HELLO! Ok so this past week has been a handful! I sat down numerous times to chat with you and just couldn’t get out what I wanted to share. The past two weeks have been well challenging but then we have also had some really great days. Unfortunately those great days came DAYS after the treacherous ones! Isn’t that life?!
S has decided that not only does she want to be five but she wants to be the most independent, demanding, at times rude, mother challenging daughter! I sooo was not expecting this I was the mom that said “Terrible Two’s are a joke!” as really we moved to three and it was labeled “Treacherous Three’s”. Then we arrived at four and well we around here refer this age to “Flippin’ Fours” as Four really wasn’t bad but S could flip on a dime IF SHE wanted to. Luckily, it really didn’t happen too often. NOW, we are on to Five! Isn’t this supposed to get easier? I’m going with “Ferocious Five’s!” HOLY COW this girl can make a sane mom crazy. Lucky for her I’m already crazy so she can’t push me much further. Over the past few weeks I have been watching her behavior and asked for feedback from my lovely mother for times when I’m not around on S’s behavior. I have come to the conclusion that when I’m around she 100% is a different child when there are others around. If you are a parent you may be saying well aren’t most kids or at least we hope they only act up when we are around and are the precious angels when not.
At my parents recently S had a sleepover. She received rave reviews from Grandma and Papa on how good she was. I arrived to pick up but planned to stay and craft and have dinner the following day with K. Multiple times during the time that I was present she was mean to K. She would say things to me like “I’m not doing that” or “Leave me Alone”. My mom knows we VERY well and with Joe working so much I am the primary disciplinary in our home. IT’S EXHAUSTING! Especially with a child that wants to challenge everything you say. So my mom a few times would ask S why the behavior when we were so good prior to my arrival. Or correct S for mis-behaving for say climbing over the back of her furniture. I’m completely ok with this as well we are in my parents house and she needs to respect that and second sometimes Grandma’s words come across better than mom’s. Well I don’t spank I just don’t think it does anything. As my mom says when I was a child she used to tell my dad “don’t spank her, it’s what she wants!” My father never once spanked me but my mom said it was for her own benefit. As I as a child would wear her down to not knowing what else to do. But guess what a spanking to me meant I won! Well, S exhausted me to this point during our visit. I brought her in the bathroom and she received three swats. I don’t even think a tear fell! She looked at me with a look of nice try is that all you got!? I immediately saw the look and realized you idiot Amanda you gave in to her actions. Why didn’t you just stick to your words of one more time and we are leaving and not having dinner here. I know why I didn’t want to leave! I wanted to stay and enjoy dinner with my parents. When we drove home I let S and K as he wasn’t my sweet little guy himself but the difference is he follows her leads know how they acted made me sad. K knew I was upset literally crying to myself thinking where did I go wrong? How am I going to fix this. He said “mama I’m sorry I will listen better.” S on the other hand struggled to apologize and in my house if you can’t apologize from the heart don’t apologize at all or wait until you have had time to digest and understand why an apology might be necessary. When we arrived home S continued…She ended up being sent to her room as I told her we needed a break and during her break I wanted her to put her laundry away and her three bags of sleepover gear (aka toys). She screamed, she yelled, she snuck in K’s room and told him “tell mom she’s the meanest mom ever.” He of course reported this to me then hugged me and said “your not the meanest your the best mama ever.” So after all was calmed down S and I talked, hugged, and moved on with the evening which was very short as it took her until almost bedtime to calm down.
That evening I started my research. I was not going to allow my mini me to take over my home. But how was I going to do this. I of course resorted to Pinterest for some articles on strong willed children. As I read some descriptions and S fit the profile almost to a T. I have shared a few links below of the ones I have found most useful. I’ve learned that I was doing a few things that for a strong willed child are very difficult. For example don’t leave things to them to decide give them two options. I’ve been doing this for almost everything lately food, daily activities, discipline; this more means when we have to get ready for school I will say “S can you please get your gear on so we can be on time?” I will follow it up with “Or do you need me to assist you in doing this?” 8 out of 10 times she says she wants to do herself. For lunch I have a terrible habit of leaving this decision up to them or saying “what do you want?” They are first toddlers and second she appreciates a little direction. Now I will offer two things. For snack time I allow one of two snack times to be a treat and the other has to be a fruit or vegetable. You get the idea again the article below I found really helpful.
So the following day we were driving and S comes out and says “Mom you are really lazy.” I almost ran off the road. I said “really, what do you mean? What makes me lazy?” She said “You sleep a lot, you’ve been sleeping since I was like 3!” Ok my head is spinning with so many thoughts and emotions. I mean I know I’m tired often but does she really think I’ve been transparent in her life for three years?!!!! Then there’s the other side where I’m thinking what a little brat! How dare she say that I do stuff with and for them everyday! So I first just responded with “Thank you for sharing how you feel” I left it at that for about five minutes and took deep breaths. I then said “you know S you telling me I’m lazy really hurts my feelings.” She replied “well you say things that hurt my feelings.” I said “I do? I’m very sorry for that. Why don’t we come up with a plan to not hurt each others feelings?” She said “OK” So we agreed that each day we would say two things nice two each other weather it be about what we were wearing or something kind we did. Anything but it had to be nice. I can honestly say we have been doing this for over a week and successfully done it everyday. S looks forward to what I am going to say and I equally look forward to it. So I guess that bratty comment resulted in a gain for both of us and a step forward.
Last thing I do want to share is that we have also adapted a star/sticker chart for each kid since all of this started. There are a ton of them you can print off pinterest. I simply wrote their names on top with each day of the week listed. We agreed on the number of 8 for a goal. Once they meet their goal they get to pick a reward. My rewards I wanted to be more creative then give a $1 toy or something. So they include: Having a sleepover in your siblings room, Having ice cream at lunch, staying up 30 minutes past bedtime; on a school night!, picking out the movie for the weekend. These are just a few but again no cost and things that kids love but I think should be earned. So far it is working and they love the rewards. Neither has achieved them as I haven’t been giving stars for just anything. But looking at their boards it looks like if today is a good one we might be picking one!!!
Ok well I know this was a long share today but I felt like it was necessary. Many times strong willed children are viewed as brats. Really they just need a little more guidance/direction to be successful as they really are pretty darn smart if you think about it! I hope you and your family have a fantastic Tuesday! Cheers