For the past 4 years I have said if B would have been my first child, she would have been my only child. Being the youngest of four, she has definitely been my challenge, and I guess many would say, my payback. Time after time since she has been born, I have heard it said that she acts just like me. And while many days I have felt like I want to either rip my hair out or overdose on happy pills, I can also say that I get her.
Being a very strong willed "child" myself, I can remember some of the frustrations of being a little
Here we have a ruffled sleeve shirt,
some Nike shorts,
and some ballet flats.
Who says this doesn't go together?
I HAVE to answer her. If don't, she will just keep at it. Fighting for her place among 3 siblings, sometimes I think she just wants to know she is important too. I can't get away with just telling her to wait a second, or ignoring her until I get done with what I'm doing. She needs to know, and she needs to know now. It doesn't take that long for me to simply look away from what I am doing and give her an answer. I don't have to give her exactly what she wants right then, but I do need to give her an answer and acknowledgment of what it is she is saying. It may not always be the answer she wants, but I have learned that if I at least answer her, the meltdown lessens.
To piggy back off of that, she needs explanations. Simply saying "No" won't cut it for her. It wouldn't have for me at that age, and it still doesn't work for me. I want to understand reasoning for things. If there is a reason I should or shouldn't be doing something, I want to understand why. She is a little person, growing every day towards adulthood, so why shouldn't I help her understand things? No, I don't cater to her, or bargain with her when she doesn't like the answer, I simply explain why it is the way it is, and most of the time we can just move on. She simply wants to understand the way of the world, just like most of us (though little does she know, we will never fully understand how most things work the way they do). Another thing that I can attest to from first hand experience, is that most of those famous Breckyn meltdowns come from frustration. I know, because I had them, and sometimes still want to! Strong willed kids are so black and white, that they just don't see why it can't be the way they want it. You have to take the time to explain things to kids, and that some times things just don't go as planned. I used to be that mom that would say I didn't understand why people would sit there and explain things to their kids after they had said no. NO means no, right? Why sit there and debate over it? Don't let your kids be in control. Tell them no, and let that be the end of it. Well, for some kids, that's enough, but for B it isn't, and it helped me remember that it was never enough for me either. Explaining isn't letting your child be in control, it's YOU taking control of the situation, and avoiding a meltdown, potentially in a very public place. Help them understand, and remove the frustration.
Pick your battles. Every once in a while, you just have to give in. You/I may be busy cleaning house, or getting caught up on binge watching Netflix, but it won't kill to me to stop and put in a Monster High DVD and watch it with her for a few minutes. Besides, soon she will fall asleep because she has been going a hundred miles a minute all day, and some day, hanging with mom won't be cool. When she is "bugging" me, hounding me about putting that movie in, what I really need to understand is that she is asking me for a few minutes of my time. While she might be doing it in a very demanding manner, she is simply wanting me. The laundry can wait.
On the flip side of that, you also have to be consistent. You have to stand by your words. If you say no, for whatever reason, don't go back on that. If they aren't allowed to play outside for the night, don't give in just because they are pestering you about it. If you give in once, they will see that, and never forget. You will forever be pestered about changing your mind, because you've done it before. Trust me, I know. I did it. They can be stubborn, but you have to be more stubborn. You can win this battle!
|My mini-me and I, having the time of our lives|
going to do something, or finish something, simply because people thought they couldn't. They are going to try their hardest to prove everyone wrong. And because of this, they are going to do great things. These kids grow up to be leaders. That can be good or bad, depending on how we shape them. So mold them into something amazing, and they will do their very best to make you proud!