Friday, November 9, 2012

Testing, testing

Always testing.  I get it.  She's growing up, finding her voice and self in the world.  This requires some pushing back, you know, to see where the boundaries really are.  But do we need to draw out that line EVERY DANGED DAY?

There is nothing I am more willing to do and also dread more than consequences.  One time I shocked myself by threatening to take away the chocolate pumpkin we had just bought at Sees.  We spent a good 5 minutes choosing the treat, it was now a prized possession.  So when the threat came out of my mouth, that the squawking in the mall had to stop or else....I was afraid of what I might actually have to do.  She did it no less than three more times, with a very, "I'm doing it anyways" sort of attitude.  Boom- chocolate pumpkin confiscated.  

The following scene wrecked me.  Crying.  Urges that, "Now I'm listening" and, "I'm behaving now" though red, puffy wet eyes.  I explained that I appreciated her behavior now, and that she still wasn't getting the chocolate.  She didn't like that so much.  Following through is the worst/best thing ever.  So completely awful for the instinct to rescue my beloved from her hurt that I created.  I crowded out those thoughts with reassuring ones that this moment and others like it will be why she doesn't behave like a wild dog whose parents have no say.

Tonight and last night's consequences were no books before bed.  Our routine calls for two books before lights out.  This is a big deal.  After making the decision to continue with the unacceptable behavior (tonight it was splashing tons of water out of the bath tub), I laid it out.  

Again, the drama.  Again the insistence that now she was behaving/listening.  Again I wanted to read the books anyways.  But I didn't.

Short term discomfort for long term awesomeness?  I hope so.

Parenting is hard!


  1. Boy do I understand this post! Way to stand your ground! It sucks sometimes because you're right! It's not what we want to do! We want to read another story, snuggle longer, etc. My Dad told me once, after I had a hard day with my little one, this: Now you understand why there are so.many rude and terribly behaved kids out there. It's so much easier to say yes. It's hard to be a parent. Those words have stuck with me.... Hang in there. Love you!!

  2. I know!! Yes, we are setting them up for what the adult working and social world will be like but it is HARD! Yes, we are molding them into better people but it is HARD! I feel your pain sister. It will be worth it in the long run but blech.