She had a strangely contorted look on her two-year-old face – you know the kind you see just before the mouth expels something unpleasant.
“You don’t like it?” “No” she said, getting ready to spit out the food.
“C’mon just chew it. Yeah like this (making exaggerated chewing motions), chew like a choo choo train, poo poo. Chew like a choo choo train”.
So started the song; …and it did not end until the meal was over – not just that mouthful but the contents of the plate too.
Children need lots of patience and creativity. I am full of the latter but often short of the former, and this is my undoing. With a lot of patience on the other hand, and no creativity, it may be hard to accomplish your goals. Therefore, I relish episodes with both:
To the grumpy, crying 2-year-old “Come mama, would you like some yogurt?”
“Would you like some hot chocolate?”
“Would you help papa make dinner?”
(Piling on all the available middle-aged charm) “Would you be papa’s little helper?”
“Well, papa wants to make an umi-dinner; are you an umifriend?”*
“Will you be my umihelper?”
“So let’s go find the recipe for the umidinner”
Are you a leader? Or do you have young children? You need patience my friend, lots of it – and a healthy dose of creativity, to tap into the motivational center of another person. When you make that connection, the person becomes an ally. Even when you are obviously seeking someone’s best interest, it is not always obvious to him or her. However, if you can connect it with patience and creativity to something in which the person is emotionally invested; then comes clarity (and coöperation).
Patience and creativity will get you to the goal as steadily as a choo choo train!
*From Nickjr’s “Team Umizoomi” the two and half-year old’s favorite TV show.