Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Time for a change in Management

I am MOTHER, hear me roar!

I wonder if you remember this post about Doormats and Feelings. I can NOT believe it was four months ago. It really feels like it only happened a day ago.

Some really great advice was given and taken. I decided to pick and choose my battles. Unfortunately the battles that I decided were not worth the fight were the only battles that LQ came up with. LQ is generally a very easy going little girl. She doesn't demand much, so when she makes a request I usually acquiesce. If she protests a decision I make it is usually such an unimportant thing I will let her have her way.

I didn't realise I was creating a monster.

Two and a half weeks of vacationing and letting LQ have whatever she wants and the monster had grown six tentacles.

This morning saw the Mummy and the Monster go head to head in a battle of hair and wills. The Mummy explained quite exactly and nicely that if the Monster wanted to go dancing, then the Monster's hair would have to be pulled up. The usual meltdown occurred. The Mummy decided that it was time that she started being the boss of the house again. A lot of screaming and hair doing meant the Monster's reign was over.

The change in Management means I am going to have to win EVERY battle for a while. I am going to be a meanie mum. I am not going to collapse with tears every time I hear my daughter cry with frustration. I am going to re-establish order in this home. I AM the boss!


CaJoh said...

It's so easy to let your guard down when the scenery changes. You don't even realize that you have lost control until something comes to a head.

The best of skill in regaining your position,

DeNae said...

DARN TOOTIN'! Everyone, link arms and sing a Helen Reddy song! Two-year old tyrants? You are officially ON NOTICE!!

(Power to the mommies, or mummies, depending on which side of the equator you're fighting the battle.)

Misty said...

I am currently reading a parenting book called It's Not Enough to Love Your Child. I'm just getting into it but it first advises that when a tantrum is brewing, decide whether the results of the battle are going to matter in a week. If not, then let it go.

But also, you need to understand your motives. Do you want her hair up because then she'll be able to see better and enjoy her class more, is it required by the class or is it because you think that dancers should wear their hair up? Any of these could be right but just think about the bigger picture. I sometimes get an idea in my head of how something should be and start to be the enforcer of it. Then I realize in the process that it's really not that important but that I can't back down since I've already stated my position of its importance. (Does that make sense?) And I don't want to seem wishy-washy or that she has won.

I saw Rick struggle with this the other day when Piper wanted to wear her black shoes but he wanted her to wear her brown shoes. They were equally easy to put on but the black ones she wanted didn't match her outfit. He kept trying to convince her to wear the brown ones. In the bigger scheme of things, he just thought that she would look silly and that he, by extension, didn't know how to dress his own daughter. But it didn't matter really since she just needed to wear shoes.

That's my two cents. I'm learning too, just like you. Good luck.

Miriam said...

Go Momma!
This reminded me of my battles with Leila, and I have a couple of suggestions.
At 2 years of age my Leila was very willful. Getting her into my choice of clothes at my chosen time was a terrible battle. And if I physically just shoved her into her clothes against all her efforts of objection, she would then take them off again. When 2yo Leila was deadlocked in a battle of wills physical force was dangerous because I swear she could be beaten to death before she gave in - not that I tried, it was just written all over her determined little face. I learned VERY fast to think smart, and avoid deadlocks that could be sidestepped. This did not mean that she was in charge however.
For example, I would put my choice of clothes at the front door, and then (as we were leaving) with the focus on the excursion not the clothes I'd say, "off we go - Oh, look at you, you need clothes on! Lets get your clothes on so we can go". It worked!
The trouble with deadlocks is that the parent DOES have to win. Absolutely. But it is not good leadership, and we pay a high price.
You might have better luck with hair as you are getting out of the car at the dance venue: "here we are at dancing, oh look at you! We can't get out of the car until I do your hair!" She will want to get out of the car.
In our hose we are currently having good results using the 123 magic method. This method gives them a chance to get it right, and retain their sense of choice, whilst keeping the parent in charge. For example, Hannah doesn't like sitting down in the car seat and being strapped in. I explain that she can sit in down in her seat all by herself, or I will start to count. I tell her very simply that if she doesn't sit down, and I get to 3, then I will scruff her and squash her in. Generally I don't get to 3 now. I LOVE the 123 magic method. It avoids the whole "ask, reason, tell, order, threaten, shout, smack" pathway. The parent doesn't even get loud. If we are at home the usual "3" consequence is 1 minute in the bedroom alone for every year of the kids age. Bethany takes 7, Leila takes 5 and Hannah takes 2. All I have to say is "that's a 1" and they know I'm serious.

Britney said...

way to go!! :)

i just got your comment about teaching me to sew. i actually found a sewing class through one of the community colleges that will transfer to ASU for my degree. So i am taking that this summer. But...if I have any questions after that and once you move down here...I will surely send them your way!! Thanks! You're too sweet!

KMitchell said...

You could always try channelling your inner He Man (Master of the Universe and all that) and state with authority, "By the power of Greyskull, I HAVE THE POWER!!!!" Ha ha ha. But seriously, it's hard sometimes to have to lay the law down, but necessary. Just be sure that both parents are on the same page or you get "I want Daddy!" everytime she doesn't get her own way with you (speaking from personal experience).

Stephen and Chernoa said...

You can do it Hel:)