When I finally caught on to the old saying of, Don't cry over spilled milk; It changed the way I parented. That was years ago. Children teach us valuable lessons if we allow them to be free to grow into the little people they were born to be. My oldest son will be nineteen soon, and my youngest daughter is six currently. I am raising world changers; Young Kings and Queens that will be influential to their peers. They are strong-minded and not easily persuaded, none of it came easily. Every day I'm faced with a new challenge.
Children will express themselves by disagreeing. Whether it be the dislike of a chosen outfit to wear, or the back and forth bickering from your teenager. When they disagree, you learn big things about the child you are raising. This can only happen if you allow the space for them to have individualities separate from who you want them to display. In principle, don't cry over spilled milk. Parenting has its learning curves. As your children change, how you interact with them will also change.
Every reaction in their life is pivotal to their development. For instance, you have planned a week of activities for your child, the time approaches for them to attend these activities, and you are now faced with a child that has no interest in participating. Now the act of getting your child prepared to attend these activities has shifted into a conflict. Parent is stressed, the child is unhappy, and all of this could have been avoided by considering the opinion of your child.
Simply asking if they have any interest in what you are planning, and/or what their interests are. Especially since the child will be the one participating.
Positive reactions inspire children to respond to life confidently. What works for one child may not work for the other. Because of this, the treatments and interactions with each child will vary. Parenting is a give a take position, where you give what is needed while taking heed to your child's individual opinions and personalities as well.
Let me share a story about my youngest daughter Zoe,
My daughter kept asking me was her cereal "The Remix"
I wasn't getting it at first so I asked her what she meant
She said, Is this kind the fake kind of the real kind?
Well yes, In that case; She was eating the remix lol.
I picked up a box of Store Brand Froot Loops, and she really was not interested in the taste. I'm wondering, where did she come from and how did she know these were the store brand.
I grew up eating King Vitamin and Kix cereal as a child, so I did not think twice about picking up a box of knock-off cereal. Why pay $4.49 for a box of cereal when I can get the same box from Kroger for $2.79; just wasn't making any sense to me.
She wanted cereal that contained fruity loops, and these Loops tasted like fruit too. I'm frugal, and this was a way to save some money.
She then said, "I don't want to waste your money but, I'm scared to say it." I already knew she didn't like the taste of the cereal. Still, I asked, What; you don't want them? My heart is smiling on the inside at this point because I knew she genuinely didn't want to hurt my feelings by saying they were disgusting. That showed compassion and empathy for another person's feelings. She was also aware that if she did not eat them, she would have to throw them away, and in doing so, money would be wasted.
My heart was doing a proud mommy dance. Yes; she may have wasted a bowl of cereal, but she displayed her understanding and ownership of some great qualities. She really is my unicorn child. She was born this way, and so long as she keeps these characteristics, it's hope for the world.
Small actions, but attitudes really are contagious.
Often times as parents we feel the need to control every little aspect of our children's life. From what they wear, to what they watch, what they listen to, and how they speak, not allowing much room for a child to find their own uniqueness. Show them the facts and teach them how to research what's not understood. Educate not to manipulate the development of your child, but to free the mind and the soul of your offspring. Even if that means doing things differently from what you thought you believed and/or how you were raised.
I have learned so much from each of my children on this parental journey and will continue to every day. The lessons in an old cliche' Cleaning Up Spilled Milk; Happily.