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Control Issue? I need your input

My son is four years old. We were leaving to my inlaws and I asked him if he wanted to bring his scooter to play with his cousins. He said no. I tried talking him into it alittle, but he didn't change his mind, so I dropped it. About 10 minutes into the drive he said he wanted to turn around and get his scooter. I told him no it is too late and he proceeded to throw a screaming fit. We got to inlaws a few mins later and he forgot the whole thing and was happy. When I told my mom about it she lectured me saying I was letting him control me. That I should have not asked and just taken his scooter even if it made him mad. To me, I would have been letting him control me if I were to say ok and turn the car around to get his scooter. I believe in letting him have some say in the things that affect him. IE asking which of 2 shirts he wants to wear, or does he want the green cup or the blue cup.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:04 PM on May. 11, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (11)
  • That way he is happy with what he got because he picked it. He has distinct likes and dislikes. He is still upset that I brought a stool from grandma's house to ours. He didn't want me to do it that night and has not forgotten about it. He won't use that stool only his other ones. He still says that particular stool belongs at grandma's house. His picky eating habits went way down when I allowed him to choose which fork and spoon set I bought. He is happy because he knows those are his forks and he picked them. I think I am teaching him responsibility for his choices. He choose not to bring the scooter and later regretted it. That is something he dealt with and learned from. If I were to choose for him or override his choice, he wouldn't learn.


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:04 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • Obviously he doesn't get a choice in everything that happens, but at least he feels he has a say-so in some things. My mom says I am letting him control me. Sure listening to the screaming wasn't fun, but next time he will think through his decision.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • i would probably have done the same thing... kids throw tantrums sometimes, and they'll learn to get over them. doesnt seem like a big deal to me

    Answer by StarrCooKie at 10:12 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • I say it's a good thing to ask and make a kid realize that their decisions are important and that if they say no they better mean no because some can't be taken back and changed. If you give in after they say 'no' and change their minds then that is letting them control you. You did the right thing by not turning around to get it. Explain to him that he was the one who said no, it was his decision and now he has to live with it, end of story, drop it! I think you are right in your thinking, keep doing what you're doing. Stick to your guns and trust your gut when it comes to parenting!

    Answer by mommabear2008 at 10:59 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • I've done exactly the same thing. I value his opinion and he knows it, so he gets to make choices that are appropriate. But if he changes his mind (which he's specializing in lately) and it's too late, then he has to tough it out. Yes, I've had to 1/2 hour screaming car rides (had one just a couple weeks ago, in fact), but once we were home, he was calmed down and we talked about his options for NEXT time. Yes, he'll remember. But he also knows that if he tells me something, I'll listen and if I say no, I have a reason. He may not like it, but that doesn't mean he'll have a tantrum. No, he's not controlling you. You are giving him a say in how to live his life and not making the decisions for him. You're also teaching him to think ahead and learn to live with his choices. But yes, at this stage, I think that they are learning that "changing their minds" is something new and will try it out for a while until bored.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 11:04 PM on May. 11, 2009

  • I side with you. He made a decision and had to stand by it and the consequences of it. That's life, isn't it? Life isn't someone telling us what to do 24/7. You're teaching him to be responsible for his actions and ultimately how to control his emotions and to better express.

    Answer by kara_g. at 9:17 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • I don't agree with your mother at all. For one you gave him a choice to bring it, nothing wrong with giving kids a choice and teaching them how to choose. Your son CHOSE not to take it, therefore he changed his mind later and there were consequences, this is not a bad thing, but a learning lesson we all learn. I think you did the right thing, again I disagree with your mom.

    Answer by TheFriskyKitty at 10:20 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • I agree with both of you :). I wouldn't have gone back to get it, but then again I wouldn't have asked if he wanted to bring it, I would have just brought the scooter, mainly because I would have known we are going were his cousins would be and that he would most likely at some point have wanted it. I would have had the fore though to bring it, unlike a 3 or 4 year old who usually only thinks of the moment and not of the future.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 11:49 AM on May. 12, 2009

  • I agree with you you gave him a choice he chose not to take it good for you not turning around and getting it!!

    Answer by IMAMOM2-2KIDS at 12:09 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • I agree with you on this one.There's nothing wrong with giving children a choice in appropriate circumstances. In fact, giving them control over some situations can go a long way in helping overall behavioral issues. Some control helps limit their attempts to grab oodles of control. ;)

    He's 3. He's going to throw the occasional tantrum when he wants his way and isn't getting it. You'd have been letting him control you if you responded to the tantrum. Good for you for standing firm. What you're teaching him is that our choices have consequences. You asked. He said no. So he didn't have scooter when he wanted it. Because you held firm, he's also learning that tantrums don't get him any where and his fit throwing stage will be relatively short lived compared to some of his peers. ;) Good for you.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 12:39 PM on May. 12, 2009

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