| Feb 17, 2013
It was nap time. Gabriella, my 24-month-old daughter, fussed in her bed — but after 5 minutes she doze off.
An hour later, I heard her fussing again. So I crept into her room to check on her — and what I found had me running for my camera.
Every child has those moment, those tearful “mommy, I’m so mad” moments where you can’t help but laugh at how silly they sound even when they’re upset. Well, in my daughter’s case, how she looked. These character building moments are important. I’ll explain why later.
Gabriella sleeps with her favorite stuffed animals. On this particular day, she chose a tiger with velcro paws that stick together. She loves it when I hang the tiger near her head as she sleeps so she can keep a close eye on “tee-ger” as she calls him.
When she woke from her slumber, she found the tiger was a little too close for her comfort. In fact, he was stuck on her — literally. Somehow one of the velcro paws attached to elastic hair ties. And, well, the photos say it all.
She tried to shake him off. It didn’t work. She tried to yank him off. That didn’t work either. She pulled harder and had no luck.
“MOMMY,” she yelled.
“I’m here, baby.”
“Mommy, bad tee-ger, bad,” she said.
I annoyed her even more by taking photos of her.
There was something so sweet, innocent, curious, yet, helpless about that moment that brought joy to my heart.
“Oh, no, Gabi,” I said. “It looks like you got in a fight with a tiger and you’re losing.”
She was determined to get that tiger off — and I wanted her to figure it out on her own.
Sure, I could’ve ripped it from her hair tie, but what would that have taught her? That I’ll be there to rescue her when she needs me?
She eventually shook that tiger off.
Sometimes as parents we have to stop rescuing.
Have you found yourself rescuing your kids a lot lately?
“My son is so tired, I’ll do his homework tonight.” “My daughter is too busy, I’ll do her chores this time.”
It’s an easy habit to get into, but if you want to raise a resilient kid, these are major parenting no-nos.
So start by setting this rule: “We have a new house policy; No more excuses. You need to take responsibility.”
Then abide by your rule. Simply stop rescuing. It’s one of the simplest ways to influence your child’s future.
In Gabriella’s case, it was that mean ol’ tiger. She took care of him alright. The first moment she got, she pitched him in the trash.
Josie Loza is a mommy blogger and the editor of Momaha.com, a site operated by the Omaha World-Herald. Momaha is an online community for moms to share ideas through blogging. Loza is a mother of two girls and a boy, and she brings her experience and quirky family adventures to the site.