Long ago I read a story–it’s probably a famous one, but I’ll relate it here in brief–about how the sun and the wind entered into a competition to make a man take off his coat. The wind, of course, tried to blow it off, but the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held his coat around him. The wind eventually gave up and then the sun came out. The man, becoming hot, took off his coat. The moral of the story is that sometimes coaxing is better than trying to force someone to do something.
The story came to mind today, as it often does on a bitterly windy day, when I try to bury myself in my scarf. For some reason the thought led to parenting.
My motto has long been, “Pick your battles.” If it’s not that important, meaning no one is going to get seriously injured or be more than ten minutes late for something, I tend to either let the issue go or do my best to be persuasive rather than forceful. The practice has improved my powers of persuasion to the point that I’m getting pretty good at it. Failing that, I’ve learned to be patient. To take a deep breath and remind myself that it’s not the end of the world if Alex completely empties a drawer of perfectly folded clothes to do it again himself, or insists on cleaning his own feeding tube when I know damned well he’s going to ask for the help he at first refuses because it can’t reach where it has to hang.
But I’m only human. There are times when I feel I must stuff him in the car against his will, or restrain him to keep him from falling out his second storey bedroom window. Part of these necessities come down to the fact that I’m not completely fluent in sign language – part of it comes from his own behavioural issues and the fact that he’s mentally well below his age level but physically entering puberty. This puts him in the range of adolescence mixed with the terrible twos.
Still. It’s better to be sunny than windy.
Just Jot It January is nearly over – link your post today and get your participant’s badge at the end of the month! https://lindaghill.com/2015/01/01/just-jot-it-january-pingback-post-and-rules/