It’s 10am, you find yourself in need of milk, a new pair of sunglasses, and a scented candle. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? This is an inner dialogue, I have to be thinking what you’re thinking… It’s Target time! You find a parking spot next to the cart corral. You find one of those new shopping carts that doesn’t drag to the left. You are on FIRE. Junior begs to go to the Toy Section, you reluctantly oblige.
And then, your worst nightmare. Junior finds a fire truck with a retracting ladder. It lights up. It’s huge. It’s shiny. It’s perfect. You nervously laugh as he attempts to put the Fire Truck into the cart.
The Options as you see it:
If you say no, prepare for the temper tantrum. It will be loud, people will stare. Your kid will sustain a mild injury flailing around. Nothing serious but there might be blood involved. Do I have band aids? You make a mental note to get band aids.
Afraid of being that mom, you reconsider. Suddenly images of your overcrowded play room flash before your eyes. You can hear its siren going off in the middle of the night sending the dog into a barking fit, waking the kids. Completely freaking you out. No, no… You can NOT take this Fire Truck home.
So what is a Mom to do? Think fast! You call upon the techniques you just learned in:
How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7, and channel your inner toddler whisperer to:
Validate His Feelings:
“Whoa Buddy, What a Cool Toy! You want this Fire Truck. Well, I want this garbage truck!” He looks at you with his bright shining eyes and nods. High five, Mama. You just related to your kid.
Fantasize about giving him everything he wants:
“I wish we could have all these toys.” You spread your arms wide as if to suggest you would scoop every last truck and motorcycle into the cart to make him happy. And you would. But, you know he loses interest as soon as the toy is home. This kid just likes the chase.
Write it down/draw it on a paper:
You don’t have any paper and won’t buy it to test this tip. You think fast, grab your phone. “Let’s take a picture so we can show Daddy how cool this Fire Truck is when we get home!”
“Take a picture of this one too, Mama!” Junior says, holding the garbage truck you wanted. Awww.
You quickly take the pictures and change the subject. “Wow, it’s late… I’m getting hungry for lunch,” you say.
“HUNNGRRRYY! Mama’s hungry!” Junior growls. Wait… did he just validate my feelings? It appears the student has become the teacher.
Later when reflecting on your new found mommy ninja skills, you consider that it feels good when someone acknowledges your feelings. Just to make sure you aren’t crazy. Because let’s be honest, sometimes you feel crazy. You ponder the possibility that, just maybe, your little tyke is not too unlike yourself….