Anyone who knows my second daughter Sayalee, knows what a spirited child she is. She loves passionately and lives passionately. By that, I mean that she is extremely stubborn and has a capacity to throw mighty tantrums at the slightest provocation. Which means we are almost always treading on eggshells trying not to get her started.
But she is very intelligent and has a sharp mind which processes information really fast. That she may not emotionally accept something very soon is another thing. But she understands.
It is something I have seen in most stubborn children. They are very sharp and they know what they want. It becomes necessary therefore to find ways, creative ways to get them to do what you want them to do. That they should feel that it was their decision to do so. And trust me, by the age of one and half, they are quite capable of taking that decision on their own.
Spirited kids need to take charge of their own life. And no, they are not going to change their personalities. It is better to accept this fact and move on. Children like these need more understanding and acceptance than angelic kids like my older daughter. They need more assurance of your love for them. Which is why getting angry or losing temper NEVER helps.
When you get angry, not only are you setting a bad example, it sets something off in them. You are bound to get a major meltdown and things go from bad to worse. No I am not preaching. Been there, done that sweetie!
Believe me you, a meltdown is something you don’t want from this child.
So how did I finally get my daughter to give up her sipper? (How I weaned her from bottle to sipper is another story. Suffice it to say my girl gets attached pretty soon.)
I told her a story. That the crow (her favorite bird in the world, go figure!) has kids and they were hungry and they want milk. So we filled her sipper a little with milk, and she took it to the window and threw it outside for the crow to take it away.
I then hid the sipper from her view when she was not looking The crow took it away, apparently.
She has since demanded for her sipper about twice or thrice. But each time when I tell her that, “Don’t you remember sweetie? You gave it away to the crow.” She remembers and it takes but two minutes to get her to drink from her cup.
Happy to report that not only has she begun drinking from a cup, she has begun sleeping through the night!
Magical, I say!
Agreed, she can get messy. Sometimes she spills some, and yesterday she purposefully emptied one on our sofa when I was not looking.
Damn. Oh well.
It does not mean that the same story will apply to your kid. Indeed, every child is different.
What I hope to do here, with my story, is to make you understand that children often respond best to a creative solution than to an angry retort, or reprimanding and yelling.
And if you must yell, at least give creative solutions a shot.
It’s worth it.