Choosing your Battles

One of the best pieces of parenting advice I have heard is to “choose your battles.”

But when does choosing your battles end up in spoiling a child?

I recently wrote about nighttime parenting, and how I allow my kids to sleep in our bed sometimes.  Many experts would tell me to take the children back to bed every time they come into our bed.  However, they are usually awake enough to fight me if I take them back to bed–and they have more fight in them than I do at that hour.  Still, sometimes I wonder, is it spoiling them to allow them to sleep in my bed at night?

Another battle I choose to avoid is the battle over cup color.  We have a set of cups the kids drink from every day.  Cassatt doesn’t care what color he gets, but Picasso throws a fit if he does not get the green cup.  We have enough green cups, so I always give him the green cup to avoid a fight.

But as a parent, sometimes I wonder if this is OK.  More specifically, I wonder how I can increase his tolerance for frustration and for change.  Picasso has some developmental delays, and handling frustration is one of them.  I hope this will get better as his language skills develop, and he does seem to handle frustration better than he used to.  Last night when I accidentally gave him the blue cup, he told me I had them wrong rather than having a fit.  I’m sure he would have had a fit if I hadn’t switched the cups, but we managed to avoid a meltdown over my mistake.

Maybe there is hope after all.



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