Kid: “No! That’s my blanket, get off!”
New Kid: *sitting on a freshly laid out blanket on the floor*
Husband: “Kid, he doesn’t know any better, he’s still a baby.”
Me: “Kid, maybe you shouldn’t lay your stuff on the ground.” *Packing bags to leave the house*
Is this where it begins? Am I contributing to the problem? Two questions I immediately asked my husband in a joking tone, but even he understood what I was suggesting. There are labels for just about everything parenting related, and I’m assigning “She Guilt” to times like above. My three-year-old has every right to be upset with her younger mobile brother for climbing on to her blanket she just laid down to use. It is her blanket, not his. She isn’t required to share her blanket. It’s nice if she does (and sometimes she does just that), but she’s absolutely allowed be frustrated, upset, and even angry at her 14-month younger brother. So, why did we tell her to change her behavior to avoid the less than desirable outcome?
It’s a similar concept to dog training, that I just learned a few years ago. When dogs grumble or growl, that’s their warning sign they’re less than happy with something. When you as a person yell at the dog for growling, you’re essentially telling the dog that behavior is bad. Now what? Instead of growling, that dog skips it entirely and just goes from unhappy to snappy. Is that what I’m teaching my daughter? Skip over communication and go straight to physical?
I don’t know the statistics, but we all know someone that never takes any responsibility. It’s always someone else’s fault, never their own. I however fall under the realm that everything is usually my fault. It’s an ongoing joke in my house. I clearly control everything, so therefore it’s all my fault. *Sarcasm* We can’t predict the future. We can plan ahead, try to prepare, but at the end of the day things happen. It’s not always our fault.
I never thought I’d be questioning myself for contributing to the “She Guilt” problem, but now I’m aware. There are always multiple sides to an action, so yes- my toddler could have picked up her blanket, but it’s on us to teach New Kid that big sister needs her space to play too. Life has boundaries and that’s my responsibility as a parent- to teach my kids where those boundaries are and to respect them.