I had a very interesting series of events with my 4 year old this morning. I was time to get ready for preschool, which she never puts up a fight to go, but I always insist she ties her hair back so we don’t have to deal with a mess of tearful untangling from a full day of playing. This is not normally a problem as long as I do an “Elsa braid” (which is just her term for a good old fashioned French braid). For some unknown reason I decided I wanted to see her hair in a ponytail, which was NOT an Elsa braid, so I simply braided the ponytail. She was less than impressed and I got told {hysterically, I might add} that I did it WRONG. As a matter of fact, it was so wrong that she started to whine and cry and cry and cry and 20 minutes later she’s still crying and now I’m furious that she’s making such a production {over a god dam ELSA BRAID}!! So, stubborn mama and stubborn daughter have officially locked horns, and I am NOT backing down. Into her bedroom she goes, and cannot come out until she stops crying. I keep saying “ALL you have to do is STOP CRYING and I’ll let you out!!” Eventually she did stop, she sniffled and hugged me and said sorry… but then with huge tear soaked eyes she says, “please don’t lock me up again.” (OK, I KNOW THAT SOUNDS BAD, but I don’t “lock her up”, I just put a gate in front of her door so she can’t get out… so it’s like being locked IN, maybe, but not locked up.) It’s almost admirable how she can play mind games with me already, and it works! I felt bad all day long. I was thinking “I’m going to stop at the dollar store and let her pick out a toy today!”


I’m going to what!?? And FOR what?? I’m going to reward her so I feel better about “locking her up.” She didn’t ask for a trip to the dollar store, I just decided in my mind that we would do that because really, it means I’ll feel better about myself. I’ve tried to take some time today to ponder the series of events. She made a simple request, she wanted an Elsa braid, I gave her, GOSH, I don’t know, sounds like I gave her a Shrek braid, and she was pissed. I can’t help but think that the line should have been drawn after she flipped out, I should have shut that production down, but I didn’t! I kept up the battle FOR ME. I felt like I should have been listened to, and I should be taken seriously, and I am the mom so YOU listen to ME, not the other way around. The truth is, she probably felt the exact same way and is fighting for the same reason. Like I didn’t listen to her. Like she should be taken seriously. Like I should have listened to HER. The DIFFERENCE is that she doesn’t actually have the ability to make decisions the way I do. She can decide on something and want it and fight for it just the same as I can, but she can’t think it all the way through because little minds aren’t developed that way yet.

Now I am not trying to shift blame or give excuses for her behaviour, but I do want to shed light onto the fact that this whole thing was my choice.

It was a huge fight, and I’m pretty sure the daycare thinks I beat her before I dropped her off, all over a silly hair style. What I forgot to realize is that when I said I had to do her hair and she said “OK do an Elsa braid”, I had already won! She was happy to let me do it, she just wanted me to do it a certain way. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of my goal, which is just to have her hair up for preschool to avoid FIGHTING in the first place.

I took a pit stop.

The key to finding the difference in the two is to take a break from thinking about how it will affect your ego, and take a minute to realize how this decision will affect your goal, or your purpose for doing it in the first place! In most situations, {parenting a toddler is just my example} you make a choice. You choose the way you react, and in turn you choose the outcome. Your thoughts create the way you feel, the way you feel creates action, and action creates results. I thought I needed to “be the boss”, I felt angry and frustrated, my action was to “lock up” my daughter until she listened, and the result was she said sorry… but the cycle continued. I thought I won, but I FELT bad. My immediate action was to buy her something, which would have resulted in me feeling better, but it did absolutely nothing for my goal. If I had taken a moment, I would have thought about being able to walk out the door WITHOUT a fight, which was the goal! That’s not about my ego, that’s about my purpose.

Thinking creates feelings, feelings create action, action creates result.

Thank you tiny 4 year old, for reminding me of that today.