November Parenting Tip: Get Creative

This month’s tip focuses on your creative side as a parent and how being a little imaginative can make a big difference. I had an opportunity to think outside the box and I hope my example below inspires you to do the same.

My youngest son, who is 3, is very attached to me and would rather stay home than go to school. When I drop him off, he grabs onto my leg and cries, which breaks my heart. I had already tried different tactics for a more pleasant educational experience for him, but the result always remained the same. I was truly at a loss until one morning when he was attempting to dress himself, and an idea popped into my head. We both wanted something here and I realized his fashion disaster could be turned into a great opportunity for both of us. He wanted to wear the horrid outfit he had picked out for school and I wanted him to be able to enjoy school without being sad. So how do our two wishes connect? I explained that he had on magical shorts and that he could absolutely wear them, but only if there were no tears at school that morning. He was intrigued and wanted to hear more. I continued to tell him that these shorts gave him special powers that would prevent him from crying or missing mommy when he went to school. He quickly agreed to the contract between his shorts and his new positive attitude at school and we dropped the subject until we walked into his classroom.

As usual, upon me leaving him, he grabbed my leg and asked that I stay with him. My heart was breaking on the inside but I had to be strong and think quick. I then launched part 2 of my magical shorts plan. I reminded him about his lucky shorts and told him that they had even more special powers than what we had talked about. If he rubbed his shorts and thought of me, I would then feel a flutter in my heart and we would then be thinking of each other at the same time. His face lit up and then we practiced a few times in his classroom before I planned my escape. When I told him it worked and I felt it in my heart, he was so blissful, and truly excited that he and I would have a special, secret connection while he was in school without me. When I attempted to leave this time, there was no argument, whining or sad looking lip sticking out, which made me a very happy mommy. When I picked him up, his teacher mentioned he had a surprisingly “super” day without tears or sad faces. My son whispered to me that he rubbed his magic shorts while at school, and I told him that I know and could feel it all morning. If I remember correctly, on the car ride home, he said, “mommy, that was my best day ever at school”. I was beyond happy that my plan had worked and delighted that my son had really let go and allowed himself to enjoy his time at school. I will definitely be using this trick again!

This month’s tip is to use situations to your advantage, be creative and invent new ways to connect with your child on an emotional level. By not focusing on silly things like whether or not my son’s shorts matched his shirt, I avoided a morning meltdown by letting him wear what he wanted, and at the same time, helped with a totally unrelated situation at school. Think outside the box and have fun coming up with new parenting tactics. You never know what you can think up next! I have to tell you that I think those shorts really did have magical powers because that morning, while my son was at school, I actually felt my heart flutter a few times, and it was the best feeling in the world!

Thanks for reading and remember, together we can master motherhood!

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