Talking Snow Boots

Photo (C) Read Pate 2009

We had plans to go sledding. I told my daughter she needed to wear her snow boots. She put them on and promptly took them right off saying they weren’t feeling good. She had had them on two days earlier with no complaints so I wondered what the issue was.

She was cranky at any suggestion of having to wear her boots. “No,” she cried. “They don’t feel good.” I saw them slip right onto her feet so I knew they fit fine. I stuck my hands in them and felt around. They felt fine. I asked her if she could tell me what was bothering her about the boots. She took the boots and threw them.

Luckily I was in a good place and decided to try some play listening with her. I exaggerated a big, “What?? You can’t throw your boots!” She smiled, grabbed them and threw them again. “Oh no!” I exclaimed. “You can’t throw your boots!”

At this point, she shifted gears saying, “Horsey!” and climbed on my back. I playfully said, “Boot throwers can’t ride the horsey! I’ll have to bump you off.” I gave her a small ride and gently bumped her off. She climbed back on and I wiggled her off again as we rode back to the boots.

I took a boot in each hand and had them “ask” how they were getting to the snow park. “Are we walking?” the boots asked. “Are we running?” She smiled at the silliness and said, “Noooo!”

“Are we driving?” the boots asked. “Boots can’t drive!” she exclaimed. “Well how are we getting there?” they asked. “You’ll go on my feet!” she said. At this point she put the boots on and was ready to go. Playing about the issue took less time than a power struggle would have and we both walked away feeling closer instead of frustrated.

– Michelle Pate, Parenting by Connection Instructor and Consultant, join her upcoming Building Emotional Understanding class starting March 14th. You can also connect with her on Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Talking Snow Boots

  1. What a wonderful Playlistening anecdote! How to take a potential meltdown and turn it around. Makes me smile!

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