This is the best word to currently describe this darling boy of mine. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, a treat right when he wakes up, riding his bike out front, following his brother around… doesn’t matter he is relentless. Asking and asking until he gets what he wants, falls asleep, or finds something he wants more. Our conversations will go something like this.
“Mom can I have a treat?”
“Nope sweetie you’ve had too much sugar today it’s not good for you.”
“How about I eat something good, and then a treat.”
“I said no Max.”
continues for about 10 more minutes, then finally stops, only to resume when he thinks I’ve let my guard down. This boys of mine has really made me question my ability as a mother. I remember with my oldest being confused when Moms would give into their kids. I thought, “you just say no, sure they’ll cry, but eventually they’ll give up, and the tantrum will be shorter next time.” I was a very naive mother of one pretty obedient boy. I would tell Josh no, he would sometimes cry, and then we would move on. Not true with this one.
I have analyzed how a treat him. Do I make the other two give into him/do I give in to him too often just because it’s easier. Answer: Yes I do, but I’ve really tried to remedy that, and that’s definitely not the entire problem. Kids just come different and this one is… relentless.
However, every strong character trait has both a positive and a negative side. Our family motto is, “Never never, never give up.” And he doesn’t. Sure sometimes he doesn’t give up on getting something I don’t want him to have, and sometimes he doesn’t give up on making me do something for him that he should do himself. (Max pick up your toys. “I can’t mom! My legs hurt.”) But he also doesn’t give up on other hard things as long as it’s something he really wants. He could ride a two-wheeler at barely three years old, he can throw a ball, do the monkey bars, and kick a ball like nobody’s business.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in his life. Will he learn to use his relentless determination for good, for doing hard things? Or will he use it to get others to do hard things for him? Our weaknesses can be our strengths and our strengths our weaknesses. The two things are so closely intertwined. How can I as a parent help to make sure it’s the former?
Being a parent is so stressful, so stimulating, and so rewarding. I guess I better start practicing being relentless too.