That advice rang in my ears often in the early years of parenting.
Make a decision and stick to it.
Do not waiver.
Do not change your mind.
It’s still good advice, but somewhere in the battle to be firm and consistent I somehow made compromise the bad guy.
To discus, to negotiate, to compromise was akin to wavering, to being soft, to giving in.
But the problem with that view is that it sets up my child and I as enemies. It makes it seem as though my child’s needs and desires are directly at odds with my own and can never be reconciled. It makes for a battle… every time.
I don’t want to battle my kids on everything, and I don’t need to. Sometimes I can compromise.
Compromise is not the same giving in.
Compromise is a way to learn respect, understanding and empathy.
Compromise is a way to accommodate the needs of others, while not ignoring our own needs.
Compromise is a way to find similarities between our needs, and negotiate win win situations.
Compromise can be difficult, and sometimes we can’t make it work, but it’s an important skill to teach our children which will have lifelong impacts on all their relationships.
You don’t need to throw out compromise to be consistent and you don’t need to give up on consistent when you compromise.
When we compromise with our children, we teach them to compromise.
Are you good at compromising?
Find more of my ponderings on parenting such as ‘It’s Ok to make Different Choices‘ and ‘How Being Not Quite Perfect Makes You a Great Parent‘ here, or follow my pondering parenting board on pinterest.