Those Scary Green Beans

About six months or so ago, my daughter learned the phrase, "I'm scared." At first, she said it only when she was generally scared, such as right after she had had a nightmare or when confronted with the neighbor's yappy dog.

But then, she started saying it whenever my husband or I would tell her it was time to go night-night. So I'd let her sleep with us.

And then the potty training started. The first time I took her into the bathroom, she was fine. She thought it was fun. The second time took a little more coaxing. The third time, she said, "I'm scared." And thinking that perhaps I was putting too much pressure on her, I stopped potty training for a couple of weeks.

But gradually, my husband and I have started to notice that she thinks more and more things are "scary." If we tell her to pick up her toys after she's dragged them all out into the living room, she's scared. If we tell her to stop pulling all of the Kleenex tissues from the box, she's scared. If we tell her she's got to eat her green beans before she can have a cookie, yet again, she's scared.

"I'm scared," we've learned, is simply her way of saying, "I don't want to."

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