how far would you go to please your child?
I think the answer to this question would most likely be: “as far as needed”. Well, maybe at first.
But once you think it through again you’ll change it to “depends what they ask, how much it costs, and if it requires my time”.
That sounds more like what I’d say. Or so I thought….
About five months ago my oldest daughter (almost 6) has been infected with the “white fluffy dog” virus. We’ve tried literally everything to calm her down, starting with adopting a guinea pig for a trial week, buying a walking white fluffy toy dog, reading about dogs, watching films about dogs, watching hundreds of YouTube videos about dogs and visited countless petting zoos.
We’ve tried everything, and eventually hubby and I gave up. We could no longer bare the sad face she has on her face every day and realized this is where we have to put aside our own agenda and do what’s best for our child.
Before telling you what happened next, I want you to know that although I don’t mind dogs, having one at home was not something I planned. like ever.
Thinking out of the box
One day we decided to visit the animal shelter and see if there is a dog we may like and adopt, but unfortunately they didn’t have a white fluffy dog. And we really didn’t want to pay $1500 to buy a new puppy. So we tried something else.
I asked her if she’d like to “babysit” dogs, or to walk other people’s dogs? She was thrilled, but there was one condition, it had to be a white fluffy dog!
OK. White Fluffy Dog It Is!
For the next few weeks I had to get out of my comfort zone and approach random people with our quest: “Hi Sorry to bother you. My daughter is obsessed with white fluffy dogs, would you be interested in someone to walk your dog once in a while?”
Most people thought what I was doing is noble but didn’t really agree to share their dogs, until this one lady who was ecstatic when we offered this to her! She literally told us that we fell on her from the sky, because she has not been able to travel anywhere since no one wanted to watch over her dog. We ended up developing a beautiful friendship and share the cute little “white fluffy dog”, who’s name is Snuggles.
Our daughter is very happy, we are happy, Snuggles is happy and Snuggle’s owner is even happier! She finally went on vacation for two weeks and left the dog with us, knowing that we love Snuggles and enjoy every moment she is with us.
She has been with us for three days, at the time I’m writing this, and I now understand why people say that having a dog is like having a third child. It is a lot of work! But as long as our daughter can live with the solution we’ve found I have nothing to complain about.
Why am I Telling You This?
Raising kids is the hardest job on earth. It literally is. As parents we are forced to make decisions for our children all the time, especially when they are young. I think most children have weird or unrealistic requests (or so it seems to us), and it is very easy to brush them off and disregard their requests all together. I am a huge believer in parenting and helping children find their path in life so that they are equipped with the tools they need when they are faced the world on their own. Also, my goal is to develop a life long relationship with my kids so that they truly feel as a vital part of our family. I could have easily disregarded her request for a dog, however, this could have happened at the expense of losing an opportunity to connect and bond with her. So we chose to do it otherwise, by thinking a little different so that both of us are happy with the new solution.
Very often children insist on doing things their way, and this is true with regards to food as well. Some don’t want their food to touch, others insist on having their water filled all the way to the top. Or having a particular way to hold their cutlery, or skip them altogether. Whatever the situation is, always remind yourself that “this too shall pass” and if the problem is serious and unbearable think of a creative solution together with your child. Ask them what they’d like to do, or how they’d like to solve this particular issue? I promise they will think of something great and you will get an opportunity to connect and bond with your child. If that doesn’t work, ask for help. There are people who are trained to help families with feeding issues. I have developed a program for families who are dealing with feeding issues, you can check it out here.
Now, I would love to hear from you!
Is your child also infected with the “I want a dog” virus? Or is/was there something else your child craves? How did you deal with that situation? I would love to learn from you! Share your comments below.