handful of chocolate covered raisins. There was no response from the four year old other than heading off to the other room to play. All seemed well. About fifteen minutes passed. As the mother was conversing with the adults, the chocolate seeker entered the room and headed straight to where the raisins laid at her mother’s side. Without a word, hoping her mother was distracted, this little girlie stuck her hand into the bag and grabbed some goodies. Mom became alerted to the situation and reminded the daughter that she was not allowed to have any more. The girl walked off disappointed, but not fussing verbally.
Later, this same little darling was snacking on some chips. The
mom told her she had enough. The girl stepped away from the table for a few minutes. Then as the conversation continued around her, she maneuvered closer to the table and with one eye on her mom, reached in for a few more chips. Thankfully, the mom noticed and bent over to whisper in the child’s ear that she was done.
These situations happen to all of us. What we need to do is recognize them for what they are. This little darling was challenging her mother’s authority. She was not cheerfully obeying.
Would I recommend a battle be fought at someone else’s house? No, not necessarily. Perhaps the mother could have required the child to respond verbally to her instruction. When mom said, “That is all, Honey” the daughter could have been directed to respond, “Yes, Mom.” This would have strengthened her commitment to be done and would have given the mom assurance that the daughter understood the command.
More than in the moment though, we can be attentive to what needs to be worked on the following week at home. This situation could prompt obedience practice. Doing what we are told, when we are told with a good attitude. Playing some Mommy Says, would reinforce the need to say “Yes, Mommy” when asked to do something. A reminder could be given to this child that sneaking is lying. Replay the candy or chip scene showing how looking to the left or to the right before doing something is a good sign that they are sneaking.
Use any alerts a social situations gives toward weak character to
come home and explain, show, practice how to strengthen that character. Don’t waste your energy being embarrassed; instead be thankful for the chance to see another area that needs working on. Then go home, purposing to teach and to train.