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, common sense or responsibility or is it simply a matter of taste, choice or opinion?”
If I am honest, about 90% of the time disagreements with my kids were not worth fighting over. 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 boys really wanted to try this new style. The five-year-old was especially jumping up and down.
Carol laughed, as she looked at the horrified expression on my face,
” Oh come on Melanie, it’s only hair. It will grow back!”
To me, this hair style looked rough, tough but we didn’t have a lot of money and this was a cool, free haircut that would last a long time. Since Carol actually carried her shaving kit with her, 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 Jean go on her first overnight trip 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 Jean 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. Please 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. It was something free and the earrings would make her feel pretty EVERY day. So I gave in. Of course, two days later six-year-old Alison saw her sister and cried out,
“Jean got her ears pierced??!!”
I had to let Alison 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 at school. When so many of our traditions and lifestyle set them apart, it was a relief that such a small concession helped their confidence. Thank heaven.