Some folks pray before they go to bed each night. At our house we perform periodic spells. A spell begins with “Abracadabra, abrakazam” and ends with “Amen.” It is NOT a prayer. It is a strident request to all worldly powers to prevent or fix a problem. For example, last night’s spell was to ward off bad dreams based on watching certain episodes of a favorite T.V. show. Another evening’s spell was to make sure that Santa wouldn’t miss our house.
All of this is quite serious. One of the most important parenting skills is the ability to innovate. Innovation can take many forms. Here are some examples.
1. The aforementioned “spells” to soothe frayed nerves and stave off unpleasant dreams.
2. Using “used” paper towels sitting on the floor of the back seat of the car when nothing else is available to clean hands covered with chocolate.
3. Making up stories about how hard it was for you as a child to (pass the deep water test/understand fractions/fill in your own blank here). By the way, this is not lying.
4. Negotiating and compromising so that immediate results will be garnered, even if they are at the expense of future turmoil.
Now, mind you, all of this is realistic. Various schools of parenting may not be on board with these methods, but where are these so-called “experts” when you need them? Dr. Phil will tell you not to compromise and give the child more Hershey kisses, but he’s not there to deal with the aftermath. If two extra Hershey kisses will keep the peace, I say go for it. Sanity in the present is far more important than adhering to long-term objectives. I am not suggesting that you spoil your child. I am, however, suggesting that “yielding” and not sticking hard and fast to the game plan frees you to view the situation in a new light and “amend” your strategies so that everyone comes out a winner.
I’m planning on feeding Karr raviolis and green beans tonight. If he wants to go to McDonald’s, I’m up for the golden arches.