For the past few weeks my children have been getting whiny. And they have been fighting. And they have been throwing temper tantrums when they don’t get their way. They completely ignore me without threats. My daughter has been a…difficult one to deal with…to put it nicely. I have been increasingly stressed out about it and wondering where on earth I have been going so wrong as to have a 7 year old and a 5 year old that seem to be going completely off their rockers.
For twenty minutes last week my daughter screamed at the top of her lungs because I wouldn’t take her to the bathroom at bedtime. We were all tucked into bed, she is across the hall from the damn thing, she gets set on something and won’t give. Funny, I was reading How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen And Listen So Your Kids Will Talk as she is doing this. I breathed a lot. And didn’t give in. She finally fell asleep, but it broke my heart.
I was afraid. What had I done wrong. Was she going to be this difficult forever. Was something wrong with her physically?
My son? Every time you say, “No, we are not going to watch T.V. right now”, “No, you can’t have a treat”, “No, Mommie is not going to do such and such right now” it was like his body was writhing in pain. He would start whining and contorting himself like Houdini in a straightjacket. Those moments, I was ready to strap myself into a straightjacket of my own.
“What the hell?” I asked myself over and over, “Where on earth did these people come from and what is my part in this?” I like to blame myself first most of the time.
On Friday my daughter threw a fit in pubic. I was mortified. I was tough on her. I didn’t know what to do really. By the time we got to the car and buckled in she was asleep. I started to wonder. By the next morning I was ready to call Nanny 911, so I posted a question on the Get Born Facebook page on what on earth I was going to do. Lots of feedback on varying different advice, from the Starbucks drive-thru, which y’all know I appreciate, to making them do chores, to questions asking if she/they have been going through a transition lately…
Transition? Holy cow…my kids had been through the ringer with me the last two and a half months, and not once had I stopped to think what it had done to them. Not once. I was ready to run away to Moab, Utah last week to become a waitress/yoga instructor, yes this is always my fantasy when things get hard, but what on earth where my kids thinking, feeling, needing? I was too wrapped up in my own stresses to consider the possibility that they might be feeling like they had lost complete control over their lives too.
I got mindful. Fast. I looked at our schedules and what we could take out. I rearranged things so that our days would look more like the days before and the days after. I told my husband I would be taking time to do my blogs on the weekends in no uncertain terms so as not to take time during the week to be so distracted. My attitude changed in an instant, and my daughters sorta did too. We spent most of Sunday perusing a local farm with friends of ours. I had a lot of TIME with them. Quality time, and snuggles on a swing with my little girl.
It isn’t going to be easy bringing them back to a feeling that they can count on things, it will certainly be a bigger struggle with my little gal, but wow what a bit of mindfulness can do. In an instant I was mindful about my kids emotions, and I will be forever grateful for that moment of insight. They need me in ways that is sometimes hard for me to show up in, but I am willing, God am I willing, to at least try.
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