Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The "Pick your Battles" Battle

I hate the phrase "pick your battles". It is a truly annoying three-word sentence. The reason I hate that phrase is because I am SO LOUSY at picking my battles with the kids. And hence I have large amounts of gray hair that I cannot attribute to my husband. And that infuriates me. Because really, I've been with him for 17 years, so all those grays really are his doing.

Ugh, I digress, again. The reason I am so lousy at picking my battles is that I am a Type AAAA personality, so of course what I say, should go. HA. HA. HA. If I say "Drew, lunch is bologna and cheese" then of course that is what lunch should be. Right? No. Not. So. Much. What inevitably happens is Drew (sorry buddy, but you're my target today) will hoot and holler about wanting yogurt for lunch and I will hoot and holler right back about me being the boss, and lunch is what I give him. Please tell me why I fight with a 3 year old about lunch (or some other silly sundry). I sound completely insane (now, no comments please). So if I KNOW that I sound insane and I KNOW that fighting with my kids over silly little sundries is dumb, then why don't I stop? That is my battle. My "pick your battles" battle. (I sound like Dr. Seuss). I don't know where to draw the line. If I give in every day with the bologna vs. yogurt argument, then do I give in with 3 hours of tv vs. 1 hour of tv? Do you see my problem?

Of course, not every battle is one that should even require a discussion. NO, they will NOT run with scissor, knives or other sharp instruments. NO, they will NOT hit/kick/knock over their baby sisters/me/their father. NO, they will NOT go out of my sight in our woods. Too bad I'm the only one that believes those rules are not arguable. In my pretty mind I make the rules and everyone follows them.

So, if you have a solution to my "pick your battles" battle, drop me a comment! I'm all ears.


Rose said...

I am the same way. If I say it then that is the law. No matter what. So I pick every battle. The only way I can surbive not going totally insane is to make things a choice that really do not matter. I always have a choice of some side with the meal--i.e. pb+j with cantaloup and your choice of cottage cheese or yogurt. For clothing I will put out pants and two differetn shirts or vice versa. For my daughters hair it is two pigtails or one. Or braids or pony tail. That way when I need to draw a line my energy is saved and I can out last them.

Astarte said...

I am finding that I'm coming around to this territory again, too. Josie is almost nine, and we're starting to approach the time where she thinks I may potentially be Retarded. Oh, she hasn't said it outright yet (and if she knows what's good for her, she never will), but I can see it coming. I think it's important to only really fight for what's important most of the time, because you don't want to fight about things that you don't really care about and then change your mind in the middle so they get the feeling they can talk you out of things, but on the other hand, I think it's good to take a stand on something smaller once in awhile too, so they don't get so settled in having their own way that it's a huge shock when you DO put your foot down about something.

AndreAnna said...

No solution, sorry, but I keep getting the same advice!

Keep me in the loop if you find a magic answer. ;)

Susan said...

Found you through Auntie Nettie (a family friend). I only have two little ones, Lucas age three and a half and Ben age one and a half.

Because they have so few choices in the day I give them choices for things like lunch. I tell them what I have to offer for lunch (listing them off, yogurt, cheese stick, apples, pb&J etc.) then they feel all special b/c they get to choose. I also let them choose what time to nap. (would you rather nap before lunch or after lunch? )That makes them feel good (and big) knowing they get to choose things. I also let them pick out their clothes (although sometimes I use my veto power) and shoes. This keeps the battles down to a minimun. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Hello, Mother of Four kids here as well, and all boys ages 8.5, 7, 5, and 2. So I have lots of battles to pick and sometimes after I pick them, I feel how silly "you could have handled it differently." I allow them to get their own clothing, except for the 5 and 2 year old. I am definitely anal about things, and so are my children. I have to deal with my son taking 50 minutes to eat a 10 minute breakfast, that my 2 year old eats fast, what do I not let him have breakfast of course not! Huh, so I battle every morning. I have a busy child in school every day do I let him slide, NO. I think it's their job Ladies. is my email address feel free to email me. I love being a mommy, yet somedays I am ready to pack my bags and run far away. But then, I figure I'd be lonely without my husband and kids so I stay. :)