I heard a story once about Ann Richards. She was asked how she managed being a woman in politics during a time that it was dominated by men. She said her best strategy was to have a sense of humor. If someone said something ridiculous and/or offensive, she wouldn’t attack him head on, because she wasn’t in a position to win the head-on collision, but she would make a joke. And by addressing it at an angle, without being confrontational, and in a way that might make the man laugh, she made her point and was able to move on.
I try this with my kids. Sometimes Sparkles won’t go where I want her to go when we need to get somewhere. So, I make a joke and say “Do you want me to carry you like a sack of flour (over my shoulder) or a sack of potatoes (by one arm, at my side)?” I say it like it is fun and she has fun with it and she usually prefers a sack of flour. Then we laugh while we get where we are going, instead of fighting about it.
Well, I must say it doesn’t always work and sometimes we have the head-on collision anyway. But it works a lot of the time and I love the times when we laugh instead of fight. So, THANK YOU Ann Richards. I remember you fondly tonight for many reasons, but especially for your sound parenting advice that helps me get Sparkles in the car, at least most of the time.