I think relationships are difficult more often than not. As a mother I have had a difficult situation that just got resolved. The resolution is the miracle, because it had to be a win-win or nothing. I can’t choose between children.
Child #1 – has a number of anxieties and phobias. One of her big ones is dogs. Large, small, loud, quiet – she is terrified. She is now living away from home, but it was to the point that she had decided if we ever got a dog she would not be able to come visit us ever again. She just hadn’t figured out how to tell us.
Child #2 – wants to become a vet when she grows up. She loves being around all types of animals. Her vision of a perfect childhood includes her own dog that she takes on walks every day, trains, and bonds with for life. When I said that we couldn’t even consider a dog while the other children were so terrified, she took it as a promise that as soon as they were no longer living at home she could convince us to get one. Her room is filled with dog posters, and she knows every breed by sight.
The issue came to a head this last month. We tried talking it out calmly, we tried compromising, we offered various solutions. All I got for my trouble was both children spending hours sobbing in their room. A rough time in the parenthood arena.
When all else fails I prayed. I finally got the answer to pick a side and to stand by it, but no answer whose side to take. I really hate taking sides because I feel like someone loses. I decided we would not be able to ever get a dog. Child #1 was so happy and relieved and felt loved. Child #2 was devastated. I was devastated for her. No offers to let her work at a pet store when she’s old enough, or visit friend’s dogs could console her. She sulked for 3 days and nights straight. I wondered how I had made the right decision. I was afraid she would remember this rejection her entire life.
Then she snapped out of it. She came to me and said if she couldn’t have a dog, she would try to be happy with a hamster. I hadn’t considered that as an option. Child #1 quickly agreed that would be fine. I guess she needed to just realize that a dog was out of the question and that she could find another way to be happy. Child #2 quickly raised her own money, found the perfect pet online with all of the bedding, food, toys, water bottles, and elaborate cage. She is now forgiven me for denying her a pet, and child #1 can still come home to visit.
The win-win was not in my control, but the Lord knew that is what I wanted and He made it happen in his own way, and in his own time.
- Three Ways To Screw Up Your Kid (happychildrenandfamilies.com)