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Honour the Child

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Our daughter is very sensitive, and we are trying to honour this trait. Working together on this is actually really helping her with a few issues we were just not 'getting'.

Before Andy lost his job in the fall we had the most amazing babysitter 3 days a week. A total gem. Rowan misses her and the sitter, who is an older lady, is at home every day and missing Rowan. We have finally worked it out that we think we can swing one day a week if Rowan goes *to* the sitter's house (gives Daddy a break).

The problem is Rowan doesn't want to go. Which is odd. I asked her why and at first she said "I don't want to tell you" and then she finally said the house smells and she doesn't like it. Oh. The house *does* smell~ the sitter is a diligent housekeeper with a love for scented products (we use none as I am very sensitive to chemicals). I left it alone and asked her a few days later about going.
She replied, "it's stinky, though!".

And this became, without my expecting it to, a difficult parenting moment!

Rowan is booked to go this afternoon to try a half day. I couldn't put it on her to tell the sitter or try to resolve it (she is only 3.5 and how would the sitter reply to a kid telling her her house stinks?) since it really does bother her and I don't want that poo-poo'd by a well meaning adult.

So I had to call this lovely, house proud woman and tell her my child thinks her house stinks.

That was awful! Mortifying. But I needed to let her know that it bothered Ro and that should it come up maybe they could find a solution (like open a window). I am still kind of shocked I did it, but I knew I couldn't leave it on Rowan and it really does bother her and affect her willingness to see someone she loves. This won't change the scents in the house, but hopefully it will respect Rowan's feelings, not hurt the sitter's and enable them to work out a compromise (and perhaps model openly talking about our concerns for Rowan?).

That was hard and the people pleasing part of me is still in shock!


hollyzhobby said...

Sounds like you handled that situation as best as could be done. Sometimes it is difficult to get a well meaning message across without offending someone. Hope it all works out for everyone.

Sycamore Moon Studios said...

You not only handled a difficult subject tenderly, you also set a great example for your child. Kudos!

Laura said...

That had to be hard. I hope the lady understood. At the moment my own house "stinks" like the orange peels and cloves that are simmering on my stove. ;)

Monica said...

You did well Lori. Perfectly actually. Sometimes I think it's bypassed that even though they are only 3.5 years old, our children have, and deserve to have feelings about the things around them.
You are a really good mom to Rowan...and an example to the rest of us "people pleasers".

Unknown said...

Aw, thanks :) It is good to get the affirmation (says the people pleaser in me!) LOL

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