I asked our pediatrician about discipline at Will's 18 month check. She encouraged me to find my own discipline style based on what feels comfortable to me and M, and then to be consistent. She also said to pick my battles and not make everything a Really Big Deal.
It got me thinking about my Battle Zones, things I am willing to go to the mat with Will on. I really don't care what he wears, whether he has a banana or apple, if he wears the same jammies to bed three nights in a row, or if he wants to wear his boots on a 60 degree, sunny day. I am willing to let him make those calls and am not going to argue with an 18 month old that easy to pull on shoes would be so much easier than those darn boots.
But I do have things that are very important to me. Meal times are an example. I know our lives will get more and more busy in the future as we start doing activities and sports, but the nights that we are all home, I want us eating dinners together. It is something that my own family did every single night and it is something that M and I have done every night since we started living together. Most nights, Will is good about sitting in his chair at the table with us. Occasionally, however, he will be "all done" long before we are (as in, before I've taken my first bite). We have had a few meals where he is basically fighting us the entire meal, alternatively saying "All done" and "Down, please" and then getting really toddlerish about it before we are finally done. M and I end up practically shouting over him to "talk" to each other and choking our dinners down quickly. As M has pointed out on nights like those (and they are rare), we might as well just let him get down and play so we can at least enjoy our meal together. I refuse to consider it. I worry that if we give in to him on the nights that he doesn't want to sit with us, then eventually, he will not ever want to sit with us and family meals will be a thing of the past. Of course, we can't expect Emma to sit at the table if Will never does. So, that's a battle zone to me. I have others, too, but I think that's the best example of something that many people might say, "Gee, Katie, let the kid play after he's done eating" and think I am being kind of silly to enforce it.
But it's my Battle Zone. I think we all have our own important things that are worth protecting, even if it means a tantrum. What are some of yours?