Late at night a few nights ago, my children were watching movies. This is a complicated thing as all 3 now want what they want. My daughter was in our master bedroom watching a movie. We prefer she not eat in there, as our comforter, etc., is in there. She asked to eat dinner in there. So, her brothers were 1) in the living room and the other 2) in the dining room, on his computer. The other 2 could eat dinner just fine while watching what they were watching. She couldn’t simply because she was in the bedroom.
No, I do not pull the “rules” card on her. I do not lecture her about respect. I do not just blindly protect my stuff. And I definitely don’t do this to only my daughter and not my sons.
I thought about it. I thought about having her come in and out of the bedroom to a table. No, that’s lame. I asked if she would be willing to eat on a towel in the bedroom. She readily agreed. She told me I was the “best mommy.” And then she announced she would go out of her way to not get any food on the remote, etc. She intuitively understood the need to keep the bedroom clean and offered her own solution to help make that happen. We high fived. I said, “I helped you, and then you helped me!”
I call my approach to issues with children “conflict resolution.” I do not call it “discipline” anymore. This is because I am not trying to change anything internally about them. And truly, with kids: give a little, get back a little–or a lot.
My next book on 3 Year Olds, I expect, will be released in January 2021: Misbehavior is Growth 3 Year Olds