Monday, March 19, 2012

Re-examining our current relationship

Big L and I have been having a power struggle, for what feels like forever, but really has only been really bad for about a year now.  I am sure my husband can remind me if it has been longer, but that is what I am going with. 

It is hard.  Every other weekend she lives without rules.  She stays up late ( i mean really late), and gets up early so she can run around her father's home screaming like a banshee.  Okay maybe that last part is a slight exaggeration. 

Then the poor child has to come home to the mother she swears she loves, who isn't a fan of using outside voices in the house.  This weekend while she was gone, I decided I am done.  Unless she is about to hurt herself or the baby, I am going to do my darndest not to yell.  No matter how frustrated I am.  If I have to, I will put myself in time out.  We will see how this works. 

This morning was a true test to my new plan.  It is rainy and cold here today, quite the change from the 80 degree weather of last week.  My lovely fashion conscious child came out in a strappy sundress.  I love the dress, she is adorable in it, but I calmly explained how cold it is, and requested she changed.  She reluctantly went in to her room.  She did change, into shorts, leg warmers, and a tank top.  I kid you not.  I looked at her and said, L, I told you to put on some pants, it is cold today.  She glared, then glared some more as she ate.  I ignored, ate my breakfast interacted as if nothing was going on.  She did at least wear her warmer coat with a hood and sneakers (though she tried to wear her new sandals, i explained how wet the playground would be and that she would ruin her new socks). 

I am not sure if I did the right thing.  Maybe I should have yelled firmly for her to change, but I don't think it would have changed the outcome.  She really does not like to be told what to wear.  She will be cold on the playground today.  I guess that is the consequence she has to face.  I remember though growing up that if my mother told me to go put on pants I could get mad, smuggle shorts in my backpack, but I could not leave without the appropriate clothing on my body. 

Maybe I am doing something wrong.  I don't know.  What I do know is that me yelling and her getting mad and throwing a fit is not working.  All of the ideas the therapist gives us only work for a week or so.  No prize is causing her to behave.  No punishment is causing her to behave.  Perhaps she wants the guidelines and responsibility to make her own choices.  I don't know.  I do think that until she behaves the extras she takes for granted will have to be earned.  I am tired of running around so she can be a social butterfly, but not being appreciated for it.  It is expected. 

Any suggestions? 

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