Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Art of Manipulation

Life is full of lessons.  There are always those little moments, those fleeting times that a lesson can be learned.  When you are a parent, your goal is to take advantage of those perfect times.

The other day Alex asked if I could get her tea-set down.  Ryder overheard and asked Alex if he could play with her.

"Well," she began, "you might be able to, but first I have to invite some other guests first.  Like my doll."  she said pulling her doll from her shelf.

"There are still more cups." he pleaded innocently.

"And some of my stuffed animals might want to go." she quickly added.

This continued on for several minutes, and finally Ryder left.  Ryder is no dummy, he knew where this was going, he had experienced it before.

Instead, he came downstairs to play a game of baseball with his Dad.

"Alex," I called up to her, recognizing this teaching moment.  I reminded her that she should be grateful she has a brother who still wants to play tea party with her (Lucas wouldn't be caught dead doing that now) and that she usually is always wanting him to play with her.  I told her it was fine if she didn't want to play with him, but she just needed to tell him she wanted to play by herself, rather than the little mind games.   I told her it is better to just be honest and straight forward with people.

Alex returned to her room.

"Oh, who should I have come to my tea party?" she said rather loudly.  "It is just so hard to decide!  Ryder do you know who I should have come?" she almost pleaded.

I don't think my eyes could have rolled any further back into my head at this point.

"Oh who should come?" she said again and again.

Did she not just listen to a thing I said, was she really playing this game right then.  Part of my talk had sunk in, she obviously now wanted Ryder to play, but not humble enough to admit her mistake and just ask him to play.

After she called down several times Ryder responded "your stuffed animals should have a contest then you will know which one to invite."

At this point it was all I could do to constrain myself from busting out laughing.  I just wanted to run over and kiss him; his completely innocent comment shut down his sister's manipulative tirade.

"But it would be too hard to play both of my stuffed animals in a contest." she said still trying to dig her way out of this one.  "Couldn't you come just be one?"

Eventually he did end up having a tea party with Alex and they had a great time.

I wonder what my next teaching moment will be... and if it will even sink in.
Her royal majesty... 


  1. that is so sweet and I think I see this exact moment in my near future!

  2. We, too, witness mind games between our children. Ugh! We have to constantly remind them that their younger siblings adore them and want nothing more than to be included.

  3. Oh, the mind games! For the most part, Chris's kids are VERY vocal about what they want. (A little TOO vocal!) But there are times when they start to play those games and it's just so frustrating. It's like, "Just tell him what you want!" And then I think about some of the things I don't say to people on a daily basis and realize I'm totally guilty of it too...

  4. That photo! Glad they had a good time after all... you're such a good mom! :)

  5. hehe... Yes, before long he'll want nothing to do with her... take it now! :). btw, I want to know about your window with the pictures (on the wall). Have you ever done a blog post on that?