Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Irony of the Easy-Pleasy Kid

Most children are difficult. They cry, whine, hit, throw (bite, kick...) & generally act defiant. They push our buttons. They have their own agenda, and usually it does not correspond with ours.

But then I've got one child who just isn't. She's an easy-pleasy kid. She generally goes to sleep when she should, eats what I give her, adapts well to new situations, and to top it off says "please" and "thank you" at just about every opportunity. When I sing in the morning "who wants to come brush teeth?!" she quickly answers "me!" and toddles off to the bathroom. Meanwhile, my other children chant, "not me, not me, not me!" in proud unison. She thanks me for feeding her lunch. She smiles and waves to me when I say goodbye. She's sweet and mature and fabulously encouraging to mother.

But this easy-pleasy child presents a problem of a different kind. See, with most kids, discipline is a response to misbehavior. It's pretty straightforward saying "no!" or "stop that!" to a child who is fighting, punching, or screaming at you. Behavior that is upsetting and challenging for us as parents is easy to want to prevent and alter. But it's absolutely heart-wrenching to say "no" to a child who pleasantly, respectfully asks, "Mommy, may I please have another lollypop?" or lightly strokes your leg and says "can you please wake up and make me juice?" at 5AM. Saying "no" when your child behaves so well, asks so nicely, and genuinely wants to please you is incredibly hard.

To make matters worse, there is a discipline dilemma involved. If I say "no" to her beautifully-articulated question, then she may begin to cry and get upset. THAT is not what I need in my space (or hers). Besides, I want to *encourage* her to ask nicely. But she's too young to understand "oh, you asked so nicely, but no you cannot stay awake with Mommy & Daddy." Sure, I can distract her with an alternative toy, food, or loving gesture, but that doesn't always work. And her disappointment, after asking so nicely, is excruciating to witness.

The moral? Some children present physical challenges: sleep, food, growth, etc. Others challenge us to revisit our values: manners and lifestyle decisions. And finally there are those who test us with philosophical dilemmas. So, I guess it's not true that most children are difficult. ALL children are difficult to raise, each in his own way.

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