Thursday, August 28, 2008

bad mommy

Ugh. Madeline has been such a challenge lately. Actually, she has been a challenge her whole life it is just different stages bring different challenges. Her strengths and weaknesses interchange so easily that it is hard to parent her. She is a very opinionated girl and she speaks her mind. That is a good thing in that I know she will always stand up for what she believes to be right and people around her will always know where she stands but it turns into a bad thing when she doesn't think before she speaks and when she gives her opinion when it isn't warranted or when it isn't any of her business. I find myself saying, "You are not the mom." multiple times a day. How do I encourage her to be the girl that God has made her to be? How do I teach her when it is okay to assert your opinion and when it isn't? I feel like I am losing the battle. She is lying to me about ridiculous things. She is very sensitive to any kind of discipline. She is so dramatic that I can't tell the difference between real feelings and overly dramatic "feelings" that she brings out to manipulate me out of the punishment. Take this morning for instance...we have a dog and we have reminded the kids time after time to close the lid to the toilet. Well, someone had used the toilet, didn't flush, and didn't close the lid. Both the kids were brushing their teeth. I asked, "Who didn't flush or close the lid?" Eli immediately said it wasn't him. Madeline said it wasn't her either, that it was Eli. Well, we all know that the dog didn't use the bathroom and not flush or close the lid. Someone is lying. She was emphatic (real word?) that she hadn't done it. Eli was also. It ended up being Madeline that had used the toilet and not flushed or closed the lid. That in itself is not a big deal. I would just remind her to do that next time. But she turns it into such a bigger offense. Why lie about something so trivial? Why lie at all? So we talk about it and she says that she is a horrible person and she is stupid and asks me if I want her to pack her bags. WHAT? We have never told Madeline that she was stupid, horrible, or that we want to get rid of her. But she pulls that card out all the time. She makes a huge mess and doesn't clean it up...we tell her to clean it up...she says she is stupid. She is mean to her brother...we send her to her room...she says she is a horrible person. I don't know how to handle it at all. I want her to be confident and to not second guess herself. I really don't know how to be her mom. I thought having a baby was hard..all that work with no sleep. I would take sleepless nights and nasty diapers over this any day. Ugh.


meredith said...

oh how i can relate...i think you might have it worse than me with all the added girl emotions!! oliver just gets angry & hits the wall.

i read aaron's way by smiley & shepherding a child's heart by tedd trip. also, have a new kid by friday by leman has changed my life.

we need to start a club i think.

LFinn said...

When my oldest, Joey, was 3 I was telling him not to leave his tippy cup lying on it's side because it leaks on the carpet. Well as I am talking he runs across the room, Stands on the back of the sofa, presses his body against the wall and screams "Mommy don't beat me again" I've never touched this child, so I did not acknowlege the statement, I just laughed and said "The cup goes on the table like this and don't stand on the sofa" Then I went back to what I was doing.

Flash forward a bite to Cassidy at about 4. I asked her to pick up a mess she made. She said "I hate this family, you don't love me and I am running away". Then she walked out the door, she stood on the front porch waiting for me to bring her back in. Instead I shut the door. I watched from the window to make sure she was ok but was careful not to be seen. It took her 5 minutes to get to the end of the driveway. After every step she would stop, turn around, and wait for me to come running out. Well, when she reached the end of the driveway she turned around walked in the house and started to clean up her mess. Careful not to be emotional I said "I am glad you changed your mind, you would have been missed and thank you for getting right to work". I then went back to what had been doing before.

Neither Faith or Max have tried anything like that. I don't know if it's just not in there personality or if they know from watching Joey and Cassidy that I don't react to over the top drama. Either way the point is, kids do these things and it has nothing to do with how good of a parent you are. Don't let it get you down and don't let it effect you convidence in your parenting. You know you are doing what is best for them whether they agree, or for that matter like it, or not.

Your sister in Christ,

manda said...

A club would be nice. I read Tripp's book when Madeline was a wee babe but I should dig it out and read it again.

Bethany said...

We have found a cattle prod to be the most effective form of discipline. Positive reinforcement MY REAR!

Okay, totally kidding. I guess that is why I thank God He gave me a boy, because PHEW! I could NOT handle a girl!

As someone with a strong personality, and a son with an iron will, I say you appeal to her intelligence. Go out with her for some "girl" time and get on her level and talk about decisions and consequences, and most of all, how it affects those around her. That's something I never understood until I was way older than I care to admit.

Manda, you are a great mom. You have a very smart girl full of spunk. I think sometimes we underestimate how much our kids understand. I dunno. I can buy you the Nanny 911 book...