How to get a two and a half year old to do what you want.
(Well it worked for me at least and the circumstances may vary.)
So yesterday evening I had the great privilege of spending time with my niece.
The evening was full of running around, watching 'the little mermaid', and playing with her toys. Near the end of our time together we built a fort and she wanted ALL her toys to come with us into the fort. Now this is fine, no big deal. We can clean up toys. She proceeded to pull out the puzzles and dump them on the floor. I asked, "will you help me clean those up?" "Yes!" Was her chipper, immediate response. So we played for awhile and she got bored, so I wanted to clean up the room before her parents got home.
Earlier, She pulled out this horribly ugly straw hat that sits really low on your head and covers your eyes... very scarecrow like. She placed it on my head and smiled. I had taken it off a few times and she kept wanting me to wear it. Well at this point I took off the hat and asked her to help me with the puzzles. Her reply, without recognition of my request, "No. I want hat on." As she reached to put the hat on my head. I stopped her and said. "Well I want you to help me with the puzzles." Again she said, 'I want hat on." This was said in a sweet little whimper of a voice. I retaliated in a very childish pout of a voice, "I want you to help with the puzzles." She began to fake cry, "Hat on please?" I said, "Yes, I will wear the hat if you will help me with the puzzles." We had to do this a few more times, but finally it clicked and she moved around the chair and began putting the puzzles together and the ugly straw hat was on my head.
It was a miracle! This little girl is so stubborn and she submitted and we had fun while doing it. And she got plenty of praise as well. She loves praise! :)
My sis-in-law and I had a conversation awhile back about a parents relationship to their child and ours with our Father in Heaven. She recalled the period of time where she was advised to no longer pick up my niece when crying at night. To let her cry herself to sleep because she needed to learn to sleep through the night. And how your roll as a parents changes as the child grows. Your relationship with them has to alter for them to grow. We talked about how it's the same thing as our Father to us, his children. Maybe at one time he answered our prayers in a heart beat. But then he sees how we are growing and there are things that we need to add upon that, so sometimes he doesn't come right when we call him because he's knows what's best. But just as the young mother aches when her baby is crying from the next room, she knows it's better to let her adjust so she listens to the sadness without being able to do anything. Our Father most assuredly must too ache when we are in a time of pain and sadness. He knows that it will pass. That in the end, we'll be better for it. Sometimes, He's merciful enough to be persistent in the lessons He wants me to learn. Even if it takes me years to submit to His will. If only it was as simple as a silly straw hat and puzzles. = )
No wonder we're built to create families, and that it's sanctioned by the Father. How else would we be able to better understand our relationship with him?