Friday, April 22, 2016

Mom: Master Manipulator

I hate to say this, but honestly, I feel like I spend half of my time manipulating Kevin. 

Not in a bad way! I don't ever use my powers of manipulation for evil.

For example, yesterday, Kevin didn't want to go to the potty, but I knew he really needed to go. (Sometimes he still struggles when he needs to poop, but doesn't want to. He doesn't have bad accidents, but lately, he's been urinating in his underwear, just a bit.) So, Mom, the Master Manipulator came to save the day.

I picked up his current favorite toys, and they began to have a conversation that went like this:

Ankylosaurus: I don't think Kevin CAN use the bathroom. 
T-Rex: Yes, he can, Ankylosaurus. He's a big boy! 
Ankylosaurus: No, I don't think he can. 
Kevin: I don't want to. 
Ankylosaurus: That's because you're a baby. Babies don't want to go to the bathroom. 
T-Rex: Kevin's not a baby! He's a big boy. Show him that you can go to the potty, Kevin!

The conversation ended with Kevin getting a determined look on his face and running to the bathroom. Afterward, Ankylosaurus apologized for not thinking he could do it, and both dinosaurs gave Kevin a high-five for going to the potty. Kevin also told me proudly that he did it, and I gave him a high-five too!

Sometimes I feel kind of bad about doing that sort of thing. However, it ends up with everyone happy, so I think it's a good thing. Mostly, I'm trying to help him make his own good choices without forcing him to do it.

He looked so proud of himself afterward too.

We've used different forms of manipulation over his life time. Sometimes we use reverse psychology, sometimes we appeal to his competitive side, and sometimes I use his pride. Occasionally, we just force the issue. I just don't like to do that, unless it's really important and I want him to listen to me.

Kevin, in general, is a fantastic kid though. He's usually very helpful and willing to do what I ask. Yesterday, he really wanted to help me sweep and mop the floor, so he held the dustpan for me and mopped the floor after I had finished mopping. Aside from him putting the bleach-soaked mop on the carpet, he did a great job!

What are you thoughts about being manipulators of children? Is it something I should do less often? Is it a good thing sometimes? I really am curious. Please share.

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