I have a sensory sensitive child. She is strong willed, a stubborn Hungarian as my dad would have called her. We have battles over many things as our day moves on. I continually have to remind myself not to sweat the small stuff, to be like Elsa and Let it Go, to pick my battles. So when I realized I was arguing about socks about 3 times a day I had an aha moment. What if she didn’t wear socks? Well that’s just what we did. It seems uncomfortable to me but suits her just fine and it’s one less step to getting dressed in a hurried morning.
This made me think about what other needless battles I was fighting as a mom, as an educator, as a professional who worked with kids and behavior. It’s really important with kids who have extra needs to pick your battles. They happen to be really skilled at arguing back. In fact I bet most of these kids are going to be amazing, strong adults and continue to give us grey hairs as parents! So now I ask myself when I’m arguing over anything with kids, how important is it? Who is it important to? What are the consequences if I let it go (positive or negative). Here are a few honest examples in our home:
Matching- well it may not look super nice but for day to day play clothes, do I really care if another parent or adult is feeling judgy about my kids matching abilities, nope not at all. If they have a nice event then I pull the "this time it's my choice card" but otherwise I try to buy my kids bottoms in neutral colors so they can't clash too much:)
Wearing t-shirts in the winter, not dressing for the weather. This is one of life’s ultimate teachable moments. Love and Logic would call it a logical consequence. Kid wears a t-shirt to school and is cold, next day that kid wears long sleeves-voila. Now obviously when we have negative temperatures we have to insist on a bit of protection but a little logical life lesson for my kid-sign me up!
Wearing pjs to the grocery store, hey I kind of do that in the form of sweats, oh well at least we have groceries.
Wearing rain boots without rain, snow boots with no snow, did your child put them on his/herself, you win!
Not eating a meal. 2 out of 3 of my kids skip meals. It used to drive my baby sitters crazy. I realized that they always made up for it in other ways and just eat inconsistently. Plus if they asked for a snack later I would just try to make it more nutritious. Made meal time much more pleasant (of course if your child needs to eat for a medical reason, that’s a different situation.)
These are just a few examples of ways we’ve simplified in my home and intentionally chosen not to get into a power struggle! What have you let go of?