Originally Posted by L&IsMama
I had to make the decision to not let my 3 year old run into an oncoming car, to hold them down to brush teeth every night, and to explain to them why it is not healthy to pick up animal carcasses.
So I suppose we do choose to do things based on the results. I choose to make decisions for my childs well-being that they are not mature enough to make yet.
I agree with the second part and disagree with the first--just because of the "had to"/choice difference.
You didn't *have* to hold your kids down to brush their teeth. You *chose* to do that based on a variety of things--all well intentioned, I'm *certain.* Lots of people CHOOSE not to do that. Maybe it's b/c they don't care about dental health, or they're inattentive parents, or they're willing to sing to make it more agreeable (NOT that you haven't tried that...just an example), or any number of other things that may or may not result in rotted teeth.
But it's a slippery slope, I think, when we get into that, "Well, it HAD to be done," when we're discussing a child getting the short end of a stick.
I know many of us were treated, as children, in ways that were "for our own good." But the relationship betw. us and our parents was damaged in the process.
For me, when I'm entering that "have to" or "for their own good" state of mind, I'm not focused on the moment and the way my child and I are connected in that moment. I'm looking past them and our relationship and focusing on a mindset or an outcome that may never materialize.
Responding to, and meeting, my child's needs is paramount to me. If, for whatever reason, my kids are not coping well in a situation, then I'm going to do something about that. Not just approach it from a perspective that they need to deal with it and consider it a lesson in getting used to life or hardship or whatever. If I took my elderly father to a store and his legs wore out and he was unable to cope with the situation I would do something about that, too.
It doesn't mean that I never take them out. It doesn't mean that they can't or don't handle being in a store the vast majority of the time. But there are times, where I know we have reached the limit and they are expressing that and my *goal* is to respond to them in a way that acknowledges their situation and change it up. And most of the time now, with my 6 and 2.5 yr. olds, it's to ask them to hang with me for another little bit and would they like a drink or to sit in the cart or something like that. They are most accomodating when I ask them for a little bit more. And I'm starting to think it's b/c they're sure that when it's their turn to ask, it's going to come back around. Modelling consideration goes a long way, I've found. "Suck it up" comes around just as easy, I've also found, in some of my not so finer moments.