Friday, August 13, 2010

Bad and Better

Last week was bad. It was oh so bad I ended each day completely spent, physically and emotionally. I don't know what is was, but it started first thing Monday morning (after the daddy daughter vacation). I listened to momTV and got a little advice from Vicki. This week has been remarkably better.

Actually, I would say amazingly better. I am beginning to notice things about my kids. Good things!

  • Sweet Girl (5)can start the dishwasher all by herself
  • Sweetie Heart (8) takes more pride in her work/ contribution when someone notices it has been done
  • Sweet Girl is quick to recover from most things and will apologize if needed
  • Sweetie Heart is willing to help when she is asked
  • Both girls want attention from me and when I take the time to sit and read or play a game they get along better and play well with each other
  • Redirecting and distracting them from negative behavior lightens the mood and helps everyone to move on
  • They can both pack their own suitcases for a trip
  • Sweet Girl can wrap a present all by herself, including cutting the correct sized piece of gift wrap without mutilating the whole role
I also noticed:
  • Sweetie Heart begins to attack others when she feels she is being attacked (verbally or physically), feels not listened or feels that things are not fair.
  • Sweet Girl screams to get her way or to get her sister in trouble
I'll tell you a little story.

There once was a little girl who had an big brother. That big brother was 3 years older then her and didn't seem very keen on having a little sister. When she was learning to sit up the big brother would walk by and bump her so she would topple over. Poor, poor little girl. :(

Mother told big brother that he better be nice to the little sister or she would get even. Time passed, little sister got older. When big brother would do something to little sister she would scream. When she would scream big brother would get in trouble. Sometimes big brother maintained that he didn't do anything.

One day little sister (who wasn't so little anymore) was sitting on the landing in her house. She didn't know where big brother was. She screamed. Mother and father (who were downstairs) yelled for big brother to leave her alone. Big brother was walked in from the next room and said, "I didn't do anything!" Mother and father looked at big brother, standing next to them. Then they looked at little sister sitting on the landing. The gig was up! But it was fun while it lasted.

Did you like that story? I just made it up. Not really, little sister was me and big brother was...well my big brother.

This week I've taken some time to observe my kids.

Squeak has begun to cry when I put him to bed or put him down so I can do other things. Sweetie Heart, in an effort to help, runs to him and picks him up and frets over him. She doesn't want him to cry.

I noticed this week that Sweet Girl is instigating her big sister. She was lying on my bed next to me one morning. Everything was peachy. Then her sister comes in and lays across the end of the bed. All of a sudden Sweet Girl needed her feet to be right where Sweetie Heart's head was. She started to whine and scream and then they got physical with each other. Honestly, I didn't interfere. If they are going to start stuff like that they are going to have to finish it.

I am noticing that she does this a lot. She starts stuff when I'm not around. When Sweetie Heart reacts she whines or screams. If I don't respond she comes to me and tells me what happened omitting her part in it. Vicki recommended that I question her motives. So the last time I asked her what she was going to do about it. She said she didn't know. I told her that I thought she was leaving parts out and that it sounded to me that she was just trying to get her sister in trouble. She ended up just walking away and finding something else to do away from her sister. Brilliant!

With Sweetie Heart if I ignore the negative behavior she tends to move on quicker. Vicki told me to "spit in her soup." That is to say, when she says something she knows isn't true (mama doesn't love me) to agree with her. This week something happened, I can't remember what and Sweetie Heart said, "I know mama doesn't love me!" (grump, grump). In a kind voice i said, "I am so glad you finally figured it out. You are right. It is such a relief that I don't have to pretend anymore." I want to reiterate that I was not mean about it. I said it with relief in my voice, very kindly. And do you know what happened? Nothing. She didn't say it again and hasn't since Tuesday. She knows it isn't true and I've told and shown her lots of times since then that I do love her.

In case anyone is worried, I do step in when I need to. I am not taking a backseat in parenting. I am just choosing when to get involved. I am still involved too much, but I'm doing my best to act and react smarter. I'm just going to admit it right now. My kids are smarter than me.

The End

1 comment:

rebecca said...

I had a wonderful visit with Sweetie Heart last week. I talked to her a little bit about how things are at home. She mentioned that Sweet Girl does something mean to her but she doesn't tattle or write it on the problem chart so you don't know about it, but when SG won't leave her alone she retaliates. SG runs, tattles & get SH in trouble. I told her that mama is on to SG & she won't get away with it too much. I also suggested she keep record of the times when SG bothered her & she let it slide so she can have proof when she gets in trouble. She didn't mention you saying you didn't love her at all.