Frustrations (of the parental variety)
Nana has always been a bit more “emotional” than your typical toddler. She has high highs and low lows. There’s nothing wrong with her – she’s just like me – very emotionally driven and……passionate.
As you can imagine, with us sharing the same personality, we butt heads very often.
Recently, it’s been worse than usual. Initially I chalked it up to lack of sleep (we had two weekends in a row traveling). Today, it came to a head.
This am she was especially sassy, telling me no, talking back, doing things I’ve asked her to stop doing. For example: the cable guy was here, and I had to go into the garage to show him the attic access. Well she wanted to come, and I told her no (lots of junk and she had no shoes on), I told her I would be back in a minute – well she pitched the biggest fit I’ve EVER seen. Blood curdling scream at the top of her voice, hitting/kicking the door, and she embarrassed the shit out of me – I don’t embarrass easily.
So all day it was one thing after another. Our typical discipline routine is one warning, then time out. It’s not very effective lately, as she either “fake” cries, gets hysterical or just comes out. It used to work well. Not so much anymore.
In large part, this is MY fault. Kids want attention – any sort. So when she’s “bad” she gets my attention, fully. I’ve got a very quick temper, which is a huge obstacle to being a good parent. I don’t get angry over messes, spills, back talk, etc – I do get angry when she’s intentionally mean to her sister, or hurts her.
This afternoon, at the very instant I was contemplating my actions, I heard Pia screaming bloody murder, I went in there and Pia has the makings of a black eye. Because of Nana. She said “I was being mean to her”. I took every single toy out of her room, and took her TV away. I was so furious I didn’t know what to do.
She was in time out for a good 15 mintues (mostly so I could calm down). When she came out, we talked about what happened, and why it’s not good to hurt your sister. Apparently she hit her with a toy. In the eye.
Yeah, they aren’t in focus, but you can see the eye.
In all honesty, I wanted to throttle her, and then myself. Because, I just don’t know if I’m good/strong enough to be the type of parent she deserves. I don’t know if I have the patience. I know I HAVE to buck up and be “good enough” – but what sort of damage have I done in the mean time? Obviously I’ve done some damage because she is the way she is because of the way I parent.
How do I discipline her without crushing her huge spirit? How do I remain sane while allowing her to be HER?
How do I successfully parent a child so much like me that it’s annoying?
So my sister, being the child educator, suggested a sticker chart. This is NOT something I’m sure of at all. I’m not big into parenting books, or “methods” – just not my style. But, obviously my style isn’t working. So, we’re starting the day out with 5 stickers – when she’s sent to time out, she loses a sticker. While she doesn’t “get” it yet, I’m hoping it’ll “click” soon. I did the whole “this is a BIG girl chart! Pia doesn’t get one, because she’s just a baby!”.
So, I have to work on how I respond to her, and change my behavior before I can expect her to change hers. *sigh* Wish me luck.