Wednesday, October 8

what goes up...


after a great week and half of school holidays, i've had it. had it with b2. im not sure if its being 10, being the newly middle child or just being her but im really feeling quite despairing and i know thats not a good place to be with your kids. they need you to be resilient when they are pushing and testing. BUT... shes a toughie. what do you do with a kid who doesn't respond well to positive reinforcement, encouragement, polite requests, or god forbid, being told what to do? well she doesnt respond well to just about everything. the word narcissist comes to mind. im finding myself not actually liking and that scares me. when b2 turned 1 we had a moment which now in reflection seems rather telling. She dropped a piece of birthday cake and i asked her to please pick it up. she looked me in the eye and without flinching picked up her little foot in its big, bright n shiny patent red Doc Marten boot and stomped that piece of cake and minced it into the floor. my girlfriend commented that it looked like we had a diva on our hands. great. it shocked me then and that behaviour is still shocking me. She shocks everyone. how can 2 girls be so different? Nose.spite.face; she'd rather go without than lose it. 'i dont care' is a common response. what do you do with that? Im feeling lost.

9 comments:

wombat064 said...

Hi Kel,
Think back to when B2 came along, did B1 behave badly ?. Well believe it or not its normal, my 2 Girls now Mothers themselves were exactly the same the eldest misbehaved when she was no longer the baby. The greater the age gap unfortunately the worse it is. Not much you can do about it except show all equal love and not ask B1 or B2 to help with the Baby unless they want to. Im not saying dont involve them, Im saying ask, dont force when it comes to helping with the little one because B1 and B2 will then see this as a chore and get the hackles up ( as young ones do).
My suggestion... get them to carry on with what you were doing ( especially if something for them ) whilst you attend Baby. Better still give them the choice.

Hope that helps...

Phil

Kel said...

nup. princess tendencies were definitely there before the bean came along. requests for help are asked when im feeling up to managing the onslaught on reasons why she cant, but im certainly aware of issues about over using the kids to help with the boy.

el burro said...

I'm with you on this one. I have an uber challenge on my hands too; not sure if it's the same situation as yours but also a very difficult kid to parent. He's 9 now, and of all the kids, he's always been the most frustrating. I think the bottom line issue is that he really and truly cares very little about pleasing me or anyone else. He can be a lovely child, and sweet as all get out sometimes, but holy mackerel, there are other times when I've been truly worried because no matter what I say, he JUST DOESN'T CARE. It's all about what he wants. One time he did something that seemed stupid and malicious and without reason to his older brother, and I asked why and he said "Dunno" and I lost it and threw his prized dinosaur model to the floor and smashed it, which shocked him and he said "Why did you do that?" and I said "Dunno". Not proud of that parenting moment, but I shared it b/c it illustrates how horrified I was with his lack of insight, caring, or whatever, and I wanted to do something, anything, to get through to him. Sorry, no helpful tips, just commiseration on the trials of parenting....

el burro said...

She sure is a beautiful kid though.

Kel said...

YOUr 9 yo sounds VERY similar. well i love your parenting moment. i think those moments really shock kids and as they are outsde 'normal' they can work and really let them see just how their behaviour is affecting others. From my experience they are usually cathartic ...for a day or two LOL im not looking forward to the teens with this one. ride the storm. its why we want to take her away on a boat for 5 years...limited peer pressure!

trish said...

I have several suggestions.

1- Give yourself a hug. Raising kids is hard.

2- Give your daughter a hug, even if it's at that same moment when she is being her most difficult. That's when she most needs it.

3- Convince yourself, and believe in your heart of hearts, that she isn't being manipulative or narcissistic. She is expressing her true feelings. Embrace them and her.

4- You might find something helpful in Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting. I'd guess what she needs from you is not positive reinforcement. It's acceptance. It's hard to do sometimes - I know. But force yourself.

5- You might ask yourself whether school may be contributing to the problem. While some assume that when kids act crazy on school vacations, it's because they *need* school, I'd disagree. Sometimes the angst of school vacations is indicative of a problem with school (and all the conditional BS that comes with it - see Alfie Kohn again). Ever consider homeschooling?

6- You might try reading "Hold On To Your Kids" by Neufeld. Very eye opening.

I like your blog, BTW.

el burro said...

Trish, I've read both of those books and the attachment model of relationships that they talk about really resonates with me. If you haven't read them yet Kel, I also highly recommend them. I saw a lecture by Gordon Neufeld that was absolutely riveting. It IS hard though, to parent in such a mindful, intentional way all the time. I think that my own inner child just loses patience every so often....

Kel said...

b2 back home after taking herself off to her grandmas for a few days. we all needed a break, we had a great cuddle, walk and a chat. shes missing her dad, she hates not getting her own way and having to be a part of a family unit. Shes a fire sign. sigh. its very complex. heading off to the library now...

wombat064 said...

Glad to hear things are better and you have discovered what is bothering B2.