Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 22: Flippety Flop

I will choose to find a positive perspective under even the most negative circumstances.
I will choose acceptance over resistance.
I will choose to focus on the things I value about my children, not the things that drive me nuts.
I will choose to extend the same grace, love and forgiveness to myself that I try to lavish on my husband and children each day.

I think if I hear one more contradiction from Jackson I'm going to lose it. He pushes his plate away saying, "I don't want my food." As soon as I comply and take the plate he yells, "I DO want my food!" I let him decide what we were going to do today and he chose the mall. Then as I'm trying to get his coat on: "I don't want to go to the mall!" So I tell him we won't go and start taking the coat off only to be met with: "I DOOOOO want to go the the mall." Aaaaahhhh! 

Sometimes it's a delay tactic, sometimes he's just trying to avoid a step he doesn't want on the way to what he does want (i.e. jacket on to get to the mall), sometimes I think he doesn't know what he wants, and other times I'm pretty sure it's an ingenious plan to drive me out of my mind. And it's working.

I try to give him as many choices as I can through the day so he feels like an active participant in our day - like he is in control of his life instead of life happening to him. Sometimes this makes this easier, sometimes much more difficult. I'm so glad he feels confident to ask for what he wants and make decisions for himself, I just want him to ask for what he actually wants!

I struggle with finding a balance between allowing natural consequence and allowing him to change his mind. I want to honor a genuine change of heart, because we all change our minds sometimes. But I can't allow the back and forth for fun to continue because it's a serious disruption to our day and a serious annoyance that I can't cope with indefinitely. 

I'll look at this as a good opportunity for him to experience natural consequences at low cost. I will give him the same opportunity to make choices, confirm that choice, then follow through with it regardless of the instant cry for the opposite. This won't be easy, because anything that makes him less than happy is hard for me, but it's important to learn these lessons now on a small scale so that I can save him from the big lessons with greater cost later in life. Investing in the future is never simple because it usually makes the present more challenging, but it's always worth the effort. Hopefully he's make the connection quickly and relatively painlessly! 


  1. It must be a developmental stage because we are going through the same thing. And while I have found ways to be calm about most things, the constant back and forth "I want" "I don't want" drives me insane.

    Truman also will announce what he wants and when I peacefully explain over and over that he will have it but we have to get there first, or I have to make it first, etc. he just keeps saying he wants it.

    Or if I tell him something he doesn't want to hear he just keeps saying "huh?" I told Joe if I didn't know that he can hear the most minute far-off sounds I would think he might have a hearing problem.

    Looks like maybe I need to post about this, too ;)

    I like your idea. I am going to consider it. For the most part that is what we have done, but only with certain things. Perhaps doing it with everything would help him.

  2. We escaped that phase twice already. Lucky us ! Maybe we'll discover it with baby#3... But we definitely had the deaf phase Brooke is talking about in the comment above, with child#1, to the point that I took an appointement with the doctor to have his ears tested...

  3. I've been spared the deaf phase so far :) The repetition is starting in big time. He's working up to the Stewie Griffin routine I think: