Check out this cute article from Mothering:
Check out this cute article from Mothering:
I found the article to be poorly thought out:
Of course some humans are more difficult that others -- I cannot image why she thinks she is the first person to notice this. She's used the words "excuse," "reason," and "explanation" as if they all mean the same thing, but figuring out WHY a child is having problems is far from making an excuse. It's often the first step to figuring out what would actually work for the child.
I think she sounds like a lazy parent -- unwilling to get to the root of why her child is violent, and therefore happy to insult parents who have taken the time to figure out what is going on with their kids and address their needs. Knowing that a child is harder does not mean that one can't move forward and figure out what would help, but this author seems to think that it does. Her kid is hard, and she wants to leave it that way. She thinks that is the moral high ground. YIKES!
The child is just two, and they are notorious for being a handful, but part of the reason that kids get past this stage is because we PARENT them out of it. The article is titled "there is not always a fix for the difficult child" but that isn't what she wrote about. She wrote about being opposed to finding a fix for her difficult child.
She wrote about not wanting to find an "excuse" for her child's behavior, but then blamed it on dad's genes, and I don't think that the author realized that is just an excuse, and one that requires nothing on her part.
The author isn't showing herself as a good parent in this article, nor as a good spouse. Seeing your child's most challenging traits and telling your spouse that the child is just like them is a very unhealthy thing to do in a marriage.
i dont like the language involved- difficult, hard etc- these arnt words id use to describe my super intensive super highly sesntive full of life girls. i dont like her statements of not allways consitant, not allways demanding respect- to be being consistant or demanding respect arnt compatabile with parenting to me- respect is something i give them and hope to earn from them, consitancy goes out the window in favour of treating them as individuals who have individual needs and responding to said needs, as well as acknowledging that i am only human and that its unrealistic to act like a robot and allways be consistant and that actually modeling healthy self care and self compassion is a more benefical gift to offer them.
re getting it from their dad- i do actually agree to an extent, temperament is a genetic trait so its something they will inherit from either parent. my girls got their spirited nature from me, my currently more intense one (her sis was higher needs baby, they sort of swapped at toddler yrs) has the exact same emotional resposes i do, the exact same roller coster and reactions and even cries- i find my empathy goes into over drive because its a remarkable strange thing to witness my reactions in another person, its really made me learn, but is also v draining. id disagree that we 'parent' kids out of toddler hood- i think its a normal developmental stage that allows us the opportunity to help them build their emotional literacy and therefore their emotional regualtion- but i think this role (for me) is more about offering a supportive accepting guiding presence as they negotiate their own personal journy through this time of so much unsettlement.
I dunno - my second born, from her entrance to the world, has been in honey badger mode. More nursing than the first born, more cosleeping than the firstborn, more babywearing than the first, gentle/positive displine is all she's known; and still, her first assumption/thought/conclusion about situations she's in, at least 50% of the time, is negative. It has been emotionally difficult for me to parent her, as my temperament is a benefit of the doubt/basically positive one. She inherited her father's temperament. I have a hard time relating to her sometimes. I'm not blaming him, or trying to "fix" her - there's nothing to "fix" - it's who she is. I don't throw my hands up and excuse away her behaviors; boundaries are enforced, things are explained - nonetheless, she has a fiery temper and lashes out - relaxation CDs, books on anger, we've done and are doing them all....still, she is who she is. I love her fiercely and she is a light in my world - she can be an absolute delight, a nurturing, loving girl. She is nonetheless, a difficult child, a lot of the time. I cannot change who she is at her core - all I can do is try to help her see more positives in her life and open herself to more peace.
I really liked the article and its one I wish I'd read when my kids were younger.
I read it as saying, "you know, some kids are freaking difficult. Its not necessarily poor parenting. Sometimes, they are just that kind of kid.".
And our kids are all so different. Birth order, personality, so much goes into making one kid struggle in one situation and not in another.
I read it as "I've tried what I've tried and I'm going to just accept my kid a bit now.".
Also re the dad thing. I think its often the case that kids will listen when one parent says something like "behave" and not when the other parent does. And that is not because the other parent is a bad parent, just that their relationship is different.
Wow--I hadn't thought about someone interpreting this article in this way. I actually decided to join this forum upon reading it, because its message touched me in a very different way than it affected you. I find it so interesting the varying perceptions of the things we read. In fact, there are times in my life in which I myself could re-read this article and probably have a different take on it.
Personally speaking, my husband and I have been going through some tough parenting challenges for the past 8 years, and we are just now beginning to relax a bit more, and finally feeling the positive effects of how we parents have continually grown during this whole process, in response to the challenges our children have presented for us.
So for me, this article was a release; an affirmation that we parents don't always have to feel like we parents *have* to pinpoint the exact cause of issues at hand or feel like we ourselves need to be the ones to control those issues. I completely see what you're saying, though, in that sometimes there *is* a definitive reason behind the challenges, so as you fairly stated, it *is* worth investigating. But it really depends on the family and the individual child when making that call. I honestly did not get the impression from this article that the author was necessarily "opposed to finding a fix for her child" as much as she has decided to look at her own personal situation and simply embrace who her child is as a person, without feeling the need to conform her child to societal expectations all the time.
For me, at least, I found this article an inspiration--to be able to look beyond the sometimes incessant need to control everything, which can sometimes (at least in our case) result in a stressful environment and undue pressure for all involved. Though we continue to maintain the structure and faith-based foundation we have always chosen to instill in our children, we are finding it just as (if not more) healthy just to take a step back and re-evaluate the situation from another perspective--just from the standpoint of learning to let go and just loving them.
I did too! And I second a big welcome to MamasMayhem - what a thoughtful first post here at MDC. WELCOME, I hope you'll continue to share your thoughtful opinions with us.
As the mother of an almost 18 year old - once extremely challenging child - I can tell you there is nothing like a 'difficult' child to help you become a better parent, more self aware and, just perhaps, start a drinking problem. Just kidding on that last one. My daughter came out of the womb crying and didn't stop until she was 3. We've been through every emotion to the extreme. She is a wonderful mix of sensitivity, strength, stubbornness and beauty, inside and out. Her temperment has pushed me to my limits and left me on my knees before God, helped me find my sense of humor and dig deeper than I ever have before. I have come out of her childhood with a closer bond to this beautiful human being that I could have ever dreamed, with a renewed sense of my own strength and accomplishment and of course, regrets.
We are our children's only advocates. No one else in the world will fight for them as we do. For those of you going through the hardest times right now, I can only tell you, from the other side, it's totally worth every deep breath, every heart breaking tear of frustration. Today my daughter is a senior in high school. She's also taking college classes, in the beta club, honor society and working part time. She is still pretty sensitive but that has grown into a love for animals and human rights. She is still stubborn. That trait has morphed into a strength of conviction. She's incredibly funny. She brings a surprising joy to my life. I'm glad I didn't go through with that plan to put her up on Ebay when she was 'training' me. Just a Kat's eye view!