Pick Your Battles

I've always been quite a laid back mummy.
I never shout at my children in front of others, sadly yes I have been a shouty mummy at home but only when I've really come to the end of my tether and tiredness is totally set in [not that I need to justify my ways of parenting]

A friend has always said that she can't believe how calm I am and how laid back I am.
I always saw this as a critisism and as if she was saying I have an "I don't care attitude" until a conversation we had recently when she said that I clearly just "pick my own battles".
This is exactly my parenting style.
I am baby led. I follow bed time leads, dinner time leads, nap time leads,  when they are babies and then regain a bit of control at 12 months old.
I'd say control is 60/40 in terms of control with Charles (us being 60)
Still now I will let Charles come downstairs for an hour at night if he wakes up and can't get back to sleep.
There isn't any reason that I can't do this.
It doesn't affect other nights or his returning to bed that night.
We even sometimes let him sleep in "daddy bed" [I'm in the spare room co-sleeping with Harry].
Monday night Charles decided he wanted to sleep in his tshirt and hoody he'd had on all day.
It wasn't dirty.
I had no reason to say no.
So I let him.

His new "thing" at the moment is wanting to go commando. He'll go to the toilet and not bother putting his pants on.
At first I tried to get him to put his pants on. I'd plead with him then I realised that it didn't really matter, as long as we were staying at home. If we go out he has to wear pants too.

If he wants to draw, wants to play with Play Doh. I might not want to. Or really want him to.
But if I have no real reason for him not to do it then I let him.
If he wants to walk around with my cordless home phones pretending to talk then I'll let him [as long as the keypad is locked] because I have no reason not to.
Playing with scissors, or playing with Play Doh on the rug though is another matter.

From August last year until November he almost always wore Gruffalo wellies....everywhere!!
Didn't want to wear trainers or proper shoes.
He wanted his Gruffalo wellies.
And I let him.
If it meant I could get him out of the house with no hassle, get him to walk nicely with me, then why not?
They didn't look scruffy. Most of the time would be covered by his stupidly long jeans.

I think this helps our relationship a lot and helps with respect. He shows us respect, of course sometimes he'll push his luck but at the same time we have to show him respect too. We wind him up sometimes, as almost every parent does with their children and that's where the balance needs to be addressed.
He knows his boundries. It's also prevented the dreaded "why stage" or at least held it off for a while.

I find that I now question myself a lot, in a good way. He'll ask me something or says he wants to do something and if initially I say no I then rethink.
What are my reasons?
Does he really matter if he does/doesn't do X?
What are the consequences?
Is it worth the battle?

I'll follow the same style with Harry too. I'm comfortable and confident with how we do things and its worked really well with Charles so I can't see how it won't with Hrry.

By biggest tip for any parent: pick your battles.
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