Friday, March 20, 2009

And the flip side of parenting...

I am so completely burned out from dealing with Renie this week that I am literally in a constant state of fighting back tears. Help! Nothing works with this child. If I put her in time-out she kicks the door and screams until I'm sure her feet are going to go right through it. If I spank her, she acts all offended for about 30 seconds and then she's right back at it. She doesn't care a single bit. There is nothing she loves so much that if I take it away it would bother her in the least. There are no 3 yr old privileges that she cares about. I can't send her to bed early because it would require me stationing myself at her door to keep her in there. No time for that with dinner to make and 4 other kids to deal with. She antagonizes her little brother, gets into every possible thing she can think of that she knows is off-limits, climbs onto the counter tops to get into food, sneaks out of the house to run the neighborhood, destroys anything of value she can find....Really it's exhausting. You know how the saving grace of a 3 yr old is how stinking cute they can be? Well, she better up the cuteness because the terrorist is the only one showing her face lately. I know it's hard to be the fourth child in a big family. I am the fourth child myself. But goodness, we're stuck in a cycle where every interaction is negative and it's hard to give her the positive interaction she seems to be craving. Maybe my trip to NY next week will give us both the break we need and break the cycle in the process. I hope so because I can't go on like this much longer!

6 comments:

Virginia Burnett said...

It's a real bummer to have to do and takes time out of your schedule just when you really have to be doing other things, but have you tried a hold down? Maxx was pulling the violent & impossible act at the beginning of the school year and I did about 4 hold downs within a week and he straightened right out - at least as much as a 4 year old will.

You sit on the floor - with your back to something you can lean against, plop Missbehaving between your legs and swing your legs around to cover her knees so she can't kick you and hold her arms crossed in front of her. The trick is to hold the child there quite firmly but gently until he or she gives up control, relaxes and agrees to go to time out for 3 minutes (or however long you specify)

I know it sounds awful and you absolutely can't do it when you are so mad that you want to choke the kid, but it works. Wish I were more helpful! Good luck

Cindy said...

Sounds a lot like my 5 year old. The girl can be very stubborn and doesn't even seem to faze her at all with anything we do. "No friends." Doesn't care. "Go to bed early." She knows that one won't work since she's ALWAYS the last one asleep no matter what time she's sent to bed. Just the other day I thought of one of my mission companions saying to me once, "Never pray for patience because the Lord will give it to you." I then thought, "Who needs to pray for patience when they have kids?" Ah, well. If you figure out something that works, let me know. ;)

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Maybe Clark and Renie can get married. Their kids will be born in an orange prison jumpsuit. JUST kidding! Just know you're understood. Maybe a one-on-one date with her... when she's feeling the love, you can talk to her about some "goals." Good luck, darling.

Jenn-Lee said...

So sorry to hear. I had the same thing With My oldest. My suggestion is to go barrow or buy the book "The strong willed child" By Dr. James Dobson. It is an amazing book and I think it would help you as it helped us. oh- and just pray lots which I am sure you already do. I feel your pain. Have a peaceful day.

jessica, jessie, or jessi said...

I'm so sorry! We've been struggling a bit with Jackson for some of the same things (particularly the random antagonizing of the younger brother) and nothing seems to work long-term. We haven't yet tried spanking since we're really hoping to avoid resorting to that, but we're coming to the end of our rope with other ideas!

This sounds so cliche, but whenever I'm so frustrated and angry with him I truly try to think, "How would Jesus handle this?" And I know the answer is, "Love him," but then I'm at a loss as to how that's going to teach him to not do whatever it is he's doing, you know what I mean? How do you patiently and lovingly teach your child to respect you so much that all they need is a disapproving 'look' to correct their behavior? (And while I want him to respect us, I don't want him to be scared of us - so where is that line?)

When you find the answer, please share! Until then the only advice I can offer is, "Don't get angry, get the camera." :)

(One more thing to possibly try (I'm working on it) - in an Elem. Ed. class I took at BYU we were taught a way to correct bad behavior/attitude was to be sure to offer three positive comments for every one negative. (I've heard this ratio applied for other situations as well.) This breaks the pattern of constantly getting upset. So if Jack does a running jump-kick at Eddie's head I'll say (after making him apologize), "You were running super fast! I think you jumped higher than you've ever jumped before! You could be a ninja! But ninja's don't hit their family, so next time only jump-kick bad dudes, okay?")

And of course - there's always the fallback of buying a deadbolt for the bedroom door. ;)

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Sounds like my Rachel - but at least she isn't sneaky!

Also, I turn the doorknobs around on the little ones' bedroom doors - I can lock them in that way if necessary. (That sounds so mean, I know!)