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Toddlers and Teamwork

by Michele | February 11th, 2011 | Infants/Toddlers
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Recently, I was talking with a friend who is a mom to a teen, a tween, and a toddler. With only teens and tweens in my house, I was reminiscing as she shared the recent escapades of her youngest. Although the quiet moments of snuggling and playing pretend games are wonderful, I also remembered how much work is required when caring for children that age.

Her little guy had been very sick over the past weekend: double ear infection and pneumonia. So, Mom had taken Friday off from work to care for him. Her husband had to go to work on Saturday, so she spent all of that day with her sick toddler. On Sunday, Dad offered to take the teen and tween out for the day. My friend was aghast; she had been home for two days straight with a sick toddler who only wanted to play farm, and now she’d be alone again!

Dad and older kids had a great day away, but when they returned home at dinnertime, Mom was exhausted. She also was unhappy. I tried to present a different perspective, that Dad thought he was helping by entertaining the older two, allowing Mom a quieter day. However, to her mind, she’d already had two “quiet days” and didn’t need another.

This made me think about the delicate balance of relationships, parenting in particular. Although Dad was trying to be helpful, what might have been better was to ask Mom what she needed. It might have been a quiet day with the toddler, but it could have been something else. Maybe she would have appreciated taking the teen and tween out for the day. Maybe she would have preferred a day home with the whole family.

Regardless to what would have worked for Mom, the important part of the story is that parenting is about teamwork. A 30-second conversation about what people want and how that can be achieved will keep everyone much happier than just taking action. Communication is a vital part of parenting.

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1 Comments
  1. JohnnySaber says:

    Amen.

    Too often we try to solve the problems that we perceive rather than the ones that actually exist. In doing so we often simply create more tension, and then respond negatively when we think our efforts go unnoticed.

    It is much, much easier to simply communicate.

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