This is probably only worth reading if you have a child but I wanted to share a parenting victory I had tonight with Aliana while Lilly was working late.
When we got home from daycare (school) I broke down a rotisserie chicken I picked up with Aliana and made a pot of rice (yes, I can make a seasoned pot of rice on the stove). While I was tearing it apart I asked Ali if she wanted some chicken to which she replied,
“No dad, no chicken. I want bar (Earth’s Best). I want cone (sugar cone). I want a orange. I want fishies (Goldfish crackers).”
I told her no, it was time for dinner, and chicken and rice is for dinner. She wasn’t thrilled, she’s never thrilled with dinner time. I don’t think it’s the food, I think it’s just the word, dinner.
Then she got louder (because that’s effective right?), “No Dad! No dinner! I want special snack in the living room!”
I ignored her request, then repeated myself. Once her plate was ready I put her in her highchair and after a lot of screaming and squirming, I won (this is not the victory, just a battle). During this process and many others she has recently learned to flat out YELL at me. Her NO’s get progressively louder, “no, No, NO! NOOOOO!!!” Then she yells a deep “AHHHHHHHGG!!!” and does this until she gets thrown, I’m sorry, I mean placed in space. After a few times of yelling a verbal warning from me, she took space as expected. I slid her chair to a corner in the kitchen and told her to let me know when she was done. After about a minute went by I asked her if she was done.
“No,” she replied.
“Okay, you let me know,” I said.
After about another minute I walked over and, face-to-face, asked if she was done and wanted to come back to the table with Daddy. I told her that I really wanted her to join me for dinner. She still muttered a “no, no dinner,” but then I told her if she took one bite that she could get out of her highchair. She agreed with a smile and took her bite of chicken. I asked her if it was good, she said yes. Go figure, chicken being good. I asked her if she wanted more, she said yes, and so she joined me at the table and happily ate her chicken and rice with Daddy. We had a great talk and enjoyed each others company.
The notable thing here is even though I was 100% annoyed/frustrated by her resistance to dinner, chicken, rice and even the fresh Poland Spring water I put in her sippy cup, I didn’t let her know how I was feeling as I have previous times. I didn’t once get loud or even a little loud. I spoke calmly, quietly, and followed through on everything I said. This really set the tone for the rest of the evening. She has been happy and playful since dinner and was super excited when mommy came home. That, I call a VICTORY.