This post comprises five promises from a dad to his son on five separate pages. At the bottom of each promise is a link to the next promise, or you can jump directly to a page within this post. Comments left will be visible on any of the five promise pages.
21) “I promise to encourage your sense of persistence, even when I perceive it as stubbornness.”
Ever since he could walk, Little Bird has had a perfectionist streak. If something didn’t go the way he wanted it to, he’d want to do it over. I remember walking out of a dollar store to our car when he was a toddler, and he didn’t get to step off the curb the way he wanted to. We needed to get home, and he didn’t like the way I held his hand and sort of pulled him along as we stepped off the curb and crossed the parking lot. He cried the whole way home and for about half an hour beyond that because he wanted to do it over. Do overs: that was his thing. It still is to an extent and he’s almost 8. And he can be very persistent about doing something his way. He bargains, negotiates and blackmails to get his way. Well, he tries. And he never backs down when he thinks he’s justified, even when he knows he’s embellishing the truth (lying). I’m still learning how to redirect that stubbornness, but I admire his persistence. I’d rather not “break” him of it. He just needs to find ways to use it to his advantage.
Think of some ways in which you perceive your kid in a negative light, then put a spin on it. With a little perspective, opposition becomes critical thinking, manipulation becomes cunning, and mouthiness becomes outspokenness. That doesn’t mean let a mouthy kid talk to you disrespectfully. (I don’t tolerate that for one second!) But modeling appropriate behavior is way more effective than yelling or punishing. A little perspective goes a long way when it comes to maintaining your cool, and your sanity.