tactics.
The first 30 seconds he spent yelling, "But I love you Mommy! I love you!"
I ignored him.
Realizing that wasn't going to work, he switched tactics and began yelling, "I don't love you! I don't love you!"
I ignored him.
So, he saw the need to try yet another tactic. His sister had just minutes earlier gotten some attention for complaining that her leg hurt. So for his final 45 seconds in time-out he yelled, "My leg hurts! My leg hurts!"
Only in my mind did I commend his efforts!
Then there is my 4 year old daughter who has for the last several weeks been trying out a new, totally different tactic of her own.
It is the loud-and-dramatic-crying-when-she-doesn't-get-her-way tactic. She began using it on her brothers. I remember the first few times those boys were so surprised at her pitiful crying that they immediately caved and began going above and beyond to make her happy again.
But, by about the 5th or 6th time, both her big brother and her little brother didn't seem as phased by her crying outbursts. I suppose boys without sisters have to wait until they are dating to learn that girls sometimes try to control people with their tears!
Then she tried it on me.
I ignored her until the crying went on for an annoying amount of time (I think I max out around 6 or 7 minutes). And then I told her that I'd be glad to talk to her about why she was upset when she was calm, but if she still needed to cry she'd have to go to her room because it was hurting my ears. When she realized I wasn't going to cave to the tears, she quit.
I love the moments in parenting when your kids are so transparent you can see exactly what is going through their heads and you know just how to handle it. Sometimes those moments feel really rare and I am just frustrated by their behavior and at a loss as to how to handle it, so I am thankful for the times I clearly see it and for the laughs my husband and I can have at their expense after they've gone to bed!
This post is part of the Moms' 30-Minute Blog Challenge.
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