Nurse Loves Farmer


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Tuesday, 14 January 2014 21:11

When You Screw Up a Kid

Clara is only 3 years old, so I am desperately praying that there is still hope for her - but up until this point, I have to say that right now I feel like I've already failed her.  Ever seen that Gilmore Girls' episode where Lorelai has to watch Christopher's daughter Gigi? Click here if you haven't - this is a really short clip that doesn't really show the extent of Gigi's behaviour issues - I tried to find a better one, but couldn't, sorry.

Anyway, tonight is Tuesday - my late piano teaching night - and during my last hour of teaching, when my daughter was supposed to be going to bed, all we could really hear were her screams. Not crying screams either - defiant, demanding, bossy, hell-child screams. I fought back tears - knowing that my daughters behaviour was completely my fault (as her parent), and that I had absolutely no clue how to fix the situation. 

All I really know is that something (or all) of what we have been doing up until now is NOT working.

I was a difficult child. I know that. My mother left when I was a few months old, and for most of my childhood everyone tried to 'make up for it' by being soft on me. By not disciplining me too harshly, and by giving me as much as possible. Partially because of this, I have developed some pretty strong parenting perspectives. I believe that obedience is important, and that children need to learn discipline and respect. 

Brian and I have heard over and over that consistency is important - and I always agreed that whatever your parenting method, your children need to know what to expect and so consistency is always the most important thing. There was one thing that we missed in all of this, or ignored, or something - the fact that consistency also applied to Brian's parenting vs. my parenting. We both agree on the outcome we would like from the girls - and we both agree that discipline is important - but we both handle discipline very differently. I grew up in a calm, mild-mannered household. People did not yell in my house, or at least not often. My Dad was extremely self-controlled when it came to anger, and I intuitively handle stress calmly.  Brian is not that way - when he gets frustrated, it builds up in him and suddenly he's yelling. 

Despite having tried everything we can think of to control her behavior - even to taking away her precious 'Bo' - the fact that Brian and I do not react the same way is, I think, counteracting anything good we are doing. 

I mentioned our problem to my doctor this week, and she suggested a book/method called 1-2-3 Magic and I'm ready and willing to try anything. The first 60 pages of this book so far have said that the key part of this method is to handle discipline with no talking (don't try to reason with a 3-year-old) and no emotion.  For us, I think the 'no emotion' part of this equation will be important.

Wish us luck.

And always remember:

- No bright light

- Don't get them wet

- Never feed them after midnight... no matter how much they beg. 

Read 1709 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 08:12

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