Monday, June 16, 2008

When Following the Rules Has Gone Too Far

So, I'm worried. I have over trained TJ. Seriously. I think I have overdone it on training my 2.5 year old to follow the rules. We went to a birthday party a couple weekends ago, and TJ got to smack his first pinata. A treasure chest filled with tooth decaying, sugar-high enabling candy. Lots of it. When a kid eventually hit the jackpot, I anticipated TJ to be lunging and clawing to horde his share of every kid's dream and every parent's nightmare.

What happened, instead, caused me grave concern. TJ took one Tootsie roll and walked over and said, "Look, Mommy! I got candy!" I rarely give TJ candy. When I do, I always tell him, "You can only pick ONE." And if he were to cry and whine, I'd threaten,"Well, TJ. You can have one or none.. " And of course, after a few rounds of this, TJ is smart. He chooses one.

Except this is a party! I didn't think it was "normal" for a kid to turn down all that candy. "Go back, TJ and pick another one! You can get more!" I urge him, anxious for all the Jolly Ranchers that were being snatched up by the second.

I leap forward, helping him get some. "Here, TJ." I hand him some pieces. What does he do? He drops his Tootsie Roll and exchanges it for one piece of candy from my hand.

Man, I'm such a loser Mom. I'm gonna ruin him for life now. He'll be that weird kid that doesn't eat candy.

That does it. I'm repenting. Next time, TJ goes to get his hair cut and the nice lady gives him a lollipop, I'm not gonna have him trade it for a bag of graham crackers I bring along. I promise. He can have the whole lollipop. We'll just brush your teeth afterwards, 'k TJ?


Vered said...

This was funny. :)

I don't think you should be so hard on yourself! It's GOOD that he knows to enjoy sweets in small quantities. If you think it's a good idea to relax the rules a bit - that's fine, but seriously, even if you don't, as hew grows a little and gets exposed to outside influences, your rules will not have that much power over him anymore anyway. ;)

Tracey said...

Don't worry: he'll come out of it. Once that first stolen piece of candy crosses his lips, and he finds that it's a thousand times sweeter than the candy you have GIVEN him?

Not that my kids have ever taken candy. No.... not at all.

Bonnie Gray said...

Vered, Tracey - It's good to hear I haven't gone too far on this.. I do admit, I like having rules -- I don't want to appear on SuperNanny one day -- Scary to think my power over him will be dissipating with time.. !

Feener said...

that is funny ! what a gentleman he will be

WkSocMom said...

Cute, great post. I can see my son doing that. I did find that one of my kids was much more of a rule follower - he probably would have said, oh, we can't eat that, it has sugar. I'm sure at some point you'll be glad he's following those rules, and another you'll see him throw them out the window - kids change so much.

Bonnie Gray said...

Feener - i enjoyed your mommyvent post too.. "TJ a gentleman".. I hope so!
WksocMom - yes, it's dawning on me.. parenting TJ appears to be a moving target!