9 07/19/2012 parenting

Help Me To Not Lose My SH*T!!!!


Okay. So this is me.  Seriously.  I love being a mother but the one thing I had serious concerns about before I committed to this venture was my patience level.  Or lack thereof.  There are a few things that try my patience more than most.  Care to offer some insights into how to handle these without losing my sh*t? (Besides telling me to call the Wambulance or up my prozac level).
A. The ‘You’re Wrong’. 
Before you read this dialogue – please keep in mind, my child is THREE.  Almost FOUR.  He is not SIXTEEN.
W – Mommy? What is your least favourite princess?
M – Mmm.  I think it’s Snow White.
W – Mine is Belle.
M – Will.  You know that least favourite means the one that you don’t really like, right?
W – NO! It means the one you like the best. My teacher said so.
M – No honey.  Trust me.  It means the one you don’t like.
W – No Mom.  I know it.  I know.
M – (deep cleansing breath).  Dude.  Can you just trust me here.  Somethings you don’t know and Mommy is only trying to teach you.  So, it’s really frustrating when you tell me I’m wrong.
W – Yeah.  Well.  I’m trying to teach you stuff too.
M – (blood pressure slowly rising).  Well.  Umm.  I don’t need you to teach me.  My mommy taught me and now I’m teaching you.
W – Okay – (whispering) – but my least favourite princess is BELLE.
* cue to Mommy slowly adding vodka to her morning coffee

b. The GET
I have tried really hard to not spoil Will.  We don’t get treats every time we’re at a store.  If I’m shopping for something specific, that’s what we get.  I explain to him constantly that things cost money and that you can’t have everything that you’d like.  Yet for the last couple of months, everything has been about the ‘get’.  
W – Mommmmm – I want to get all the Scooby Doobby Doo guys…all of them.  Can we get them.
M – Not likely bud.
W – But why not? I want to get them!
M – Because dude.  It’s not your birthday, it’s not Christmas and it’s not time for a treat.  You can’t always get what you want.  (great song title!!)
W – But.  If I want to get them.  Why can’t I get them.
M – (Internally – where the EFF is this coming from?????).  Because things cost money and we don’t have a lot of money and you should be happy with what you have.  And there are starving kids in Africa and turn the tap off because they’re thirsty too and that’s a waste.
**OH YES I DID.  I pulled the ‘starving kids in Africa’ line.
W – Okay so can we just get a Disney movie instead?  
My kid is a dynamo.  Always on the move.  He goes from zero to 100 when he wakes up….ON THE WEEKEND.  But during the week.  Holy DIVA!  There are stretches and cuddles and yawns and complaining.  Then there is the fifteen minutes to get dressed.  The fifteen minutes to eat a container of yogurt.  The ENDLESS time it takes to put his shoes on. Is there a weeknight drug fairy that comes down and sprinkles them with downers while they’re sleeping??  
So? Any ideas?  Cattle prod for the mornings? Ear muffs for the other things?
Help a mutha out!
  • kbens

    Kim is SOOO right on the morning prep mess… I still struggle with this with my 11 year old daughter on school days. The only thing that works is to have a time by which each thing must be finished and if it’s not done by that time she goes without. Getting dressed is our “big” issue! If she’s not dressed and out of her room by 7 she won’t have time to eat, etc before she has to leave so that’s the deal, if she’s not dressed by 7 she goes to school in her Pjs (or pants and pj top, or shirt and pj bottom *shrugs*) At the beginning of this last school year she had about a week of wearing her pjs before she caught on that mom’s not kidding and that she’s going to get teased if she keeps it up. (she can be really obstinate!) The other thing we do is have her set up her wardrobe for the school week on the weekend, using one of those hanging folded clothes shelves with 5 shelves so all she has to do is take the days outfit off the shelf and put it on, so it’s not like its taking her all that time to figure out what to wear.

  • Sandra

    A – I like Carlo’s suggestion of okay, you teach me something. You can’t win an argument of “but my teacher says”
    B – we teach the difference between want and need. They caught on quickly. But when they ask for something, we don’t tell them maybe for xmas/bday, we tell them to put it on your list for xmas/b’day – that way the onus is on them to remember they want it and we don’t get burned for forgetting.
    C – let me know if you find a solution πŸ™‚

  • Erin Little

    Here’s my 2 cents for what it’s worth:
    A: Forget it. It’s a developmental thing. He’ll figure out what least favourite means all in good time. Power struggles are a waste of time and energy. With anyone. At any age.
    B: I get the same shit and I’m sorry to say I give in sometimes – but usually for a good reason…I think? I dunno, I suck at that one. Remember when your parents used the Africa argument? I do and I was like, soo?…. I did not understand that.
    C: We have been lucky in that John doesn’t have to get to work at a specific time so – they are all always late. Mornings suck.
    Sorry, not so helpful but I can relate. Totally.

