When we were having some issues with the kid – two hour long bedtimes, mainly – we saw a pediatrician and his best advice was to pick your fights. Some things just aren’t as important to you as a parent as other things and you can let some stress go by letting the kid have what she wants those times.
Lately our biggest fight has been over clothes. Every day we tell her what our plans are, and we tell her when it’s time to get dressed. And almost every day the response we get is this:
“No, just my diaper.”
She used to have no problem with pajamas and when that became a huge fight at bedtimes that were already difficult we said screw it, let her sleep in her diaper. Now she will often be around the house in just her diaper, which is fine, but when it’s time to leave the house, it’s time to get dressed. And some days that results in a screaming, crying tantrum.
When she was still in daycare this made things especially difficult because we had a set time by which to get out of the house. And on days I was home I would put off going out to avoid the fight.
Because of this I have become the mother that lets her two year old dress herself. Whatever she picks, if she’s willing to put it on, that’s fine. This means skirts over dresses, dresses over jeans, and today a striped dress over polka dot shorts. Do people look twice, probably, but it’s adorable and it’s the fight I didn’t pick.