So I have two toddlers, boys to be precise. They are ninja turtles!
But what I have come to learn about raising toddlers is picking my battles. I epically fail 60% of the time, but I try. I promise you!
I find myself judging myself for how loud I just shouted or how many times I just repeated the same sentence and no one is bothering with me. (My husband has become so accustomed to this that he literally is immune to my repetitions that used to annoy him at first). But my boys are warriors. I say this because there never seems to be an end to anything… I even struggle to imagine them in bed and passed out at the end of a day because of how mad the house gets when they return from school. There’s the shouting, jumping, climbing up stair rails (yes they do that too…) and ummm… the list is pretty much endless. No matter how much I shout “Stop it” or “Mikaili, come here” or even “Morgan, get off there!”
It honestly kind of drifts off into the windy passages of our home and onto tiny deaf ears.
Between dealing with temper tantrum or fits of miserable weeping, I have read all toddler manuals. I’ve watched tons of episodes and reruns of Supernanny, there is honestly no one discipline technique to it.
When I am faced worst mental, psychological and physical creativity (read madness) from my little negotiators, backing down is always tempting. Especially when we’ve kind of head butted 50 times before bed time and another 100 times before getting out the house in the morning over lord knows what.
So I’ve decided, it’s time I picked my battles with these two dudes.
I think it’s okay to let them have their way sometimes. It kind of gives them this sense of control with little boundaries attached. But here is where I have drawn battle lines and where I am willing to compromise:
- Health & Safety
You will put on your seatbelt in my car.
When getting out the car in a mall or busy area or road you will go to the front of the car and put your hand on the light (Its like the meeting place before we head to where we’re going). I’ve found that whilst unstrapping Morgan, Mikaili’s drifting off chasing butterflies, so I’ve made the headlight our meeting spot, when I unstrap Mikaili he has to go touch and hold onto the front light of mommy’s car.
If there is an issue that compromises their health and safety, I will screech and be the insane mom at the mall or at home. Best believe.
- Fashion and dress code
Listen, we are on ‘We dress ourselves’ terms right now. So this is not a battle I’m going to any time soon if ever. So those crocs Morgan wears EVERYDAY ne… Either I need to make them disappear or they need to outgrow him. Whoever gifted them to him will be side-eyed by me for the next couple of months until they’re small.
Mikaili and his obsession with tardy and torn track pants… I rest my case.
- Diet and Food
This is a battle I feel we’ve lost a while ago and we’re slowly worming our way to balance. On the one hand Mikaili only wants to eat noodles whilst Morgan only wants to eat Pap and anything that goes with it. On most days it’s ching chong cha to decide what we’re eating, on others, we literally cook two separate dishes to accommodate everyone (two toddlers) needs. Sigh
Battle lines are still drawn here!
I’m so big on manners! I insist on please and thank you’s in our home. If you don’t have manners, you can’t be human. Politeness for me is an absolute non-negotiable. But I would never force them to hug or kiss… My boys are very quick on the “yuck” and pulling faces! Covers face
But I feel I need to let them know and teach them that good manners are very necessary.
We’ve generally been good with the routine side of things. For example bedtime is 8pm. My kids insist on seeing the watch hit 8pm and actually seeing an 8 on at least 3 devises before they believe that it’s eight… So trusting! But honestly, they only make it into their beds at 9pm. Then they negotiating and bribery begins for at least another 30 minutes before sleep tackles them.
But generally toddler life is a game of battles played by ear, in my opinion. If it doesn’t kill him or isn’t a hazard, I honestly don’t fuss so much anymore. I just take a step back think towards their future with the mind-set of “will he end up with broken limbs, a broken spirit or mindless and senseless behavioural patterns?”
If no is the answer to all the above… pfffft! Knock yourselves out, dudes!