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"Pick and choose your battles"

I have heard this term often. Recently I asked a question in general parenting answers about my kids and the kids I watch fighting over cups. Several people felt that I should just go buy one color so no one would fight. However I don't think that I should buy new things to keep them from fighting, fighting is unacceptable, regardless of what color cup you get.

So when it comes to situations like that with your kids, when you "Pick and choose your battles" are you giving into your kids? Do you think it send a negative message to your kids?

Can you give me an example where picking and choosing your battles influence your children's behavior in a positive way?

Answer Question

Asked by daughteroftruth at 9:37 PM on Jun. 18, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Level 19 (7,602 Credits)
Answers (29)
  • That's a lesson they have to learn in life. You don't always get what you want, maybe next time. I don't give in.

    Answer by sugamama3 at 9:39 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • well, when my kids fight over a certain thing, that certain thing goes on top of the refrigerator (and if it is especially bad fight we throw it away or donate it....depends on what it is). i am not sure if that would be choosing your battles or not, but they do remember that mommy makes promises, not empty threats and they don't fight over things as much anymore. they usually share since they know what will happen if they fight over something enough. so i guess that is a positive outcome....they share instead of fight.


    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:41 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Arguing with them to stop doing something that won't hurt them, but will likely break their toy (or chair, or whatever). Sometimes it's better to watch them break it and have to go without it than constantly tell them to stop using it incorrectly. Of course, that only works if you stand your ground and don't replace it, either.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:41 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Really? I never heard of that when it comes to parenting. The job of a parent is to set rules, enforce rules, set boundaries and enforce boundaries. With that being said, parenting is NOT for wimps... No backing done on my end. (although I do see those moms at the mall alot)... LOL!

    Answer by m-avi at 9:42 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I do pick and choose my battles. However its over stuff that really isn't going to have much of an outcome. LIke I don't see the point in fighting with my son about wearing his pjs in the middle of the day as long as they're not too hot (or cold if it's winter) and we're not going anywhere. Or if they'd rather wear the blue shirt and not the red.
    But stuff like fighting is different. It's just not acceptable at all and I don't tolerate it. I understand were they were coming from when they said to just buy all the same color for the cup situation. It's just to help make it easier on you. Kind of like cutting the head off of the snake. However kids will ALWAYS find something to fight about. If not the cup then something else. Even if it is the same they will still want the one "jonny" has.
    There's a time and place for picking your battles.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 9:43 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • I think I pick and choose my battles when it comes to clothing. I'd love to dress them up daily but they each have their own little style going on. So, I let them have at it. My one rule is that they need to be weather appropriate. Some people wouldn't dare let their kids walk around in some of the outfits my three and 6 year old girls pick out but to each their own, it's not worth the battle.

    I wouldn't have bought new cups either. :) The rule here on that sort of thing is that you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. LOL

    Answer by Jessica157 at 9:43 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • no, I don't think it's just giving in. Kids need to learn how to make some decisions on their own and the outcomes of those decisions. Picking battles is one way to help them learn how to become independent.

    As far as the cup thing, you don't need to buy new cups but you could give the kids an option so they can make their own decision. Let them work it out instead of telling them what to do.

    Answer by MrsMWF at 9:44 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • m-avi Do you feel that kids should have certain choices? I personally feel that giving my kids choices makes things easier (I only let them choose between 2 things I'm ok with. Food what they wear ect.) when I have to put my foot down. There's a line for everything tho and we all have to figure out what works for us.

    Answer by 2murphyboys at 9:47 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Teenagers rooms. It was a battle not worth fighting. As long as my boys did their laundry once a week, there was no food in their rooms, and it was contained behind the door. I let them keep it how they wished. My Mom thought I was giving in to them. It wasn't worth the daily fights. When my son broke his good belt buckle from stepping on it. "Oops, that's tough. YOU replace it. I refiused" About the third time a buddy came over and said "Your room is diasgfusting dude" It began to take on a remarkable neater appearance. Was it to MY standards..probably not..but he did learn. The exact same thing happened with my youngest son. He broke his most honored trophy and I refused to have it repaired. I did not replace anything that got broken. Damage to any furniture meant it was removed from your room. My youngest learned it was tough to do homework without a desk for about 6 months. It all worked out and I quit yelling.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 9:49 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

  • Sometimes picking your battles is more for my sanity than anything else. Do I care what color plate they eat from...NO, is it worth a daily battle and struggle to get them to just eat off of whatever plate they have..NO. Important battles to me are about health and safety and education..dinnerware is whatever makes it easiest for me. If the plates and cups and bowls are all the same color (and in my house they are - which I learned from my first set of children) my life becomes easier and less hectic and I can concentrate on what I think are more important things. It's a plate..make it easy on yourself.


    Answer by meooma at 9:58 PM on Jun. 18, 2011

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