parenting–the story of the sunglasses

my daughter loves these… and can I say L-O-V-E-S them! it is really the only thing that she regularly needs for home and the car.

today we ran errands… and the glasses, of course, came along.

lately I have been listening to Parenting with  Love and Logic, yet again. I pull this thing out like every 4 months. Learning how to parent isn’t a one time thing people!

So I suggested A leave her toys and glasses in the car while we went into the first store. since I left it up to her, she chose to bring her glasses in the store. I told her that since she chose to bring them in, they were her responsibility and I wouldn’t hold them. she sure did well keeping them on her person for the first little while… and even got compliments from the clerks there.

we checked out and headed back to the car. we got in and turned out of the parking lot… and then the crying began. she had left her glasses somewhere in the store! couldn’t tell me where and I didn’t remember where… my natural mother was kicking in and I was ready to turn around.

HOWEVER, Love and Logic to the rescue… I realized that I wasn’t approaching this right. If I turned around, I would not only have to unpack us all (screaming baby too) and be 1/2 behind, but she wouldn’t learn anything from that. So I kept driving… instead of taking the problem onto myself, I needed to keep out of it. I couldn’t solve this for her. As she cried for her glasses, my heart broke. I wanted to cry with her. I was genuinely sorry for her, and I made sure to tell her that I was so sorry she was feeling this way. Truly I was!

So I asked her what she thought she needed to do about it and her answer was, “we can see if they have them next time we go with my daddy.” so sweet and so sincere. Of course I would check next time we went… which will be like tomorrow (Hobby Lobby does that to me).  Then she asked to call Mima and tell her about it.

So will she actually learn from this? Love and Logic says that she will.

I am happy to say, the story doesn’t stop here… to Target we went. When she was getting out of the car, she had a toy in her hand. Again I suggested (not told, because that would just cause a power struggle) she leave her toy in the car and didn’t even mention the past episode. She told me, “Don’t worry mom, I won’t loose this one.” So I let her bring it in…

She held onto that thing the WHOLE time! And I am happy to say, the toy made it home. So yes, lesson learned.

*Here is the disclaimer about this parenting lesson- as I started typing this, my heart softened yet again. I started feeling so bad about my choice to not go back and get the sunglasses. Second guessing, I called my mom and asked her if I did the right thing. But she shed light on the situation again- it is painful to watch your children deal with consequences of their choices. But if you step in now, you may always step in. This has been hard… I sort of felt like, if I left something somewhere as an adult, I would have the independence to go back and get the object. As a child, there isn’t that independence to just turn around and go get it… so how rude am I? But for me, I am constantly thinking about the items that I am taking with me and I have learned responsibility. She hasn’t quite learned that yet. I decided that it was better she learn this with a pair of sunglasses now, then with an MP3 player in 5 years.

Hard. Hard. Hard.

**Next disclaimer… just because I used Love and Logic fairly well this time, doesn’t mean I remember to use it all the time. I am so not perfect… for example, last night I snapped at a to give me the GPS and she replied, “mom, I am just finding how to get home.” Ooo… she was totally just helping… my bad. And then I apologized. I was so in the wrong and was so selfish in my impatience.

Have you ever stayed out of a situation with your child to help them learn? Or are you stepping in too much? If you are stepping in too much, your challenge is to leave the problem and solution to your child, but show and do it kindly and with empathy.

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