As a mother, you fight many battles on many fronts- daily. Here is a list of the battles not worth fighting and a comprehensive way to pick your battles with toddlers.
You need to pick your battles with toddlers.
The truth is, there are some battles simply not worth fighting.
We’ve touched on some battles worth fighting and now I want to focus on some things not worth fighting over.
Three years ago I wouldn’t have even been able to begin thinking about writing something like this. I am naturally high-strung and uptight.
My way or the highway…
I like to think I am getting better. Nut still sometimes… the idea of letting some things go in a way that I don’t really like, well, it’s hard.
Kids have a way of softening our hard edges, don’t they?
While there are many things we don’t let slide in our home, we are learning that sometimes letting things slide is okay. In fact, sometimes it’s the right thing to do. Here are some areas where it’s good to pick your battles with toddlers:
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Some kids really care about what they wear… and they have big opinions.
My daughter would have meltdowns if she couldn’t wear the specific shoes she liked.
Eventually I let her “win” these because I realized this wasn’t a matter of her being defiant. She was just trying to express her opinion and tastes.
When we go to church where we’ll see many people I will pick our her clothes, or give her a choice between dresses. But, during the week when we’re at home or not doing anything special, why can’t she just wear what she wants?
Answer: She can!
So what if it’s not matching and is half Spiderman half ballerina? Would it even be so bad to take her to the grocery store like that?
Previously I would have said absolutely it is not good. Now, well… I’m not so sure I even have the energy to worry if she’s wearing a brown belt with black shoes, if you now what I mean. It’s not worth the battle.
Pick Your Battles with Toddlers When it Comes to Their Creative Ideas
For a while my daughter only wanted to color with a black crayon. I was getting a little worried, you know, that she was turning emo. Or… that she was upset or depressed.
Then I realized she liked it because it made the biggest difference and was the “brightest.” Not my version of bright, but I get what she means.
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Let those creative ideas flourish…
- If children play games that make no sense, let them.
- Do they want to use their imagination in silly ways that you can’t quite understand? It’s an intrigue part of child play and growth.
- If they want to color and do crafts without really producing a work (to your standard) of art… let it be.
Your children will turn out like you in many ways, but they are different people.
If we attempt to stifle their creativity or its expression just because we don’t like it, it’s irritating, or it seems weird then we’ll be communicating a message to our children that we aren’t really okay with them.
Arguing Over Cold Hard Facts
You know how it goes. “Let’s put your jacket on, it’s cold outside.”
“No, it’s not cold. It’s hot.”
Meanwhile, it’s 32 degrees outside with frost on the ground. Isn’t there a compulsion to argue some rational thinking into our children?
I learned with mine the best way to approach this is to say the truth once then not to engage. Arguing just isn’t on the table.
When given the opportunity to argue, kids can be relentless.
“No, it’s not cold. Mommy, it’s not cold is it? It’s hot, I don’t want to wear a jacket.”
The other day I heard my husband trying to tell her something true while she was arguing about something ridiculous. Like, “no the sky is not blue, it’s pink.” They went back and forth for quite a while before I suggested he just make her do what he wanted and not to engage in the argument.
He also found that was much more effective.
Forming Their Opinions
I suppose I thought I’d have little mini children similar to me and my personality. I’m a redhead and as of right now, I have three blonde children.
Our children will be different…
- They won’t think just like us
- No matter what we do, they won’t love all the things we love
- Nor will they necessarily want to do what we do
- It’s ok that they are different.
- If we attempt to argue with our children to convince them that our opinions are the only way, eventually we will lose their respect and our connection.
- This behavior will either drive them to tell us what they know we want to hear
- Or, they’ll feel inadequate because we don’t think they measure up
Don’t get me wrong… we should share our values, beliefs, thoughts, opinions, facts and our life experiences.
We should answer questions they ask. It’s important to ask questions to get them thinking. Then, when they have thought and still don’t see the world like us, well, we know we’ve raised individuals.
Pick Your Battles with Toddlers
Each mother has her own triggers… some things will be worth a fight to us and not to another mother, and vice versa.
The key is to determine what battles you’re willing to fight and what battles you aren’t. Then, stick with it.
Think of it this way:
Your mental and emotional capacity is your “army.” You won’t enter into battle at every turn, particularly when some of the battles you are bound to lose.
By engaging in too many battles you will lose your men. The more men you lose, the less likely you’ll be able to come out victorious.
50+ Connection Questions
Pull out these fun questions to share some laughs with your precious ones. Use them out at meal times, car rides, or any time the day is getting chaotic and you need a reset to connect.
When you use up your mental and emotional energy fighting daily battles with your children that don’t get you anywhere, pretty soon you won’t have much left.