First, I am aware that some people have had trouble posting a comment. I have tried to remedy the issue, so please try again and let me know if it's still not working.
Second, one of my very good friends had an interesting reaction to my blog posts; she wonders if I am afraid of my child's reactions. I guess the dinosaur story might have spurred that one. I have to say that I absolutely welcome the comment and think it's a good opportunity for me to take a step back and look at what I do or don't do. Anyway, I gave the subject some thought and here's my take on it.
Sleepypapa and I believe that our child is a person, and as such, his feelings should be acknowledged. Everybody is entitled to their feelings, which does not mean that we have to indulge him on everything, but we do believe we should let him know that he has a right to feel one way or the other.
Do we let him do whatever he wants, whenever he wants just because we don't want a confrontation? Certainly not! There are some things that we deem important and we absolutely stick to our guns on them, even if it means A. is going to scream and get angry (that includes not watching more than one episode of his show per day for instance, or bedtime). But I do think that a child who spends more than an hour a day in a car may develop some form of attachment to the said-car and I don't see trying to ease the transition as a bad thing.
Could I have stuck him in the car and let him cry? Sure! He probably would have gotten over it eventually. However, it could have brought about another problem... a tantrum of my own. I have a really hard time staying patient when A. is out of control. Now what kind of example am I, if I go berserk because he goes berserk? I believe that part of parenting is also knowing yourself and planning for your reactions as well as your child's.
In our case, I feel that our approach cuts down on a number of unnecessary tantrums on A's part. Most of the time, he is pretty easy going and happy to do what we ask of him and can be reasoned with (as much as a toddler can be).
I do understand that our approach takes quite a bit of time and patience and may not be possible when you have more than one child. I also think that, again, different approaches work with different personalities. A. is a very determined little boy who knows how he likes things, and does not like to be forced into things. Some kids give up more easily than others, and he does not, so I find it best to talk him into things and keep the strong-armed approach for the things that cannot be dealt with in another way.
What do you think?