Last week we had a *bit* of a situation at breakfast.
It was one of those moments that could go one of two ways:
- Peaceful resolution
- Atomic meltdown
So there was a lot at stake.
The details of my little situation, you ask?
A dirty bum on a toddler who refused to have it changed.
(Sorry – should have a disclaimer. This post is about poop. If you are offended by poop, please stop reading. Like, right now.)
So a super serious, WTF do I do now type of parenting situation.
My initial thoughts on how to deal with the situation:
- Pull the “Do as I say” card
- Pull the “I am SO the boss of you” card
- Pull the “I’m bigger than you, so too bad, I’ll just make you” card
While initially appealing, I’ve learned from experience that these options all rate very high on the suckage meter.
I’m talking don’t want to go there territory.
Power struggles are just no fun.
So I needed to dig into my toolkit and find a resolution to this stinky situation without inciting the power struggle to end all power struggles.
Want to know what I said?
“Ok bud. Let me know when you’re ready.”
I was withdrawing from conflict.
And you know what?
That’s all it took to throw him off his game.
He was looking at me, all like, “Uh, mom?! Hello! This is the part where you try to make me and I show you that you can’t boss me around. REMEMBER?!“
I just carried on making breakfast. No further mention of the diaper ‘situation.’
As I started setting the table, he came over to hop up on his chair.
“Oh, sorry. We can’t have dirty bums at the table. Come see me when you’re ready and I’ll help you get cleaned up.”
Totally nonchalant, ‘not a care in the world’ style. Very much sending the message, ‘Whatever bud. You can decide. I’m not going to fight with you about this.’
Let me tell you.
He changed his mind instantly. Nothing stands in the way of this boy and his breakfast.
“Mom! I’m ready!! I’m ready!!”
No “I’ll show you who’s the boss around here!”
Just a clean bum and a happy mom.
Atomic meltdown averted. 😉
Should make a note: If you’re thinking of instituting a ‘no dirty bums at the table’ or ‘no dirty bums on the furniture’ rule, give your littles a heads up of the rule change BEFORE you try enforcing it. If you spring your new rule on them in the heat of the moment they are probably going to LOSE IT on you. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉
Better yet, talk to them about what they think the new ‘rules’ should be. I’ve found that my kids are more likely to follow the rules if they’ve had a hand in making them.
Let me know how it goes!
Image Credit: Silvinka