Nanny 911: Pick Your Battles
My philosophy of parenting is prevention rather than cure. So in order to prevent constant friction, parents need to set their own limits and manage their expectations. What does that mean? It means don't pick on every little thing your kids do wrong! Find out what really, really matters to you and let the other stuff go!
Here are three tips for picking your battles:
- Figure out what matters most. The next time you find yourself upset at something your kid did, ask yourself: Is this battle worth fighting? Or as someone once said, "Is this a hill worth dying on?" Maybe the crumbs on the floor and the toothpaste all over the sink aren't worth fighting over, but the toy throwing and TV obsession need to be addressed. If it helps, you can make a list of what you can tolerate and what you can't!
- Refer back to the House Rules. Whatever House Rules you have already established should be reinforced. No ifs, ands or buts about it. Minor infractions that can be part of a larger House Rule should be a battle worth picking. So if one of your House Rules is "No Yelling," then you have a point of reference by telling your child, "I said no yelling. That's against House Rules."
- Let it go. If what your kid is doing isn't breaking a House Rule, and it's something you've decided you can live with, then go ahead and LIVE with it. Don't let the little things—like wet towels on the floor—drive you bonkers. Trust me, I've seen it happen with countless parents; all it adds up to is an unnecessary source of conflict, and it sends your kids mixed messages. Just take a deep breath (and pick up the towels)!
Get more child behavior tips from the Nanny 911 Nannies!