I can laugh now, because I'm sitting alone, in the quiet, by myself...but seriously you guys, my four year old is breaking me down so hard.
The lying. The sneakiness. The manipulative behavior. The emotional volatility!! AAHHH!
Today she was so rude and mean to me all morning and in the grocery store that I had to tell her that no she would NOT be getting a cookie when we went through the bakery...I was calm, explained that she knows the drill, rude children do not get cookies at the bakery! She lost it. Wouldn't follow me, stopped right there and started yelling at me that she was running away to live at the grocery store. "Where on earth will you sleep!" I said. "RIGHT THERE!" she answered, pointing to a display of budweiser 30 packs. "Oh, okay, well who is going to cook food for you!?" She glared at me "I know how to cook, I will make eggs and bacon and eat juice, because I know where they keep it!!" I tried not to laugh. "Won't you be lonely without your mama and dada to read to you and tuck you in." I asked her. She shook her head "I will make friends with the store people. I don't want you as a mama anymore." - this is a regular thing at the grocery store lately. I spend ENORMOUS amounts of time, during our weekly trip, talking her down, being yelled at by her...asking her to "please come back here and stop running away" or listening to her cry and tell me how terrible I am because I've strapped her into the cart for being naughty. Our 1-1.5 hour trip is lasting about 30 minutes longer on average due to the constant issues with her. My helper is gone...my lead weight with extreme emotional issues has replaced her!
Kicking and screaming, doing things she KNOWS are BIG no-no's and then lying and blaming her brother. Making huge messes. Saying hurtful things or doing things that are very naughty and then laughing in my face...melting down over really crazy things...I think it's all really typical behavior for her age, but it's making everything SO hard right now.
I have a newborn girl and a 2.5 year old son and my four year old daughter. My four year old is currently my most difficult child...by a LONG shot. Up until very recently she has been an enormous help, constant buddy and a pleasure to be around at just about all times. So, yeah, I get that I'm taking my lumps now and that this will pass...but I wonder:
What are some tips for a mom who is trying to get through this phase and get out on the other side in the best possible shape?
So far my tactics have been:
- keep as calm as possible, even in the face of extremely annoying shit.
- take her feelings seriously and try to help her flush them out and make sense of them ("You don't love me at all" - "What makes you think that!" "You won't even give me a yogurt snack" - "Well honey, that doesn't mean I don't love you, that means I want you to finish the yummy lunch I just made for you that is still on your plate before I feed you something else" - that type of stuff).
- Giving her space and a lone time when she says she needs it (this is a new thing with her "I need space and peace right now" - I ALWAYS respect that, I hope that respect pays off, because sometimes she asks for "Space and peace" when it's not at all convenient for me to stop what I'm doing and "make" that for her!)
So yeah. I'm really struggling with not getting angry when she lies. I know, I know...it's normal....it's also getting REALLY old at this point. She lies about things that are sneaky, but also about things that are CLEARLY not true. Like I watched her hit her brother...then she looked at me, held her face and was like "ben hit me" as her brother comes running to me with a big red mark on him that she knows I just watched her put on him. Its crazy.
What are some tricks and tips you mamas who have BTDT care to pass on?