A few years ago, my family and I were preparing for a big event honoring my oldest son.
I had carefully created invitations, prepared a program, and cooked a celebration meal. I took the time to buy a new outfit, including shiny new shoes for my son to wear. It was poised to be a wonderful day with our family and closest friends.
And then it was time to get dressed.
My son flatly refused to wear the shoes I picked out for him.
I first tried to bargain with him; “you only have to wear them for one hour and then you can come home and change.” That was met with a flat, “No.”
Then I tried to bribe, “If you wear these shoes, then you can have treat.” That didn’t work either.
I tried pleading, “Please, wear these shoes. Please just wear them. For me… please, please.”
When that fell flat, I played my final card. It was time for a mommy tantrum.
For those of you unfamiliar with a mommy tantrum, it usually occurs when said mommy does not get her way. Her unyielding child ignites a fuse in a firecracker of negative emotion.
Mid-mommy tantrum, I was fuming down the hall when my husband caught me and said, “Don’t let a pair of shoes ruin this day for you.”
Suddenly, my fuse went out. He was right. I was letting a pair of shoes that would look nice in a picture become more important than my child’s big day.
While reading this, memories of similar power struggles you have had with your children may have come flooding back. We have all been in this position. But one powerful truth will help reduce the stress that comes from power struggles.
It is this: not all parenting battles are worth fighting.