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Crossroads Venture towards a “worse” ending

kidsparents2 yearschild3 yearschildrenkidFeuilletonLenka Míkovcová4 years5 years1 yearmotivationRespect and be Respectedcooperationpunishmentrespectnatural consequencesPavel KoprivaNováckováNevolováto dress uppatienceprogrammcrossroadsventureTatjana Koprivova

I had used all of my tricks, to persuade Eliška (2 years and 2 months old) to get dressed and come to “Play Wisely”. It promised to be fun learning games with a small group of children, which Eliška particularly enjoys. The problem was Eliška really didn’t want to get dressed. Her dislike was so strong this time that she failed to fall for any of my tricks. After half an hour of trying, I gave up. I was at my wit’s end; I had lost my patience and it was now obviously too late.

I had made up my mind. Even though I must let go of today’s lesson of “Play Wisely”, I will definitely not let go of this lesson. Eliška needs to learn to get dressed without a fuss. I took my computer and explained to her that now each of us will play alone. She could play with anything she wanted – the puzzle, piano, etc. However, if she chose to play with me, we would get dressed and go to “Play Wisely”. I repeated this a few times when she came in and wanted to work with me on the computer. I stood my ground. About 30 minutes later I heard in a deep voice “Big” and then “Small” in a much higher voice, then “Small, bigger, biggest.”. Eliška was repeating things from previous lessons. After a moment, she zipped up to me and said cutely “Play Wisely?”

Within a few minutes we were on our way. We arrived exactly at the right time. The children were just leaving and Zuzana the lecturer, was saying her goodbyes. We stood at the entrance to the room and Eliška was pulling me inside with all her might, surprised by the lack of cooperation. Zuzana was also surprised. I explained to her,that we had arrived late as we had a bit of an issue getting dressed, so we wanted her verdict. She replied “I’m sorry Eliška, but the lesson is over, you need to come in time.” Eliška froze and you could see her disappointment. This wasn’t the way she imagined it. A mom of a fellow “classmate” added a few appropriate sentences about how they missed us and how they are looking forward to seeing us next time.

I left Eliška to see the natural consequences of her actions and hoped that the time and effort was not wasted. I wasn’t sure, if at two years old she would fully grasp the result of her failure.

One week later, I told Eliška to get ready to go to “Play Wisely”. She came immediately. At that point, I was sure that the crossroads we went through last week was one of the best parenting actions I have ever done.

Author: Lenka Míkovcová

Translation: Marek Hubbell

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