I choose not to battle this with my 8-year-old son.
When my son Garrett started school and was only about 5 years old he came home from school and started asking for a mohawk. I did NOT want my son to have a mohawk but I learned long ago you got to choose your battles. Kids are their own person and if you tell them no on every decision they choose, they are going to fight you even harder.
I learned this lesson when my husband and I were foster parents and we were dealing with a house full of teenage boys.
I gave in and let Garrett have his mohawk but I also had my circumstances to make this happen for him. The first thing was, he had to wait till summer vacation so that there would be no issues at school. When school got out for the summer he was waiting and ready for that mohawk. He got his mohawk. I got more than I knew I would get out of losing this battle. Not only did Garrett let his hair grow back he never asked for a mohawk again.
Now I am at another battle with him that I again choose not to fight and once again he has to wait until school is out for summer vacation. He wants his hair dyed red. I am pretty sure when he first asked it was green or purple but now it is red. Well the dye will wash out and his hair will go back to it natural color so why would I choose to stress over this? I choose not to stress it and to let Garrett do this so he can express himself and get out of this stage of wanting to color his hair.
I think all battles work out if you let your child have a say in the decision even if it is not something they want to hear. If you listen to your child and talk with your child, you may find that you can compromise with them and it will make you both feel like win win.
Be sneaky and teach your child good habits.
An example of what I am trying to say is, Say I want Garrett’s room to be clean every day but I have to fight with him to get him to do it, I want his bed made, no clothes on the floor, trash emptied, no dirty dishes in room, and I want stuff wiped down.
Instead of fighting with him on this daily I am sneaky about it. When I am doing dinner dishes I will yell for Garrett and he will come out of his room, I tell him, Garrett if you got any dirty dishes in your room please bring them out to me. Well, this takes care of the dirty dishes and he thinks I am asking for them because I am doing dishes, not because I want him his room clean.
In the evening when I am starting the laundry I will holler to him and ask him if he has any dirty laundry in his room. This gets the dirty laundry out of his room. He doesn’t see this as cleaning his room, he sees this as me asking for his dirty clothes because I am doing laundry.
Now for the trash and making his bed. No battle there for me because on Friday when he comes home from school, I tell him if he doesn’t want to be grounded all weekend to clean his room. This gets his trash out of his room, bed made and desk wiped down.
His room gets cleaned once a week and picked up during the week without having clothes on the floor or dirty dishes in his room and he is ok with cleaning it once a week. This stops all the daily stress of getting him to do all of these things daily. This has been improving his cleaning habits also because now when I ask for dirty dishes or clothes they have already been taken care of out of habit.
What sneaky ways do you teach your child good habits?