Tag: teaching kids consequences

The Challenge of Parenting A Sensitive Child in The Toy Aisle

So last week I shared about how hard it is for me to ditch the to-do list and let go of completing it with precision. I have been working really hard since I published that post to stay in the moment and just let the day go where it goes. Today, I am really proud of how my day went with my kids. Mostly.

It’s Saturday and my husband is gearing up for his busy season at work which means he is working another full day today. He was away from home last week for 3 whole days. Now this week he is working 6 days straight. I know a lot of parents live like this, but it is stressful living like that week after week, year after year with zero back up. No family member around the corner to offer help. No one to call so I can run to get milk. I have to schelp both kids every where I go for the smallest of reasons. It’s just me loading two kids into the car, two kids with very big opinions, and very big emotions that can drop like a bomb at any time.

Anyway I am really proud of myself for not losing my shit in the store with my two adorable, yet whiny and demanding kids today. No really when they want something (and not simply toys) I can’t always redirect. I have to spend at least 5 minutes explaining the why portion of it or it blows up to be a huge meltdown demanding my attention (and anyone else passing by). It isn’t always easy to let go of the feeling of annoyance while running on empty myself.

Today, I simply needed two items from Target.



It turned into the longest 45 minutes of my life. I promised the kids they could have one little toy puppy for their doll set. They earned it, I just picked the prize. They picked out these little pups weeks ago and I said, “some day.” But when it came time to deliver on my promise suddenly these little stuffies weren’t what they wanted. So, now we are in the dollar section playing eenie meenie minie mo to decide on lesser prizes. Then last minute my one girl came to her senses and realized she really wanted that little puppy dog. So, we put her junky prize back and she clutched her little prize with deep affection.

My kids were just so overwhelmed by picking just ONE thing. They are so deeply emotional with their purchases that selecting just the one BEST thing makes them over think with worry they’ll make the wrong choice. I remember having moments like that as a kid. And the parenting instinct is to just rush them through. Tell them they get one thing, or nothing; or we say chose or I’ll chose for you. But there is a greater lesson to be learned. They need to learn how to make a decision, and I need to learn patience with their process. I am a pretty quick decision maker. I know what I want and I get it. If I am torn I walk away and think about it before coming back. But my kids are super smart and they want to know exactly why they can’t have both before they can move on and settle for just the one thing.

As my daughter stood on the verge of tears choosing between two small toys I decided to meet her where she was instead of powering her through this. I explained to her the benefits and consequences of her choices. I gave her a moment to process and offered a solution to come back for the other prize later.

After walking back and forth in each department for what felt like forever, she finally made a decision. She chose a stationary set in a cute matching pouch. Then she happily ran it through the scanner at the check out line. She opened it in the car and was so excited by what was inside. She was happy with her choice. And I was happy this didn’t end with me carrying a screaming child through the parking lot.

I can hear the other parents saying, “I’d never let my kid get away with that.” “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” “I would never have taken that long to help my kid decide on a toy.” Well, thankfully she isn’t your kid she is mine, and I’m the one that has to live with her. I’m the one that needs to teach her these lessons of letting go and understanding how the world works. It isn’t up to anyone else to decide the teaching method.

In a perfect world I would have parked the car ran into the store for my two little items and left in under 5 minutes. In the not so perfect world there is usually tears and tantrums. This time though I am proud of all of us for keeping it together. But most of all I am really proud of me. Leaving behind that agenda for perfection, and making good time to get in and out of the store as my sole mission, left room for the bigger mission of being there for my kid emotionally. That’s what she’ll remember more.

Note: Some kids are more sensitive than others. Being a sensitive kid doesn’t make them spoiled or cause them to misbehave. They just require an extraordinary amount of patience and empathy. Unless you know a child personally please don’t assume to know them. Or that you could do a better job raising them. 

The Whatever Mom is a twin mom learning to let go of perfection. She shares her real life struggles with parenting through her blog and contributes her time and talents as a writer to Hudson Valley Parent and Masshole Mommy. When she isn’t writing you can find her chugging coffee, folding laundry and not judging other parents. Don’t forget to subscribe via email so you never miss a blog post again! You can also find her work featured on Mamapedia 

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There’s No Crying In Childhood!

Kids Can Cry It Out

Oh, but there is. There is lots and lots of crying. There is crying over spilled milk. There is crying over a lost lovie. There is crying over the color of socks, and cups. And, some days it seems there is non-stop crying over the injustices your sibling inflicts on you. So. Much. Crying.

From the first day we bring our new little babies home with us it is our job as parents to discern what our children’s cries mean. Are they crying to request comfort? Hunger? Sadness? Pain? Is it just gas? As our babies become big kids our job becomes soothing them through the tears and helping them understand the emotions pushing them to cry. With two very emotional humans in my charge, I have come to realize there are times when I simply have to let them cry it out.

Last week, during gymnastics class I hear my daughter cry from across the expansive gym. I immediately jump up and start moving toward her when I notice the instructor is still instructing the other kids over my child’s cries. I realize she isn’t hurt. She is crying because of some other reason. I battle with myself about what to do next. Do I rush in and save her? Do I remove her from the class (and her consequence) or do I let her cry it out so that she gets the full lesson here?

So, if she isn’t hurt why is she crying? My girl could not get a handle on her energy and got too rowdy for the class. She was not listening to instruction (which can be dangerous when climbing and jumping off of gym equipment). As a result she had to sit out a turn. It made her sad to miss a turn and she became upset with herself for not listening. Her process for dealing with being told “no” is curling up in a ball on the floor, covering her eyes and begin sobbing. I really want to go get her to make it stop (partly out of embarrassment because of my kids lack of maturity, and I also want to assure her she is OK). Instead, I linger on the sidelines where the instructor can visibly see me, but my child can not. And, I wait. A few minutes later, my kid is still crying. The instructor scoops her up and brings her to me and explains she isn’t listening and will not accept the consequence.

Simply being told “no” threw my kid into an emotional tale spin. In that moment I wanted her to understand that her behavior lead to this consequence. She needs to know that when she isn’t behaving safely, or following rules there will be a consequence; and consequences don’t just come from mommy. One day she will be out in the big wide world and will need to know how to cope and process through bigger consequences. I would be lying if I didn’t share I was disappointed and angry. I took a deep breath. Got down on her level and said firmly,  “you need to listen to your teacher or you are not coming back. Do you understand me?” She looked at me with her eyes full of tears, choked back her last sob and said, “Ok mama.” “Are you ready to get back in there and listen?” “Yes.” “OK, class is over in 10 minutes.” She ran back to her class eager to finish up the remaining few minutes with them.

Processing emotions with our kids can be so hard! It is hard to set aside our demands and expectations for what we WANT them to do RIGHT NOW! I think my taking a moment to breathe and taking a moment to think really helped not only steady me emotionally, but steady her emotionally as well. So, she cried a little. So, her feelings were hurt because she was disappointed. That’s life. We need to let our kids live life and feel the full spectrum of emotions- not just the fun stuff, not just the magical joy. Those are important too. But, if we always swoop in to take away our kids hurts they won’t learn to cope with them.

My kids are still little, so listening attentively just isn’t going to happen. I get that. But, what we are working on here at this age is building a foundation our kids can build upon- a foundation that will keep them secure when they grow up and live on their own. Sometimes it’s OK to let the kids cry.


The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.

Find more from Roxanne at Hudson Valley Parent and at Masshole Mommy


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