Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stand Your Ground

My two year old has a nemesis and her name is Emma.  She's a 20 month old tough cookie that he sees each and every week at our homeschool co-op.  I have seen this beautiful little girl run at him full speed and knock him over like a bowling pin, push him off the plastic picnic table in order to get a better spot and steal food from his tray.  Each time he looks at me beseechingly and I try to explain that she's still a baby and doesn't know her own strength.  But he is a man of action and this week, he came up with a plan.

I helped him with his shoes as I unsuccessfully tried to rush them out the door.  My little one laid down on the floor and whined, "No Emma, Mama!  No Emma!  No co-op!"  This is not the first time I have heard him lament his fate at the hands of this little titan and I did my best to make understanding noises.  Then, suddenly, he stopped.  He sat straight up and looked me straight in the eyes.  "Me push her back," he said with finality.  It was if he had finally discovered that he didn't have to take this nonsense anymore.  He was ready to defend himself.

I thought for a minute before responding.  He does need to defend himself but he can't push little girls.  How in the world do you teach a two year old discernment?  I decided to try and make it as short and sweet as possible.  "I'm sure you want to push her back but you just can't push girls," I started.  The wind fell out of his sails a bit and he said, "Emma push me!"  He's right, of course.  And I sometimes even want to push her in defense of my son (sorry Emma's mom) but it doesn't make it right.  I told him he can use his words, "No Emma" and stand his ground.  He doesn't have to let her push him.  I promised I would help while we were there.

It didn't take long for little Emma to give my son an opportunity to try standing his ground.  He was standing in the doorway of the playhouse and she tried to shove him down to get in.  He held his little arm up, stood firmly and said, "No Emma."  She looked at him, thought for a moment, then crawled underneath his arm without knocking him over.  I honestly couldn't believe that he listened.  He was empowered when he realized he finally had an option other than taking his licks.

Aren't we all that way?  I thought about the situtation on the drive home and realized that we all have people pushing us around.  They may not be physical but they push their agendas, push their opinions and push their needs above ours.  We never have to right to meet rudeness with rudeness but we do have the option to stand our ground.  We can hold up our hands and stay, "No" and mean it.  We have every right to our own boundaries and it's always fair to state them.

Who is pushing you around these days?  How can you say "no" and hold firm in your position?

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