Saturday, March 1, 2008

Inspired by Horton

Dr. Seuss's inspiring book Horton the Elephant has a simple story line (like most of his books). A lazy bird named Mazie asks an elephant to sit on her egg. The elephant agrees and faithfully sits on the egg until it hatches. Horton has a mantra that everyone has memorized by the end of the book,

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant.
An elephant is faithful 100%."

At 3am I had an eureka - use this story to reinforce to John Isaac that my words mean something (he was up for 1.5 hrs., ugh). So, this morning I shall read the book. Afterwards we'll talk about what it means then I'm going to tell him,

"I meant what I said and I said what I meant
This Momma is consistent 100%."

I'll also need to apologize and ask forgiveness for not being consistent. The reason I need to focus on being consistent is partly because of a parenting email I read last week. It brought to my attention the idea of badgering.
When a child resorts to badgering, the goal is to wear the parent down in order to change the no answer to a yes answer. It's amazing how many different ways a child can rephrase the same question, hoping that this time it will result in a different response. Badgering is very tiring for a parent and that's probably why it works sometimes.

John Isaac is definitely an expert at badgering. Feeling weary yesterday I called for advice and encouragement from a wiser woman (whose children are adults, one of the a recovering badger.) The solution? Draw a line and be consistent. Isn't that the fix for every parenting ailment?

So, today and probably for the next 15 years, I am going to focus on being consistent in answering his badgering questions while following through with discipline if he chooses not to accept my answer. Pray for me.

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