My husband and I had this habit of dropping decisions on our children without prior notice. “This will happen today.” “You will do that today” e.t.c. They never handled it well. Tears and tantrums were usually the result. They are just being children we thought. We managed the situation as best as we could but I always wondered.
Recently, I stumbled on a better way. A new session was about to begin in school, due to distance and not having a help. We decided to move them to a school closer to the house. It will not be out-of-the-way when I am going to the office. Also, my cousin’s house is a stone throw from the school, so they can walk to her place when school is over (her children are same age as mine).
My husband advice I tell them before school resumes. They were at my parent’s place for the long holidays. I called and gave them the news one at a time. Gave them room to ask questions (the girls are both 5and 3 now). They asked both childish and intelligent questions and I was impressed. We didn’t end up changing schools but I liked the way they handled the news. I shared my discovery with my husband. So we started bringing them in before taking decisions. I discovered the tears and tantrums drastically reduced.
For instance, Nuggie likes sleeping off with someone around. But when I tell her, I am in the room working, I will check on you later. She will nod, turn her back to me and sleep off. If they are making demands I cannot meet at the time. I explain with timelines, then try my best to meet the timeline but if I cannot. explanation will be given before the time elapses.
Even my one year old is not left out. Whenever I need a timeout, I tell them to go play in their room. On such occasions, I have to tell him “bye” then blow him a kiss and he does the same. Which is our ritual when I am going out. Then he happily toddle to his room because he understands the signal. But on days I shut him out without any warning, he can stand there forever crying his heart out.
We can do anything we want to do now, so long as I notified them ahead before action. Or we ask their opinion, then discuss the decisions together. And I explain the pros and cons of whatever they vote for.
I realize… I do my children a disservice by thinking they are too young for respect. If it is disrespectful to an adult then it is to children also. it also assures of safety. They should understand what is going on.
Do you think children should be part of decision-making or like me you think they are too young and should be spared?
What have you discovered accidentally in handling children… yours or that of others?