Every time it happens, this songs races through my mind and I find myself be-bopping to it.
I’m in a season where I spend a least a portion of every day addressing this very topic. It doesn’t really matter where we are, because she is two.
I’m a mom standing in front of my daughter asking her to put her pants on
Many of you know the feeling. Some of you don’t even fight it anymore. It’s basically summer now anyway, right? But I have 4 other kids who are expected to wear theirs and I can’t make exceptions for her.
Actually, in these past few weeks of this exchange I get to have with Grace I discovered she does it when she wants her diaper changed. So there you go. Easy enough fix. Of course, we all know it is never easy. Good thing she is the cutest little spit-fire there ever was.
As a woman who has navigated this several times now, here is something I have ran into. Not every parent is in the same season you are. We are now in a phase of keeping pants on. Other moms may be in a phase of potty training where pants are not a priority. What happens on those play dates or babysitting days when one mom is teaching privacy and the other is just trying to conquer the bathroom?
A few years ago, I was working hard to teach Esther about what she needed to keep private and how to respect the privacy of others. We live in a world that isn’t safe, and I want my daughter to be aware of personal boundaries. So we start young. One day I was in a spot and my sweet friend kept my kids so I could go to a doctors appointment. When I came back I found her son, who was Esther’s age, walking around without so much as a diaper on. Esther, who was playing on her knees was at eye level with every question she ever had. Frustrated did not describe the intensity of my feelings. I appreciated her help. I had needed it. But I felt like a piece of my daughter’s innocence had been stolen from her without so much as a second thought from a friend I trusted.
Regardless, I value relationships and I valued her heart to help me out especially when she was in the throws of potty training. So, I did not attack. Not then and not later. No one wants to feel judged for their parenting moment. NO ONE. So don’t go there. Many parents don’t see eye to eye on this subject. So here is what I suggest:
Value the Relationship
Upon arriving home I sent her a message thanking her for her help. A couple weeks later, I called her up and asked for a play date.
When we set up a time I said, “Hey, before we meet up I just wanted to let you know we have been working on privacy with Esther. I know you are potty training and that can be hard. Will he be able to keep his pants on? I don’t want to hinder the learning process for either of them.”
Work Through It
We live in a culture that “unfriends” people who make us mad in the blink of an eye. I disagree with this. I think we should value our relationships enough to try to find a solution even when its hard. And I think we should model it for our kids too. When I asked her if it would be a problem, she said, “Nope! I’ll make sure he has his pants on!” No. Big. Deal. Relationship saved. Mission accomplished.
Pants. Respect the opinions and situations others are in. Be sensitive to where they are at. A single child at home has more luxury than a child with 4 other siblings. When you meet up for play dates, be aware of your own expectations and sensitive to the season and situations your friends are in and don’t be afraid to speak up and make a suggestion.
Pray for them
Lord, keep (Name) pure from a critical and judgmental spirit. I pray that (Name) will guard (his/her) tongue and “not speak evil against,” (his/her) brothers and sisters in Christ. Rather, may (Name’s) thoughts and words be a spring of living water bringing life to those around (him/her). In your name I pray, amen. – James 4:11
Is there anything better to launch the summer than these? So many great ways to make them too. Here’s a quick one:
- 1 cup of whole milk greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup Nutella
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips
Mix it all together, and adjust flavors to your taste. Spray the popsicle cups with cooking spray and fill them. Freeze for one hour and then add in the stick for a handle. Freeze for another hour (at least). When you are ready to serve, run the outside of the cups under hot water for a second to help remove the popsicles. These turn out super creamy.