I was reading a magazine at the gym (the only time I ever actually get to read one is on an elliptical) and came across a little parenting gem. Parenting interviewed James Mardsen and asked him the best piece of parenting advice he’d ever gotten. His reply, “Be a united front as a mother and father, even if you disagree.”
So. VERY. True!
It does not take long, not very long at all, for kids to try and pit parents against each other. One parent says no and run, run as fast as you can, to the other to try and get a yes. Thankfully, we live in a very small condo, so for the most part, if my son asks my husband for something I usually hear the whole conversation so when he comes to me I can just repeat what his dad said. Every once in a while, the little sucker still gets us though. He’s to sneaky and too smart. Sure he may not consciously realize at four what he is doing, he just wants something and is quite persistent and creative about trying to get it, but soon he will know exactly what he is doing so all this now is just practice for good old mom and dad.
This morning the little dude decided he wanted milk, with vanilla of course. Not wanting to give him a sugary drink right away I told him he had to have water first. This did not go over well. He then asks for juice, whines some and cries a little about not getting milk and REALLY not wanting water. He then proceeds to ask me for the phone. I wasn’t born yesterday, so I deduce he’s wanting to call his dad at work and get HIM to say he can have the milk. Really?? Once he’s distracted by something else, I call dad and tell him what’s going on and he and I are on the same page, if not the same sentence. In fact, the very same word. This does not go over well with the boy. However, since we were united he sucked up his fate and drank the water. Never even asked me for the milk after. Didn’t give him that till lunch time.
Kids don’t know any better. They are always learning and pushing boundaries and testing limits. They need to know how their world works and do so often in the most infuriating ways. Usually when I’m being driven to the point of insanity I have to force myself to STOP, and realize that my son needs to learn something. Once I teach him that, maybe 50 times, maybe more, then there will be something else he needs to learn. But he is after all just a kid. Who really wants to make he happy. He just doesn’t always know how.