Parenting: Choose Your Battles Wisely
June 23, 2008 · Print This Article
When I comes to kids, you have to choose your battles wisely. Such was the case this week-end, while I was tending my 4 year old grandson Randall. I was reminded about which battles are important and which are not.
Snip! It only take a few seconds and the hair is gone. Randall cut his own hair… right in the front… in the middle of his forehead.
“Yikes! What’s his mom going to say… and on my watch?”
Of course, I went tearing into the family room yelling like a banshee.
“Nana… It’s Glade’s fault, he left the scissors on the floor,” Randall explained. (Glade is Randall’s older brother.)
After loudly explaining to him that no one should cut his hair except Kayalani, his fantastic hair dresser, he retreated to the corner of the couch with his head down.
After a moment of getting myself together and remembering that his mother did the same thing at the age of 4… and also remembering that I cut my own hair about the same age… I sat down by him, put my arms around him and give him a big kiss on the top of this sweet head.
Several hours later, Randall came running into the kitchen holding a lock of the remaining hair. “Look Nana, I think it grew back.”
When his mom came to pick up the kids, Randall ran out to greet her. She took one look at him and said, “Well, it looks like you have a new hair cut.” With a proud grin on his face, Randall replied, “I did it myself.”
She looked at me and said, “After 4 kids, you learn not to take these things too seriously.”
“Oh… I forgot,” I thought to myself.
What my daughter, Emily, reminded me of today is: Parents have to choose their battles. They have to learn not to over-react to those things that aren’t life threatening, spiritually devastating, or emotionally crippling.
I know that children around the ages of 3 and 4 do not understand consequences. That’s why they sometimes repeat the same behaviors over and over again. They truly forget or they don’t understand. In addition, they don’t have the mental development to see that things are not magically fixed.
“I think it grew back.”
When they left to go home, Randall called out, “I love you Nana.”
All is well in my world!
P.P.S. Kayalani rewarded him with a touch of green gel… Life is good!