Count to ten, I tell myself, just count to ten before you say anything. My six-year-old daughter is testing my patience AGAIN. But then it happens on nearly a daily basis these days, either whingeing or losing her temper. And then obviously I lose mine.
How do I raise a strong, confident young woman without losing my mind altogether? I want her to be a girl who knows her own mind and is comfortable enough to stand up for what she believes in, but I may be creating a bloody monster.
We let her choose her own clothes from a young age, which had mixed results, but I didn’t mind the stripped leggings with the plaid dresses, ‘it’s fashion darling!’ We exposed her to different toys and games, made sure she knew there was no difference between boys and girls and no such thing as ‘boys toys’ or ‘girls colours’. And the more she grew, the prouder I became of what a balanced little person she was, then she hit six…
Holy hand of Jesus, someone could warn you about the drama. Everything is so dramatic and nothing ever simple.
A negative response to a request for chocolate, or to stay up late, is met with a full on meltdown. It would be funny if it wasn’t so bloody frustrating. How do you teach a child to deal with their emotions and communicate without losing their reason? Or is it just a phase they must go through? We try talking to her and explain why we are refusing whatever it is she wants, or why we can’t do certain things, but it feels like we are repeating ourselves everyday. And when you mix a stroppy child with a tired parent the result is often a shouting match and tears, on both sides sometimes.
I am at the stage now that I may actually apologise to my mother, how the hell she dealt with all six of us is beyond me.
My youngest child is almost two but isn’t speaking much yet, but his temper is so fierce that I dread the shouting that will inevitable go on once he does start to argue with me. I get that I am the adult and I should remain calm and try to talk her through the drama, but it’s so hard when she won’t be reasoned with. We take turns in being the disciplinarian, but always stay on the same side and show a united front, (there can be no weakness shown to the opposition) and that helps either one of us losing the rag but there are times when she pushes us (usually me) to close to the edge and we blow our top. But no amount of grounding, or removing screen time has seemed to cure the issue, because we find ourselves back to square one with a few days.
So I ask you two questions.
1. Is it a girl thing, or are boys as dramatic and cheeky?
2. Do you have any Valium I could borrow?