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Enabling Mother and Children

Last week, I blogged about enabling my children by way of implementing two big changes in our lives (you can read more here) and for me to practice being a more flexible {and patient} mummy.

An opportunity came about on Saturday afternoon for us to take this up another notch.  

Going to a huge shopping center on my own with them without the twin stroller and having dinner at Sushi Train for the first time.

You see, all of us had a 3 hour nap that day because twin #1 (aka Charlotte) woke at 4:30am from what we gather to be, a nightmare. Why would she have a nightmare? We have no idea. Anyway, let me not digress.

After a refreshing nap, I decided to take the kids to a huge shopping center. You might think - what's the big deal? Well, for starters, no twin stroller to confine them. There's the multi-storey car park to walk through with the kids with cars zooming by. It was a hot day and there was a crowd. 

I mentally prepared myself that if the kids didn't cooperate when we got to the shops, I will plonk them back into the car and head straight home with two toddlers who will no doubt scream-cry-howl all the way home.

Keeping all that risk management stuff in the back of my head, we set off to the "great unknown". 

On our drive there, I gave the kids a pap talk of my expectations (no stroller, must walk, no carrying, hold mummy's hand, etc) and the consequence should they choose to deviate from my plan. 

They know that I mean business because I have not broken any promise to my children and that includes consequences. They are dished out immediately and negotiations are not entertained.

Car Park
This particular shopping center offers valet parking and I use it. All I have to do is drive up, hand the car keys over, unstrap the kids from their car seats, hold their hands and walked into the center, stand still on the escalators and off we go. 

In the Shopping Centre
We checked out A LOT of shop windows and went into a few shops. We checked out toys, books, clothes and never once did they demand for anything to be bought for them. *phew* 

Dinner time at Sushi Train
My kids don't enjoy Sushi {yet} but I still insist on sushi train because I am of the belief that with regular exposure, they may be more receptive of the cuisine. We all sat nicely in our booth - me on my own and them facing me. It was great. They tried several foods excluding sushi. I went for sushi, of course! 

Outdoor play area
They have always enjoyed the outdoor play area and it was a great opportunity for them to get excess energy out of their system! 

Fruit over ice-cream
For their good behaviour, I decided to reward them with a small treat Movenpick Ice-cream. They declined politely and requested for fruit instead. We went to the fruit shop where they chose three fruits - blueberries, strawberries and grapes. Then we sat down and had an impromptu picnic! It was lovely.

Needless to say, the impromptu outing worked out better than I thought. The rules of engagement were clearly communicated and it was followed through on this occasion. If it wasn't followed through, the consequence would be applied immediately. I am thankful that I didn't have to apply the consequence this time.

This experience reinforces to me the importance of being consistent in my expectations of them. With toddlers, there are no grey areas.

I will continue to work on enabling my children to be sensible, resilient, independent and happy. As for me, I will continue to work on my flexibility and patience.

Have a splendid week,