Understanding Change

I have over 15 years experience in Change Management.  I understand the ins, the outs, the good, the bad, the ugly.  I understand what’s to be gained from making positive change in your life, and I know how hard it is to do it.

But today my daughter defeated me.  My little, one year old daughter reminded me how hard it is to make someone else change.  My pediatrician, who I adore because of his straightforward,  non-wishy washy style, told me in no uncertain terms that my daughter needed to be off her bottle (drinking from a cup) and no pacifier by her 15 month visit.

No problem, I thought!  My son picked it up in no time, and she seems a bit more advanced in the motor skills than he was at this age.  I was additionally bolstered by her ability to drink out of a straw the first time I gave it to her!  So proud I was!

So the first day, we tried.  She refused.  I stubbornly did not let her have a bottle, thinking that if she knew she threw a fit and got the bottle, she would just throw a fit every time.

Second day, same deal.  Nerves were wearing thin.

Third day, I gave up.  I gave her the bottle and she gobbled it up with grateful slurps.  Back to square one.

During my frustration I kept thinking that if I just held out, I would win.  But her blatant stubbornness (sometimes batting the cup to the ground in refusal) reminded me of rule #1 of change:  you can’t make someone change if they don’t really want to, or at a minimum, don’t understand the negative consequences of not changing.  My daughter doesn’t understand why she needs to change.  She just knows what she knows and likes it that way.

I will eventually have to fight this battle but I am hoping that in a month her little independent spirit will egg her on to wanting to use a cup like her brother.  Pretty hard to communicate consequences to a one year old.  An amazing reminder that knowing what happens whether or not you change actually changes the game.

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