Thursday, April 21, 2011

There was a little girl...

Last week I started this post...

Ever have one of those days where you doubt in every way your parenting abilities... those days where you are sure that no child in the history of the world has ever behaved so badly and still turned out to be a productive human being?

It was one of those days. Monday was also one of those days.

I feel discouraged.
I then launched into a description of Elisa's behavior. But then I got lost in that, and wasn't quite sure how to wrap up the post. Now, a week later, I feel like I have adequate perspective to be able to finish this post.

The truth is that all of last week was pretty bad. Elisa had many, many time outs last week. She screamed loudly throughout most of these time outs. For some of them, I had to hold her door closed, while she tried wildly to pull it open from the other side. I could go on and on about her bad behavior, but I'll probably get lost in the descriptions again, and never finish the post. So let's just leave it at that.

Monday morning she woke up, a new person. She has been a total sweetheart for most of the week: obedient, loving, kind, fun. Today she had a couple rough patches, but it was a busy whirlwind of a day... so nothing unusual.

She reminds me of the poem about the little girl with a little curl right in the middle of her forehead: when she was good, she was very, very good; and when she was bad, she was horrid.

Parenting is hard, isn't it?

This is the first three year old I've had... so I'm still figuring out how to go about parenting a three year old. I remember a mom telling me, before I had kids, "Read all you can about parenting now, because once you have kids, it's all on the job training." It's really true. As soon as you kind of "figure out" one stage, you're onto the next... and each kid is different. So, while you can learn from the first kid, you still have to readjust your strategies for the next.

Right now I'm reading 1-2-3 Magic. It's a book about discipline and it's given me some good ideas and advice. I'm almost finished with it, and then I'm going to start implementing it. Maybe I'll post more about this later (no promises).

Anyway, thanks for making it this far through my ramblings. I think I just needed to get some of that off my chest. Last week when Elisa was acting so terribly I really did feel alone. I missed all the moms in Arkansas that I used to get together with. I felt like everyone was honest with each other about how our children were (or weren't) behaving... and I just needed someone to tell me, "My kid does that too."


Wanda said...

Unfortunatly I still do this at times & try to contain it to the privacy of my car.
I don't think boys do the screaming thing,so hopefully Jonathan will give you a break. URAG8MOM

Denee Longan said...

Oh man. Weeks like that are intense. Henri went through a phase where I finally came to this conclusion: It doesn't totally matter what I do here. There are several options that would make sense. The important thing is that I/we are consistent in whatever we choose. Because ultimately, it's completely up to the child as to when they will snap out of it. That's the maddening thing.

In our house today, I was the one who needed to be in a time out. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I'm glad Henri doesn't have a blog.

Micah and Christa Forsythe said...

You know... this has been on my mind a lot... I feel like a major parent failure! "If I parented better - we wouldn't be leaving - If I parented better - Ethan wouldn't do that or say that... If I parented better - we wouldn't have days like this or that" Those are all things I think over and over - and try to encourage myself that maybe - possibly maybe I am doing a better job than I am imagining! From a far I think you are an amazing parent. I have learned so much from you... I truly am thankful! I so value hearing honesty... I really do! Helps me know things are going to be okay... and that I am not alone!