Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shouting Matches

I’m not a yeller. I’m not a fighter. I don’t like confrontation or conflict. But if you really cross me, I will remove the gloves and throw down.

Unfortunately, that applies to Ada too.

She pushes my buttons, says “no” as her default response, and refuses my every request to do the simplest tasks. When my repeated requests and explanations don’t work, I shut down. Not knowing how to deal with her, I’m ashamed to say it but, my blood boils quickly. I lose it and start yelling back at her. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t make me feel better—I actually feel worse and end up apologizing later. And to make matters even worse she calls me out whenever I am mad by getting really close to me with her puppy dog eyes and saying, “Mommy crabby.” It is kind of cute in the “Boy, I wish I could give you away sometimes” kind of way.

So why do I yell? Because the things I’m trying, like timeouts and counting to three, aren’t working either. My parents yelled and swatted our butts when we were bad so maybe there is something to that. I don’t want to start swatting her, but I do want her to start listening to me and stop aggravating me so much. Maybe I’m just not implementing the timeouts or the counting properly. Or maybe she just wants more attention. Maybe this is just a phase. Maybe I need to start reading a book on discipline. And maybe a solution will present itself. Surely I’m not alone in this battle.

Moral of the story: As parents, it is our job to remain calm. We don’t always succeed but we must always try. When in doubt, give yourself a time out.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I go through this everyday. I'm nannying again for 3 kids, ages 8, 4, and 3, and most days I just want to scream. They all need and want different things and I just can't make everyone happy. I've always found taking away things to be effective. But I think the key is to put it where they can still see it, just out of their reach. It seems to really piss them off which motivates them to do the good behavior. The 3 yr old I watch really loves to wear pants so when he's bad I take them away. Goodluck!! I wish I was there to help out.