Some people use this quote, “choose your battles” to express the idea that when dealing with a potential confrontation with your child, it is a good idea to step back and ask,
“Does it REALLY matter? Does this disagreement really have to do with morality, commonsense or responsibility or is it simply a matter of taste, choice or opinion?” About 90% of the time, I had to admit that some disagreements were not worth fighting over and as the most mature person in the equation, I should probably acquiesce as gracefully as possible.
For me, this was a ‘very hard pill to swallow’ as the saying goes. It went completely against my perfectionist nature. The examples I could give are countless but I’ll recount a couple of the most amusing.
A good friend, who was a slightly younger and a more cool
mother than I was, offered to shave my two oldest boys’ heads.
My two boys really wanted to try this new style. David was especially jumping up and down.
Carol laughed , as she looked at the expression on my face,
” Oh come on Melanie, it’s only hair. It will grow back!”
To me, that hair style looked rough, like an army kid would wear but we didn’t have a lot of money and this was a cool, free haircut that would last a looong time. Carol actually carried her shaving kit with her, so it was easy to let go of my prejudices. The buzzed heads delighted my two boys and I had to admit, it WAS easier to wash their heads.
I let Melissa go on her first trip alone with Carol’s family when they returned to Toronto a couple of days ahead of the rest of our family. The next day another Carol induced crisis
popped up when Melissa phoned, excitement bubbling in the tone of her voice,
“Mummy, guess what? Carol said she would pay to get my ears pierced and for the earrings. PLeeeease say yes, pretty pleeease!!!”
I wanted to wait until she was when she was sixteen but you know what? It wasn’t corrupting her morals or injuring her health and it was something free and the earrings would make her feel pretty EVERY day. So I gave in. Of course five-year old Mara saw her sister and cried,
“Melissa got her ears pierced??!!”
I had to let Mara get her ears pierced as well. This decision turned out to be a good one because the girls kept the same little studs in for years and were completely satisfied for years. Those little studs made them feel like they fit in with the other girls.