It’s not cannelloni it’s tomato pasta…..honestly!

I often find myself having a giggle at the song and dance I have to put on around normal day to day activities – partly to keep the peace but mostly because I enjoy making life as easy as possible for my kids and also for myself! I have a relative whose suggestion in moments of meltdown is a “clip around the ears” but given that isn’t an option for us, making everything as fun as possible (within reason – there are some things we just must do “because I say so”!) gets us through pretty much everything!

It was almost dinner time the other night and we were travelling home from my folks house in the car. My daughter and I were chatting and I asked what she felt like for dinner – already knowing cannelloni was on the menu (so perhaps I shouldn’t have asked!). She said that she wanted mashed potato! I said “how about we have some cannelloni?” which I know she loves but wasn’t sure she knew the name of. To which she replied “I don’t like cannelloni”. Thinking fast I said “oh really? Well how about we have tomato pasta then?” I could hear the smile in her voice as she said “Ok Mummy, let’s have tomato pasta. I really like tomato pasta”. Tomato pasta is our new name for Cannelloni! 😉

Reverse psychology is just starting to come into play with my 3 year old too. Actually perhaps I have been subtly using it for much longer! However if I think she will need a jacket on when we go out and I make that known to her she won’t miss a beat before saying “No Mummy, I’m not cold, I don’t need a jacket”. So it’s not uncommon for me to now suggest that she doesn’t need a jacket so she will race straight off to her room to get one! 😀 Or if I want her to get another wear out of a pair of pants before putting them in the wash and know that suggesting that will be met with “I think they need a wash” I will say that I’m putting the pants in the wash and then suddenly they are the flavour of the day!

What I am really enjoying lately though is my daughter’s ability to come to conclusions all on her own if left to do so. I grew up being told what to do and even if it fell into the “don’t sweat the small stuff category” it was sweated! It had to be done because it had been mentioned and not following it through would apparently mean my parents would look weak in our eyes so they would insist.  I don’t insist. I suggest, give reasons why I think it might be a good idea, remind, and then leave it up to my daughter (if it is not a safety issue of course). For instance the other day I suggested she might want to zip her jacket up because whilst running around at the park it was falling off her shoulders. She told me “No Mummy, it’s fine I don’t want to zip it up”. About 15 minutes later I did remind her again because it just looked annoying sliding down and again she said no. I decided to leave it at that point – who really cares if the jacket is zipped up or not. I know mine would annoy me sliding off my shoulders like that but she is not me, she is my 3 year old daughter. About half an hour later I was pushing her on the swing and lo and behold the jacket was still falling off but I had really stopped noticing at this point. Isabelle said to me “Mummy can you stop the swing, I need to do something” (red alert! red alert! red alert! We are NEVER asked to stop the swing so I wondered what might be up!). When I stopped the swing she turned around, looked me in the eye and said “Mummy, you were right you know?” I asked her what I was right about having forgotten about the jacket, and she said “You were right about my jacket being annoying falling off my shoulders. I am going to zip it up now, OK? Then you can push me again”. It might seem like a small thing to some but I was just so thrilled and proud of her. Such a big girl, thinking about things and making a decision for herself and finding what works for her – not just doing things because I say so.

This has really diverted from the initial cannelloni thought but I think it all fits into the “thinking about parenting” category – what works for you? What doesn’t work? What could you do differently” And what are you doing that you like? What works for one of your children and does it automatically work for another? If you are even thinking about one or any of these things then good! I think you need to think.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Capricious on September 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I love the tomato pasta line- classic!

    When I was teaching I have to say I was a master at the ‘art of suggestion’. “I’m going to take my shoes off so they don’t fill up with sand” is a sneaky, sorry I mean- great way of letting a child know what you would like them to do without telling them they have to do it. And “I wonder…” is a good start too- “I wonder if these pants are clean enough to wear again” or “I wonder if we could get all these toys into the box before the clock gets to 2?” The only risk is if they don’t think it can be done *hehe*


  2. I love the jacket story.



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