I’ve used some good parenting techniques over the years, but you know it is time to reevaluate when the tables turn and the kids use your own method back on you.
I remember really believing in “choice” as a young mom. I got this from my Love and Logic training. For example, “Do you want a pink fork or a green fork to eat with today?” “Do you want to sleep in your crib or in your bed for a nap?” “Do you want to set the table or clear the table?” etc.
The theory behind this is you give them as much choice as possible on issues that don’t matter, so when it becomes necessary for you to make the choice you can say, “I let you make a lot of choices, but this one is mommy’s choice” or something like that. So that the children don’t feel you control them all the time and so when you do control it must be very important.
I remember when Elle was about 4 and she turned the tables on me and gave me a choice. I don’t remember exactly what she said but it was something like this, “Mom, would you like to take me to McDonalds for lunch or would you like to buy me an ice cream cone?” I knew I had just been worked.
Another parenting method that I have been using lately is “Good News/Bad News”. We acknowledge the bad and good of difficult situations. I wrote a post about it here. I feel like “Good News/Bad News” is a great way to acknowledge feelings but then find the good in life.
It is apparently rubbing off on my kids because Croft said to me shortly after Halloween (with a huge smile on her face), “Mom, the good news is I haven’t had any candy today. The bad news is I am going to go eat some right now.” She wasn’t asking me; she was telling me with my own method.
I also believe in asking my kids how they feel about their performance before I jump in and compliment. I want them to know for themselves when they did well, not when someone tells them they did well. I wrote a little about my complimenting theory here. I did a Halloween craft for Elle’s class party. When she got home from school she asked, “Mom, how do you think the craft went today? Were you happy with it?” I recognized my own method right away.
After these three experiences, I realized I gotta be careful what parenting techniques I use because it looks like my kids are smart enough to pick up on them and then turn the tables on me.