If there’s one thing I’ve learnt raising four kids it’s that sometimes you need to compromise for the sake of your sanity (and theirs).
You obviously have rules and standards that you want your kids to follow, but you can’t be a dictator! Some issues just aren’t worth having an argument over! Sometimes you need to let your children win small victories so they feel that you are being fair and that you allow them a sense of independence.
You need to gauge what battles are important and which ones don’t really matter that much. For example, my son loves to wear winter clothes in summer and vice versa. I can’t understand his mentality nor do I think it is wise as he will always feel uncomfortable wearing clothes from the opposite season, but in the scheme of things it’s not a big deal. Such an incidental thing is not going to harm him and whilst I am sometimes a little embarrassed by what clothes he chooses to wear, as long as he accepts his discomfort without whining then should I really care? Hopefully he will learn his lesson and then choose more appropriate clothing next time.
If on the other hand he wanted to stick a knife into a toaster, then that is non negotiable! Any action that leads to the possibility of someone being hurt has to immediately be nipped in the bud.
Small victories for your child make them feel that their wishes are not falling on deaf ears. If you keep the large victories for the big issues, not only will you have less conflict but your child will understand your absolute boundaries on serious matters.
Life is all about a little bit of give and take and showing the ability to compromise is a good example to set for your kids.
(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici, freedigitalphotos.net)