One of the things that I am grateful for as an adult, is that I can make things the way I like them. I prefer brothy soup for example, so when I make soup, I make sure it is extra-brothy, so I can enjoy it.
I like a blanket over my lap when I am reading a book, or watching TV, so I always make sure we have a clean blanket in our living room.
I love crushed ice in my water, and prefer to drink it with a straw- I make sure we have these things in the house.
Throughout each day, I think about how glad (and lucky) I am that I have access to these things. I really do.
This is what helps me to take my kids’ requests seriously and what gives me patience when I might have run out. They are too little to make their own soup, or purchase or wash a blanket. If I do not take them to the store and give them money, they cannot purchase straws. It also reminds me to pay attention and check in with them about what they like and prefer.
Yes, I am lucky to be able to do this.
I think doing this matters for a whole bunch of reasons; from encouraging my kids to verbalize what they like and want, to letting them know that their preferences matter. It also reminds me that they are people. Just because their age is single digit does not make their desires less legitimate.
I cannot always give them what they want, but I’ve learned that taking them seriously and helping them get their preferences makes them more understanding when I have to say no.