Friday, February 18, 2011


Raising a "spirited child" is the hardest thing I have ever done.  It challenges me in ways I never thought possible.  This job has the power to thrill me one minute and make me want to hang my head down and cry another minute.  Unless the TV is on, I am pretty much fully engaged in attempting to harness the spirit of this little person with multiple personalities. 

Lately I have had a few winning moments....but those have come with much thought and effort on my part.  All my new positive parenting techniques take so much energy and I am drained by the end of the day.  To be more specific, many days I am drained by 9am.  But when it works, I am so proud of myself.  And I believe, even if only for a moment, that I am getting this thing down.  Luckily I have been reassured there is a steep learning curve to this positive parenting stuff, but once you get the hang of it, it makes everything easier.

But then I will slip into my old ways.  I can easily be pushed into acting impatient, short, angry and frazzled.  I feel myself giving in to the pull of wanting to deal with things in my old ways.  And when I give in it feels so good....for a second.  Then things go downhill so fast and it is next to impossible to bring it back to a level ground.  I imagine this could be similar to how it must feel to be a chronic substance abuser.  We all have the best of intentions but can so easily be knocked off our high and mighty perch.  The pull to give in is so strong, and the instant gratification is addictive.

I have tried a number of techniques to deal with outbursts and chaos this week.  I have taken away the babe's breakfast when she kept eating like a dog and throwing her cereal all over the table and at me.  I have taken the babe to the car without her shoes, jacket, hat, mitts or scarf when she refused to get ready for school.  I have explained that we don't hit people after she has repeatedly belted me.  And I have done these things without yelling and losing my cool.  I am just hoping that the way I handle things helps her understand that bad behaviour is not an effective way to get attention.  I understand that attention is attention, whether positive or negative.

I have asked my husband if he thinks all this positive parenting stuff is working.  He says he thinks it is.  But he wonders if we'll have the ability to keep our patience or if she will keep chipping away at us until we give in and return to the old ways for good. 

It wasn't looking so good this morning, though.  Within a minute of the babe waking us up she was demanding a loli pop in her lunch (after I hugged her and said good morning).  I told her she'd have to wait until after school because it wasn't fair to the other kids.  She started ranting and yelling at us.  This is all literally within 2 minutes of waking up.  We tried to handle it as best we could....but we were left feeling like we just have a rotten kid (a horrible thing to think about your own child).  It really is just exhausting.

All I can say is that I'm not willing to lose this fight.  We will find a way to use her power for good and not evil.  I am not going to give up.   

1 comment:

Mamabeing said...

you go girl! it sounds like you have quite a little woman there. but I am confident you will figure out some keys, and she will also mature out of it. change is really hard--it does take a lot of energy, because people around you usually fight it too, everyone likes the familiar. be strong. I am rooting for you.