Formerly in my mind, there were two types of moms. Good moms, and moms who let their kids chew on the car keys in the grocery store line. If you have ever been one of the latter, I apologize for judging you. Oh, how I judged you.
It was so simple then. Dude. Get the keys out of that kid’s mouth. Who cares if he freaks out. HeLLLLOOOO, GERMS!!!!
I have since learned – or rather, felt – the pitiful, carnal, desperate fear of being “the mom with the screaming kid.” NO ONE wants to be that mom, whether they are merely petty and immature, weak and submissive, or prideful and haughty (like me). We all have our reasons. Simply put, I am trying to be consistent. If eating car keys is yucky in the living room at home, well darn it, it’s yucky during the prayer at church or, yes, while there are three people standing behind me in line and one impatient cashier watching me search for the missing coupon for the waffles. Come what may, I am trying to be consistent.
And I’ll need it. I’ve heard that Dr. James Dobson states in the book The Strong Willed Child that 75% of kids are “strong-willed children.” This is a fancy way of saying if you take the car keys out of these kids’ mouths, it doesn’t matter if they were getting bored anyway, or how decisively you say “no,” or how quickly you can insert a stuffed giraffe in their place – they will scream BLOODY MURDER, simply because their will has been foiled. He doesn’t address the scenario of a strong-willed mom having a strong-willed child, but that makes things doubly interesting. It’s oh-so-tempting to want to “win” the battle of the pureed sweet potatoes, but sometimes, I am learning, winning is losing. This is what my mom is teaching me. If it’s not important, don’t make it important. Some kids love hearing “no.” So even though saying it comes as natural to me as breathing, eating french fries, and straightening pictures that are crooked on the wall, I try to resist. We are early in this game, but I have had a few victories. I’m thinking I probably better get my hands on that book sometime soon, though. 🙂