Why is this so hard?

Seriously.  Why is parenting so dang hard?  There are easy answers to NOTHING.

Celia has been pretty naughty the past two days.  Like, way over the top mouthy, sassy, disobediant, and just flat out mean to me.

So first, I try and figure out why.  Well, she had the sniffles over the weekend.  Maybe she’s still not feeling well?  Seem fine though.  Earlier this week I thought she had some allergy stuff going on (clear runny nose, mostly when we go outside) so I have her Zyrtec Sunday and Monday.  Are her allergies making her feel bad and act up….or is she having some kind of Zyrtec rebound/hangover?   She’s been complaining that her legs hurt.  Growing pains?  My kids are usually fussy and sleepy when they are growing, so maybe that’s it.  Last night, she complained of one ear hurting when she yawned or swallowed.  Ear infection, or was she just sleeping on it funny?  Lastly, she is hot.  All of the time.  Not fevered hot, just wants to take her clothes off hot.  Whine at mom “I’m hoooooooooot” all day like kind of hot.

And of course, I have to wonder if there’s some exotic, deadly disease that manifests as hurt legs, crankiness, and being hot all of the time.  Probably not, but I can’t just NOT consider it.

Maybe it’s nothing IN her, but everything around her.  Of course, we’re out of town.  So she’s missing her dad, her brother, her dog, her cats.  We’re in a different environment, and the baby is getting lots of attention.  I’m being very careful to fawn over her as well and not pay TOO much attention to the baby, but still.  She is used to being the baby here when we visit, on having all of the grownups focused on her.  Maybe that’s it.

Of course, no matter the reason, the behavior is NOT okay.  So then I struggle with the “should I ignore it because she’s seeking negative attention and if I ignore it (and reinforce the positives) she will stop the bad behavior” or, “is this behavior that is becoming a habit and must be dealt with now”.

With each and every little and big thing she does, I have to go through all this.

Last night, we had a 2 hour powerstruggle/meltdown/fit of epic proportions all because she refused to politely ask me for juice.  She INSISTED on demanding the juice.

When I told her that I would not get her juice until she asked politely, she yelled some more, made faces…ended up being sent up to our room.  More screaming, etc.

Two hours.

It was miserable.  I was miserable.  The rest of the family was terrified (my poor sister in law thinks it’s a glimpse of what’s to come for her.  I explained that either we didn’t go through this with Jordan, or else I blocked it out for being so terrible).

And while she never got her juice….I’m pretty sure she still had the power, because she totally dominated the household with her screams, kicks, and throwing of ponies all evening long.

Advice?  I certainly need it!

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This entry was published on January 28, 2009 at 5:27 pm and is filed under Cecelia. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Why is this so hard?

  1. Izabelle went through a time like this when she was 4… I thought it was maybe jealousy of Scott (new hubby) or upset over the divorce even though at that point we’d been apart for over a year… But she was aweful! Especially at bed time. She would yell and scream for hours… saying “You don’t love me anymore” and “You hate me!!!” Never “I hate you” which I found interesting… anyway, I had a very difficult time ignoring the behavior… I thought I could talk her down because I always could before. I would tell her that when she calmed down that I would come in and talk with her and she would just cry and scream… Scott has a degree in psychology (along with one in elementary ed… fun huh?) and he would try to quietly remind me that any attention I gave her at this point would be a win for her so I needed to completely ignore… But I was SOOOOO frustrated!!! It was aweful.. I would often sit in the living room listening to her and I would be crying too.

    So, something that finally helped was that I found her sweet spot. She LOVES story time every night. So, the morning after the fit I would talk with her about her behavior the night before and tell her that since she misbehaved so much that she wouldn’t have story time tonight… She screamed the first time but then realized after a 2nd night in a row of no story that she wasn’t going to win this one. I would also try to wait till she calmed a little and reinforce that. So, when her crying calmed to the little breath catching sobbing thing that they do then I would go in and try to hug her and ask if she had calmed down. I’m not sure Scott agreed with that one but it seemed to help.

    I certainly don’t have all of the answers… Izzy just grew out of it (I think)… I would prompt her during the day too about her behavior… Especially when the good manners were shown… That helped some too I think.

    I sure wish I had the answers! I’d be rich and you’d have some nice gifts from an old friend! (Not to mention with the answers we’d have calmer, more respectful kids)

    I hope it gets better for you. Oh, another thought is.. You probably thought of this too but she is probably testing you more since you are with other people. Kids know that we will give in more when other people are around so that’s when they test the most. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anything that won’t make it worse initially…

    Take care! I miss you guys!
    Jen Butler

  2. No advice. I admire your tenacity and strength.I always give in *sigh* Keep chanting this too shall pass!

  3. Jennifer on said:

    I, too, have a nasty-talking, snippy 4 year old. His favorite word as of late is “stupid” which he will call anyone or anything. Lots of time spent in timeout these days!

  4. I can relate all to well Rebecca. Steven has really been pushing me over the edge. It hurts my feelings so much when he is more excited to see the dog when he gets home than he is to see me.

    There are days he is such an angel and others he can be so mean. I’m with Donna. I find myself repeating over and over, “this too shall pass.”

    Hang in there and enjoy the rest of your trip and You had better snuggle that baby for me!

  5. Well, either whatever was bothering her is not bothering her quite so much, or what I’m doing is working, because it’s getting better. Not perfect, but no more screaming, throwing ponies kind of fits.

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