It was a lucky car. Until he had to push his luck.

I’ve recently had the most amazing interactions with my 3.5 year old Mini-ion #1 that I wouldn’t have really acknowledged before knowing about RIE,  Janet Lansbury, Magda Gerber and Lisa Sunbury.

While on vacation, in a moment of stress and short temperedness, I needed him to sit in his seat right away, when he wouldn’t, I ended up forcing him into it.

Fast forward a week later, we were getting ready to get out the door and I should have slowed down, but didn’t, so I got mad. Once we got in the car, I turned around and apologized. Said I shouldn’t yell when I got mad, that I’m working on that. I added, how about we make a pact not to yell at each other (because he’s started yelling at me as well, totally mirroring my behavior), and when the other yells, we remind each other not to yell. He said deal. We shook on it. And I turned back to the steering wheel and started driving.

He immediately started reminding me of how, a week ago, I pushed him in his seat. And it wasn’t nice of me to do. And if I had just said please, he would have sat in his seat. But I didn’t say please, I didn’t ask nicely. I felt the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I acknowledged he was right. And that I’ll try to remember to ask nicely and hoped he would too. He agreed.

And truly, since then, this has been the most amazing 3.5 year old. He’s also fighting his nap, so he’s not getting enough sleep. But if I ask him to do something and he doesn’t, I remind him I asked nicely, and he’ll generally do it. If he hits me or does something I don’t like to him, I’ll let him know that wasn’t nice and he’ll apologize. And vice versa. When I’ve been a bit rushed, he’ll remind me if I don’t ask him nicely. If he doesn’t like the way I act about something, he’ll just tell me. And he’s right!

It’s astounding to me to see the difference in our relationship after our talk. It’s not perfect, neither of us are, but it was like a switch happened. He is verbally communicating to me his feelings, and feels respected. And vice versa.

I’m so happy to have this relationship with this special little boy.

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