If you’ve read the last few posts, I’m guessing you already know the protagonist to this story. If you guessed it was my 7 year old, you’re right on the money. This child is like me in so many ways and I worry sometimes but it can also be a blessing because I know what makes her tick, let’s hope she doesn’t prove me wrong, at least not yet.
Like any normal (I hope) mother/daughter relationship, we have our arguments. No one wants to give in. For example, the other day I was getting her dressed.
“Your hair is beginning to look untidy, so I’m just going to pack it up in a bun.” I said.
“No, I don’t want it in a bun, “she shot at me. “I want it down. Or in two parts.”
“No, not a good idea. A bun is better.” I pulled her plaits together into a bun.
“No!” she said, reaching for the hair band. She was going to yank it off.
“If you take it off, you’re in big trouble.”
“Fine, I’ll take it off later then.”
“Eh hen, okay.” And then I unleashed the one phrase in my arsenal guaranteed to make her do what I want. “Go ahead. Do whatever you want. It’s your hair.” Then I walked out.
When I got back from work I asked her if she had taken the headband off. Apparently, she had left it on till the end of the day. I nodded, pleased with myself.
This is not an isolated event; this phrase has always worked with her. Sometimes she runs after me crying, “No mummy, I’m sorry. I don’t want to do what I want.” The first time it happened, I was like “Whaaaaattt?” I had stumbled onto a goldmine.
A word of caution, this will not work all the time. I doubt that it will ever work on my 4yro. I’ve tried, she’s like “Yes, I’ll do what I want.” Like, get out of here woman, what was I trying to do in the first place.
I might be wrong but here’s why I think my 7yro hates being told to “do what she wants”.
Sometimes, just doing what you want is hard. It’s easier for someone to tell you what to do or to be rebellious but to be handed the permission is like saying, “I’m washing my hands off this situation. Anything that happens as a result of your disobedience is on all you and you can’t come running to me when it goes wrong.
I’m not looking forward to the day she’ll eventually wake up to my strategy or call my bluff but until then:-)
Image Copyright: kmiragaya / 123RF Stock Photo