Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Stay Determined Parents! It's Hard But Worth It.

Recently as I was leaving a Target store, I saw a mother and her crying preschooler walk out just ahead of me. The little blond-haired boy was clearly upset, yes mad, saying over and over, "I want the gingerbread man, mom, I want the gingerbread man!" He must have said it twenty times in my hearing and kept going until the two of them reached their van in the parking lot.

Even as I walked by their car with the windows rolled up I could still hear him pleading with mom for that cookie.

But to the mom's credit she wasn't yelling or chastising. She had him firmly by the hand as they calmly kept walking out of the store. Her eyes were focused ahead, she said nothing and didn't flinch. The little boy at one point even looked at me perhaps hoping I would go back and get him the gingerbread man. His eyes seemed to say, "Help me, please!"

None of it worked. And in my mind that mom was a model parent at least for that moment.

She had perhaps faced this before. Either way she knew ahead of time what she would do and she was determined that her cute little boy was not going to win that battle. This was probably one of a number of watershed moments she had had and will probably have again that will convince her son that mom means what she says.

Would it have been tempting to give in? You bet. Would she have made a big mistake in doing so? No doubt.  There's nothing wrong of course with a gingerbread man cookie now and then. But when it's demanded and a tantrum ensues no child should ever be given what they want.

Through her determination she was teaching him that his tactics to change her response would not work. I would hope that sometime later she explained to him that there are other ways to both ask for things and to react when you don't get something you want. I would hope that she made it clear that she still loved him no matter what.

But her victorious moment of parenting today during a tough situation should get an A+ and will likely bring her great success down the road plus help her little guy to grow into a respectable, obedient and un-entitled young man someday. How are you doing when it comes to giving in versus your child getting their own way much of the time?

Remember winning a small battle now will likely assist you in winning the bigger war later.

Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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