So if I were computer literate enough, I’d be able to link to the post I wrote last month entitled “The Devil Wears OshKosh” – but I can’t, so you’ll have to look for it and read it if you haven’t already done so.

In that post, I described a meltdown my son had one night and talked briefly about how perhaps watching too much TV or eating candy may have had something to do with the meltdown. I received a comment on that post just today – and I’ve been thinking about the comment all day. Here it is:

“In these situations, you may want to consider a few things. What kind of message are you sending your little one by physically carrying him up to his bath? What really would have happened if he did not take a bath? You seem to be setting up a power struggle which almost invites a temper tantrum. The key is to remain casual.
Also, by making certain things the “forbidden, limited fruit” you make them that much more appealing,i.e., television and candy. There are no battles over something that parents aren’t controlling. We have free access to candy in this house, but we also have alot of vegetables. And no, my toddler doesn’t eat it all day long. There’s nothing “special” about it.”

This comment struck a chord with me. Did she have a point? Should I give her suggestion regarding the candy a try?

I thought about it all day. During work. During lunch. While swimming with V tonight. And I came to the same conclusion each time. That conclusion? What may work perfectly well for this woman’s family won’t fly with mine. Why? Because candy would be all he would eat. And if I’m completely honest with myself, I’d eat way too much of it myself. We rarely have candy in our house, so there’s typically nothing to struggle over to begin with. I don’t consider it a “forbidden, limited fruit” – I prefer to consider it a reward, or a special treat. I’ve never met anyone that allows his/her toddler free access to candy. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging – I’m simply saying that it’s nothing I’ve ever seen before – which is probably why her comments/suggestions/thoughts have stuck with me all day.

As for the message I’m sending my son by carrying him up to his bath when he doesn’t want to take one? Well, it’s pretty simple. I’m the parent. He’s the child. Sometimes he’ll have to do things he doesn’t want to do because I say so. That’s how it works in the real world, so I guess it’s not too early to start teaching him now.

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