Friday, December 29, 2006

Pleading for wisdom....

I pray each of your Christmases were so blessed. We really had a wonderful time with our families. We traveled a ton but loved seeing our family. That is what the holidays are about right?
I have been such a perplexed mother lately. I was lamenting to my mother this morning, wondering just how and where new parents get the confidence and wisdom as to how to react as our children grow. Yesterday was a particularly difficult day. We had a friend going to take Abby Kate's pictures in her 1 year dress and I awoke confident that I must find her a cute outfit to wear in a few pictures with Bobby and I. I threw her in the car after her 11 bottle (yes she is still taking a bottle...that is another issue entirely) and took off for the children's stores. We went into the 3rd one and AK began chewing on my wallet. I simply took it out of her hands and what transpired was nothing sort of a nightmare Supernanny episode. She threw her head back, starting screaming and kicking. I started at my demon child in horror and a bit of shock. Let me just stop here and say, I had absolutely no idea what to do. I started frantically scanning my knowledge base from my myriad of Child Development classes (my undergrad major) and could not for the life of me come up with the correct consequence. Swatting? firm voice alone? What? So I tried them all. She continued to scream, I made a hasty purchase that is now added to my growing pile of returns and exited the store, profusely apologizing. I put her in her carseat and she arched her back, screaming. At this point, I just felt clueless. I said again, NO Ma'am Abby Kate, we DO NOT act like that..." and she looked at my screaming. So I just let her scream the whole way home. I am just tired thinking about it. What little I do remember from my classes, this is the age she starts testing her boundaries. She hungers for consistency, someone to love her enough to say "NO, that is too far." But for this compulsive people pleaser, I am ashamed to admit that small but often loud voice in my head argued with me saying, "don't go too far...she may not love you, may not like you, may want everyone but you." Gosh this has been the voice of my sin nature for so long. I am praying about this...
So anyway, staying home is so hard. It is tiny issues of control like this ALL DAY LONG. I remind myself to pick my battles, but I also want to raise a responsible, considerate child that does not throw fits of any kind when things just don't go her way. All this to say, please pray for me right now. I am amazed at parents that have gone before me...props to you! I am being summoned so more later but just wanted to throw that out into cyberspace.

6 comments:

Katie said...

Bless your heart! Don't sweat it too much....she's still so young and they really do outgrow some of that stuff. As long as you didn't give in and give her the wallet back, you're doing good. Sometimes you just have to tolerate the screaming till she gets over it. But hey...what do I know. My kids aren't perfect and neither am I! All I know is that I am much more understanding of the fact that all kids are different, now that I have my own. And not all parenting issues can be handled the same. Just hang in there and try not to stress too much. She's going to turn out fine and you are a wonderful Mother!

shawnda said...

First of all I hope your Christmas and New Years was wonderful. We have had a wonderful Holiday season, a lot less stressful than usual.
Okay now for some wisdom, not that I'm qualified by any means to hand it out:) I'm learning everyday to stick to what I say. If I say "no" it means "no" and not ever "maybe". It's really hard when they throw their tantrums, because our pride wants our children to be the child everyone wants that perfect well behaved angel, when in all reality they all have their "demon child" moments. Just try and remember that all kids go through stages of definance and testing the limits, right now I'm dealing with 2 strong-willed children, the 16 month old trying to find boundaries and the 5 year old who argues with everything I say and always knows a better way of doing things. But what I've realized is they both require different kinds of discipline, Grant needs love and affection and you have to find out where the problem originated, spanking really doesn't do anything. Emilee on the other hand I'm sill trying to find what works, she is stronger willed than Grant. Just keep your chin up and before you know it you'll find the perfect way to handle Abby Kate's tantrums. Sometimes it's a sacrifice for the mom because there are days you just have to leave whatever you're doing and go home to handle it. I don't know if you've read it yet but there is a book "The Power of a Positive Mom" and it has some really good advice. Anyway hopefully it helps to know there are other moms out there that are right there with you. I'm sure you're doing great!

Stephanie said...

Thank you precious friends for your words of encouragement! You are both so great!

Erin said...

Ugh! What a mess! Listen, I am at the same stage as you, so I don't have too much to add. Do know, though, that this has nothing to do with you -- kids throw fits -- they get too tired, they get cranky, they don't know how to express themselves, and they just lose it sometimes! I remember my Mom dragging my screaming and kicking 3 year old sister out of the Fort Smith mall with me hurrying behind b/c she would not let her get a clown ice cream cone from Baskin Robbins (she could only get a "normal" ice cream) -- luckily my Mom paused long enough to get the "good girl" an ice cream cone before we left!

Anyway, it sounds like you did exactly the right thing. You can't let her get away with that type of behavior! I am having the same problem with Isaac in the car seat. He cries and arches EVERYTIME I go to put him in, and I don't know what to do. Telling him "no sir" does not really help, so mostly I just hold him down and wrestle him into the car seat!

This sounds like an all out temper tantrum, but I'm sure you know how to distract her if she gets a little fussy. Distraction REALLY works with Isaac -- if he has my keys, and I need them, I can easily "trade" him with my wallet instead. Maybe you can try something like that to prevent a tantrum next time!

I DO agree with the other posters in consistency- -it's so easy to be swayed in your actions by crying, but she would have many more problems in life if you let her be the "boss"!

OK -- I've written a book!

Love ya,
Erin

Anonymous said...

Stephanie,

I can tell from your writings that you are a wonderful mom. Just a few words from a grandma....as beautiful and precious as children are, the job of parenting is not always an easy one. The little darlings can certainly challenge and sometimes manipulate parents. Just know that anyone who has children has been there. My key words of advice have always been to be "persistent" and "consistent" with handling these outbursts. This too shall pass. Just keep loving her enough to discipline her negative actions and you will both be better for it in the end.

LaNell

Stephanie said...

Thank you Erin and LaNell. Gosh, who would have thought a blog could be such a great source of encouragement. You are both precious to me!