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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Pretty Please, Mama!

"Oh Mama....I don't wanna go! Pease, Mama! Pease stay!" I hear things like this more and more frequently these days. As some may recall, I have a very polite little pumpkin on my hands. I love it, but recently it has started to make things difficult. So very difficult to resist her precious politeness. How excruciatingly hard it is to NOT give in to her when she asks so very nicely! Give me a tantrum any day, but a sweet little honey saying, "pease mama!" oh knees go weak. Help me!

As a parent, I find myself pulling out my bag of tricks often. The trick and tips I learned while obtaining my degree in Human Development and Family Science with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. Though my studies I found a philosophy that wasn't necessarily how I was raised, but it still spoke to me. I learned techniques for getting a class of pre-school aged children to participate in the classroom activities successfully with few behavior issues. I was given the opportunity to see the power of giving a child respect while fully expecting them to respect others as well. I observed how children thrive on structure, predictability, and consistency. I was able to hone my skills in truly communicating with these young human beings.

As a parent, some 10 years later, it isn't surprising that I have found myself falling back on these techniques and skills. I believe in gentle discipline. I believe in teaching my child to love and respect herself, and those around her. I believe in building her self-esteem, and doing my best to set her up for success. I believe in giving her a predictable schedule, and doing my best to be consistent. I understand that she needs guidance in learning how to deal with her emotions, and I strive to help her learn how to appropriately express those feelings. Raising a child isn't easy, but I am dedicated to fulfilling my promise I made when I delivered her into this world. I will not abandon my post. I will be vigilant no matter the challenges.

Our most recent challenge is one that I assume several parents face. However, it is one that I never saw coming, and it takes "supermom" strength to withstand. It is the battle between the mom and the super sugary sweet politeness monster. Seriously, this monster is a toughie. The toughest so far. I am forced to pull out my big strongest muscles....I must put my heavy foot down. I can not give in to the super powers of a toddler asking NICELY! read it right! ASKING NICELY!!!!!! OH dear lord give me strength to resist.

It often goes like this:

Mama: "Honey, we have to go now!"
Sugar Bear: "Okay mama!"

but sometimes it goes like this:

Mama: "Honey, we have to go now!"
Sugar Bear: "I don't wanna go Mama!"
Mama: "I know you don't baby, but we need to get home!"
Sugar Bear: "Pease, Mama! Pease stay here!" (in a darling voice with hands clasped)
Mama: "Oh honey! I know you are asking nicely, but we still have to go!"
Sugar Bear: "oh pease, Mama!" (even sweeter, and blinking eyes at me)
Mama: )Deep breath....) "I am sorry sweetie. Thank you for asking nicely, but we really have to go!" (with anxiety in my voice)
Sugar Bear: (Shrugs her shoulders forward, gives a little pout, and trudges for the door.)
Mama: (Cries a little on the inside.)

Where do they learn this stuff? How does she know just how to pull those heartstrings? Seriously, it takes everything I have not to give in to those sweet little pleadings. It is the super annoying whining type. It is my tiny little love asking me so nicely to just stay. It literally hurts my heart that I have to stand firm. I do my best to acknowledge her feelings, yet explain my need to not change my mind, but gosh darn still breaks her little heart. I hate that. Give me a tantrum...give me an outburst that makes me roll my eyes and grit my teeth. I can stand firm on those. Those do NOT stir my heart, nor make me at all want to change my mind. Those offer up a battle of the wills that I am prepared for. It is the little angel that makes me shake in my boots. Where do they learn this stuff, and where can I get the superpower to resist it. HELP ME!

It fascinates me that my biggest struggle these days is trying to teach my daughter that even though we want something...and ask so very nicely, it doesn't mean we will always get it. I had prepared myself for teaching her the lesson that throwing a fit will not get you what you want in life, but teaching her that being nice doesn't work either???? That right there blindsided me. Man, this parenting stuff is hard!

5 Live It or Love It:

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Oh, that is so hard.

But you summed up in the last paragraph exactly what I was going to say. At this age (and for how long?!) we are helping our children learn that sometimes things happen that disappoint us. You are doing an amazing job of helping her learn to cope with disappointments in life - but who knew it was so hard on a mama's heart?

Keep up your great work, friend. I love hearing stories from your home.

Laura said...

Oh yeah. I know exactly what you mean. We work so hard at teaching our kids to ask nicely for things and be then when they ARE being nice and polite and we have to say "no" anyway...HARD! So hard.

But yes, that's a lesson they have to learn too. It's just a darn difficult one to have to teach...


Meghan said...

Oh, I don't look forward to having to put my foot down in situations like that. I always thought stuff like this would be so easy... but now I see I was wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

It sounds like you're doing an awesome job, though.

Donetta said...

Oh yes it is.
Have you tried the
"in five minutes..."(before you have to go prime and prep her for a transition)
"I hear what you want and it does matter to me but...this is what we are doing"

Jo Beaufoix said...

Corey this is it.

And the fact she can go on forever with the pleases too.

And her face, those eyes.
That is the first time I ever put a picture of Miss M on there but I felt there was no other way for me to illustrate it.

Oooo the guilt.

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