Turn It Around

I’ve been home for an hour with my wife and youngest daughter. Surprise, surprise- the first sign to actually getting back into a normal household routine represents another refusal and power struggle. Why do I have to take a shower? I know I didn’t sweat today, I already did this in the morning, taking two showers would be unfair, and so on.

Yet my wife is planning a really cool vacation for the girls in April. So the promise of a week away and getting the chance to do some fun activities doesn’t enter my youngest daughter’s brain when she would rather disagree, argue and challenge our parental direction. We assure her that the vacation is in place for both of our daughters to go on- but my wife will be happy to take another child if she chooses not to be on board with following the rules of the house.

I’m working with her on turning this around. It’s so easy to throw around negative words that I want her to think of the opposite positive words and phrases. She states very swiftly that she lets know out of anger that she hates us, she things negative attention will be all that she’ll ever get in this family so why bother going for the positive. I spent some time cuddling and letting her know once again about the sunflower story she learned about through her outside therapist.

She has to accept certain things as is if she wants to lead a better life. We made her aware of the fact that certain people in her life will probably spoil her, but as parents we would be doing a huge injustice if that’s all we did in life. Sure as children we would all love to be catered to and have people give in to our every wish and desire- but we all know that’s not a realistic portrayal of how the world works. Humans need boundaries, discipline, love, support and structure in order to thrive, gain comfort with surroundings and eventually learn to be able to lead a sustainably, healthy life away from your immediate family when you become an adult.

I take the fact that she didn’t have a full blown tantrum as a plus. She apologized for her negative behavior and we were able to reach a compromise regarding her television time before bed this evening. We have to be direct and firm but loving in our approach. We told her what we are willing to accept and what we are not going to accept anymore. It’s up to her whether she wants to get on board or remain obstinate and defiant.

There’s one more day of school vacation before both girls go back to school. I for one will be happy when we get back into our regular routine once again. I feel like I’ve regained my faculties and I’m willing to look at things from a different level. There’s no sense in matching outbursts with yelling or arguing with slamming of doors. We need to communicate clearer and quicker, to hopefully head off future escalating behaviors.

Have a great day everyone!

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