The Innovation Challenge!

One has to be at one’s creative best in dealing with 2-year old children. They are rebellious by nature and will not take ‘no’ for an answer. At the same time they expect us to accept their ‘no’ without a murmur. How do you handle that on a day-to-day basis? It’s quite a challenge to our innovation. One has to experiment with all tactics including those known as – Sama, Dana, Bheda, Dandam (Attributed to an ancient Hindu philosopher Chanakya).

When kids are bent on doing something, there is no stopping them. For instance, my 2-year-old granddaughter’s commitment and passion to a job that she decides to do is unbelievable. To take an example, she is the first one to know whenever the door-bell rings or the phone rings. In her mind she has exclusive right to open the door whenever the door-bell rings or answer the phone when it rings. She is so focused on the job that she will never let anyone do it for her. Once it so happened that the door bell rang at the most awkward moment for her. The bell rang ding-dong and she ran like a 100 metre sprinter towards the door. For her, after all, call of duty supersedes call of nature! Before her mother could even finish saying ‘no’, she was already at the door with lightning speed beating all of us who tried to give her a chase. I must admit her commitment to duty was total!

A couple of days back, I had a completely different challenge. I was given a difficult task of making her wear a certain dress against her wishes. (I’m surprised that at this age itself she is so choosy about what dress to wear for her play-school! Looks like dress sense is innate to girls). Given this background, the job of making her wear a dress of her mother’s choice was by no means an easy task. I tried every trick that I knew without success. You cannot coax her to your point of view on such matters nor can you use dandam or punishment. I tried a couple of bribes like candies  which didn’t work since she was already full. I had to think of an ingenious bribe, if one could call it so. I told her I’ll allow her to help me in dusting & cleaning furniture in the hall. It’s difficult to understand for adults how this is a bribe. However, I have seen several children who like to pick up a broom or a wet cloth to clean up the floor. I also assured her that she can help me clear all the newspapers lying under our centre table, pack them neatly and place securely inside a cupboard for disposal. This offer worked like a magic and I didn’t face any resistance from her on accepting the dress I gave her. Needless to say that I was elated and patted myself on my back for passing the innovation challenge!

My daughter has her own ways of meeting the demands of the little rebel. She found out her daughter’s weakness for videos of her 2-year old cousin brother Amudan. She uses those videos as an incentive to check the little one’s tantrums.

Over the last few weeks, we have developed a hierarchy of bribes to buy peace. It goes like this: Badam to candies to cakes to a free ride on her tricycle to TV cartoons and finally a chance to mess with a broom and wet cloth in the name of cleaning the floor.

When all else fails (read –  when we run out of  all ideas!), we resort to mild and calibrated punishment which always works.


Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  

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