  • Kim

    Oh Sara. I STILL have that with my now 11 yr old who is sharp as a whip and I think will be a lawyer someday with her arguments.
    Truth is…it’s a phase and IMO you have to do the hard stuff now so you have better kids later. It does work. Mine girls 11 and 14. BUT it is freakin’ exhausting and a LOT of work while they are learning.
    You need a plan. 1. Explain the plan. 2. Execute the plan. 3. Be consistent with the plan EVERY time.
    1. On a random day b4 an outing explain the difference between need and want. Then explain we don’t always get something when we go out.
    2. B4 the outing… Dude we are going to the store. I need X. We are not going to buy anything for you today so please do not ask IF YOU ASK WE WILL LEAVE and I won’t be able to get X that I need.
    3. Of course he will ask. You remind him to not ask again. You remind him about what you talked about. You remind him if he asks again you will leave.
    4. He asks again. You quietly put down any & all items where you are (no one knows what you are doing so be confident they are not judging) take him by the hand and start to leave. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do it. He’ll ask where you are going and you will say these are the consequences for asking again when I said not to. We are leaving.
    Go home everything is fine you are not angry. Let him watch tv etc…. The next outing start at 1. and remind him that last time you left. 2. and here is where 3. is very important b/c he will likely test the theory.
    IMO children this young need immediate consequences. The can not relate being in the store and asking for something to waiting all the way home for a time out. DO NOT be that parent that says if you do that one more time….and then nothing. Kids are smart they know at a very young age how to manipulate. It takes practice. I have left FULL grocery carts at the store. I have left restaurants.
    With slow mornings…. I DID this, my girls took forEVER putting on their boots leaving Granny’s after pick up everyday. They want to be in charge at their pace, on their schedule. Finally I had had enough. Put your boots on now or you are going to the car without them. Yep! Through the very tiny amount of snow to the car, no boots. When i got home I changed her socks and all was good in the world. but it only ever happened once. A few years later (my girls are 3 yrs apart) I did the EXACT SAME THING to my youngest.
    Now I’m not saying you have to do exactly what I’ve listed. It’s a guideline for what worked for me. BUT you DO need consequences for the behaviour you are trying to correct. ie. You have 5 more minute to eat your yogurt or it goes in the fridge and you can have it as a snack later. Then when 5 min is up it’s outta there. He will not starve. I PROMISE. You are his parent and YOU are in charge. You are not his friend. He will still love you and you are teaching him wonderful skills. I swear to you he will only going to school in his pjs once. πŸ˜‰
    Good Luck!!!!!! You are doing great.

  • Tracey

    Oh man… GOOD LUCK with all of that!! They are tricky little darlings sometimes.
    Just keep breathing – try not to have a stroke. xox

  • Chantel

    LOL Sara you are too funny! Okay as for the teaching issue – seriously I just ignore it and let it go. There really is no arguing with a dude this age.
    The “Can I get this batman” (or whatever) I simply say NO or Not now maybe for your birthday / christmas or whatever – BUT beware children always remember so they will expect said toy at their birthday or Christmas or whatever! Also when you say NO mean it – I have endured many many meltdowns in the store because of saying No but I am proud to say I have never given in. You give in once your done. If you stick to your guns and saty consistent they may soon start to stop asking but that is highly doubtful. Kiddies were born to ask for stuff all the time…..
    As fo rthe always on the go and waking up way before you want – well sometimes they are just like that (I have had a few of them) one thing that did work for me was a visual chart that showed step by step what was to happen – so picture of a clock saying 8:00 – play in room until mommy finshes voldka lol seriously though the chart thing works if you do it right. I can email more info on that if you want or maybe I will just write a whole post on it lol.

  • Julie

    C….every parent has C. kids are up at 7 on the weekends to play on webkinz but when 7:30 rolls around on monday morning the gravitational force changes and everything weighs about 700 lbs more.
    you can’t win…you will never win…but there will always be vodka. i wish i could say it gets better but the older they get the more thinking they do. the little buggers use big words and logic against you…more often than not your own logic!!!
    boarding school…that’s all i got… πŸ™‚

  • Sara

    You’re totally right on the A. (and yes -I agree he teaches me A TON!) – I just need to remember that when I’m losing it…:)

  • Carlo

    Sounds exactly like Noah.
    A. The “You’re wrong”
    “W – Yeah. Well. I’m trying to teach you stuff too.
    M – (blood pressure slowly rising). Well. Umm. I don’t need you to teach me. My mommy taught me and now I’m teaching you.”
    … I have learned many things from Noah. I would’ve said “You want to teach me stuff too? OK, teach me something else”. Doesn’t fix this conversation, but it might give him the idea that you are working together, you teach, he learns, he teaches, you learn. Not sure if this is right but it engages dialogue and not an argument.
    B. The GET
    No answer for you here. Noah does the same. He doesn’t get when he wants all the time, just the way it goes. We’ve also used the “starving kids in Africa” line too. Don’t feel bad.
    Deal with this everyday too. Even when I/we take the day off to do something, he’s up at dawn. But, this past Monday I took the day off, planned to keep him out of school, didn’t tell him and let him sleep. He slept. If he had known we were going to have a “vacation day” he would’ve been up early. If there is a solution, I want to hear about it too.

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