The daughter, young lass, age 7, and I are having a bit of a power struggle. I, having been a young lass and blossoming tween once upon a time, know that this is only the beginning. I can't blame the kid; there has been a lot of change in her life the past few years/months/weeks with divorce, moving, and her Dad moving out of state. I know there will be outbursts, a little rage, tears, testing boundaries, etc. But as of late, I might be at the end of my rope.
|See what I mean? I think she's flashing some sort of secret|
gang sign at me.
I can tough it out, call me what you want kid, but I won't tolerate brats. Do I have sympathy? Yes, we can discuss how you feel; but the whole lashing out thing doesn't work well for me. Maybe I'm too strict, but I give lots of hugs, love and reassurance; so I don't think I'm neglecting any child around here.
I will say the emotional beat down the kid can give takes a toll after a while. Kind of like when people say, "Haha, Cari, you're crazy" after so many times, and then you think, wait...am I crazy? So your kid hits you with a verbal attack which you think you shrug off, only to later think, "am I really a meanie-head?”
No matter how many years you've had in the parenting trenches, you will never be prepared to hear the following phrases:
"I hate you."
"I wish you weren't my Mom."
"You are the worst Mom in the world."
Need I continue? No. If you haven't heard these yet, they are on the way. Things looked so promising when I brought her home from the hospital. Of course I apply my myriad of disciplinary techniques:
Ignore it and hope it goes away.
You know, a little, "lalalalalala, I can't hear you" in my head. But of course this only works for so long because the children are highly skilled at button pressing and know it will only take 5.8 seconds before I crack OR they will hit a sibling to regain your attention. That'll do it.
The Jedi Mind Trick
Child: I hate you.
Me: Well, I LOOOOVVVVE you.
Child: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.
Me: Okay, but I still love you.
Two outcomes here: they begin to laugh hysterically, or they have already passed over to the dark side in which case you've really just pissed them off even more, furthering a lifelong battle of wills to the death.
We have a no sass talking policy around this house. Not everything written in the policies and procedures manual is obeyed by the children. I really need to talk to the manager about that. This means I need to crack the whip! That's right, get all big and puffy and yell, or uh, give them a stern talking to, and take away some privileges.
Really at the end of the night, there was no clear winner and we hugged it out. I think this is always going to be a tough thing for me, being the only parent, finding the balance between disciplinarian and nurturer.
At this point in the post, I shall retire; as I am weary and will probably partake in some sort of adult beverage...but please leave some advice below, how do you deal with the power struggles?