Toddle Along Tuesday | 09/25/12

This week's Toddle Along Tuesday centers around things we find ourselves saying as moms.

To be honest, I don't really have the words right now. I don't have some fancy or entertaining post prepared.

Because my days seem to be filled with "Stop," "Careful," "No," "See, I told you you would get hurt." And "Please?" Which often lead to an unhappy child. And even moreso, an unhappy Mom.

Probably because most of our days are filled with this, on every bed, couch, surface, table, home and in public-

Which of course, he can't do everywhere. Again, leading to an unhappy child.

I've been trying to change this, ever since my husband brought up an example from a book he read called "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. Here's a little excerpt-
Make people happier by acknowledging that they’re not feeling happy.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong. I had no idea how often I contradicted other people’s assertions of their feelings until I tried to quit. “You always have fun when we go.” “You should be thrilled, this is great news.” “It won’t be that much work.”
I had the opportunity to put this resolution into action just yesterday, over a minor issue that could nevertheless have turned into a big pain. We’ve had a lot of snow here in New York City, and I wanted my younger daughter to wear her snow boots to school, but she wanted to wear sneakers. (Why do children always resist wearing appropriate gear?) I could tell by the warning signs that she was on the brink of getting very riled up. Without this resolution, I would have answered her protests with a stream of contradictions: “The boots aren’t uncomfortable,” “You’ve worn them before, and they felt fine,” etc. Instead, the conversation went like this:
“I don’t want to wear those boots. They don’t feel comfortable.”
“It’s wet and snowy out, so you need to wear the boots, but you’d rather not.”
“I don’t want to wear the boots.”
“You wish you could wear your sneakers.”
“I don’t want to take my sneakers in a bag, I want to wear them.”
“You just don’t feel like wearing these boots today! They aren’t as comfortable to wear for the long walk to school.”
Then she calmly put on the boots. Really.
Experts say that denying bad feelings intensifies them; acknowledging bad feelings allows good feelings to return. That sure seemed to be what happened. Also, on my side, it’s much more pleasant to feel calm, agreeable, and understanding.

Sometimes, on the brink of a meltdown or even during one, I deny my son's feelings. "No" is followed by another "No" followed by a "Stop" and a "See, I told you you would get hurt."

But I sometimes have to take a step back and look at the situation. Why am I saying No? Why do I want him to stop? And that's when the bulb goes off and I realize that sometimes I deny his feelings because I just don't want to deal with it in the moment.

It's okay to say No. But when No means, Mommy doesn't want to watch you do that right now, therein lies the rub.

So instead, like the million of other lessons I'm learning as a parent, I'm learning to speak more positively. I'm also learning to accept myself saying No, when No really has meaning. Even if that means accepting my son is unhappy at the moment.

But of course, the "No's" will never add up to the amount of times I say "I Love You'" in one day.



  1. Your video is adorable! I completely agree with this method, because it's logical. I began handling my little one's "almost meltdowns" the same way and it works for us most of the time. I just asked myself, "How would I want to be treated if I was upset over the same thing?" and I work with that. The whole concept of "put yourself in someone else's shoes" (lol--your post is really about this), is completely applicable to a lot of situations.

    Some days, though, we are just tired/rushed and it's hard to bargain... this is true for both ourselves and our children. There will always be "Mommy guilt," but like you said, the "No's" will never outnumber the I Love You's :)♥

    Lovely post ♥

    ps: My little one always takes his shoes off in the car--in between every stop lol. Kids & shoes: an age-old battle. :)

  2. She could just wear a snow boot on one foot and a sneaker on the other foot.