You know all those times when we rant and fret that the kids just don’t listen and then wondering why he or she never listen when we need them to? Well, surprise, surprise because they actually do. And surprise, surprise, they listen pretty damn well too.
They are the epitome of sponges and mirrors, these kids; absorbing and emulating our behaviour. Sometimes, that could work against us.
Silver Bullet and Squirt recently got into a small “spat” before bedtime because the little Squirt insisted that he wanted to watch TV before going to bed. He whined and he argued in every way he could to get his way.
Naturally, his Papa said No. A firm “No” that led to a power struggle between a grown man and a growing kid.It was at the end of the day, he was over-tired and ready for a meltdown. Eventually, Squirt got a royal scolding from his Papa just by the sheer virtue that he had refused to listen.
Just to prove that Silver Bullet meant business, he raised his voice and ended his conversation with a firm, “No, Squirt. NO means NO! BED.NOW.”
To Squirt, that is usually scary enough (even though Silver Bullet is not nearly as stern or scary as I would be as he is a little bit of a softie himself) . Loads of crying ensued and with big, fat tears in his eyes, Squirt climbed up the stairs in his sorriest state like the world is about to end.
Compared to his sister, Squirt is a little more sensitive when it comes to being scolded. He hates it when we get upset with him.
Unlike his sister who tends to show a little rebellion, he would easily cry a river and get visibly upset whenever we raise our voices. Yet, unlike his sister, he is usually quick to calm down after a good cry. Funny how they both can be so different.
Bedtime routine with the kids has always been consistent with bedtime stories, a small chat and some cuddles (when sometimes, the parents usually fell asleep before the kids). After the whole fiasco that evening, Silver Bullet and Squirt called truce. Their chat that night was mainly Silver Bullet explaining to Squirt why he got mad when Squirt didn’t listen and what “no means no” *really* means.
Squirt understood and at the end of the chat was the following conversation:
Silver Bullet: No means No, Squirt. You have to listen. OK?
Squirt: Nodded his head
Silver Bullet: OK. Good night now. Can I have a kiss and a hug?
Silver Bullet (puzzled. especially since this boy loves his cuddles, kisses and hugs): Why not?
Squirt: No means no, Papa!
The boy may be only a few months short of turning 4, but boy! he played it well. He sponged it all up, understood right and he stood his ground. He listened. Perhaps too well. So much so that he left his Papa speechless for a few seconds.
There! BAM! In.your.face.
And there was little Papa could do because the little Squirt was right. It would not be fair or appropriate for Silver Bullet to insist now, would it? :p