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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hammer.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hammer"><br><br>
I have been extremely irritated at my 3 year old for the past month or so. She talks back constantly, gets in her sister's face, whines, shouts, "NO!" at pretty much everything, and is basically driving me up the wall. I grew up with very authoritarian parents, and sometimes I revert to yelling commands and getting FURIOUS when she does not comply (which is all the time).<br><br>
She is very spirited, has to do her own thing every second (planned activities do not work if there is any kind of schedule or rule within...she gets nervous and tantrum-y unless she can totally do her own thing). For example, Children's Museum is good (she can play with whatever at her own pace), storytime is bad (she doesn't want to be told to sit still).<br><br>
I know much of it is her age, much of it is her temperment, and much of it is because I suspect she is "gifted" (she's began to read two months ago and now can read beginning primers with ease, etc.).<br><br>
I waver back and forth between being gentle -- which is what I strive for -- and yelling at her because she is like this completely untamed, sassy pony galloping throughout the house and running me over.<br><br>
Please tell me that a) I haven't ruined her for NOT being GD in my bad moments, b) I can acheive GD-dom eventually, hopefully within the next month or two, c) that I should treasure her wildness, and d) anything else that will lessen this feeling that I am a totally inadequate mother.<br><br>
Alternatively, someone could pass over the bottle of Red, because we ran out over here. And I'd really like some right now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RedWine</strong></div>
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Please tell me that a) I haven't ruined her for NOT being GD in my bad moments, b) I can acheive GD-dom eventually, hopefully within the next month or two, c) that I should treasure her wildness, and d) anything else that will lessen this feeling that I am a totally inadequate mother.</div>
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a. You haven't ruined her. b. you CAN do it, keep trying c. wild ponys are really cute <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> d. deep breaths<br><br>
We all have moments we regret later. I yell. Not often. Very rarely. But that doesn't make me feel any less crappy when it happens. They grow and change quickly. Next week will be a different issue.<br><br>
With that kind of child it often helps to TALK about everything. A lot. Way more than you want to.... but bright kids often need to intellectualize all their behavior and talking about it can really help.<br><br>
hang in there. Things will get better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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I feel for you, mama. No, you are not ruining her! I think most of us here have those non-GD moments. Im sure you can become a gentler parent. Hang in there! I think the wilder kids need that gentleness even more, because it is easier to squash their inner spirit. What may not bother another child, like sitting for a fun story, is like squashing a fidgety, wild little child's spirit.<br><br>
For me, it takes a lot of reflection, and thinking of my goals in my relationship with my children, to keep me in that 'good place' of feeling calm and in control of my emotions. It really helps me to keep in mind the long view.<br><br>
I would say, read all you can! Many of the books mentioned on this forum have great ideas and advice for tough situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, ladies. You're both right -- I think talking a lot helps her (though I have to FORCE myself to do it, because I get tired of talking with her almost every waking minute), and being gentle with her is probably extra important. I'm not very good at this GD stuff, though I am trying to get better. I have read practically everything one could find listed in this forum. I am trying. Some days I try harder than others. I get tired of feeling guilty all the time.<br><br>
Ever have those moments where you hope, when they grow up, that they remember the things you did right and not the myriad of moments when you totally lost your cool?
 

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The part about your dd learning to read about 2 months ago stuck out to me...I have read that when children are on the brink of big developmental milestones (learning to walk, learning to speak, learning to read, etc) there is often a phase of "disorganization", which results in phases of, well...difficult behavior. As I understand this theory, there is an increase in brain development as the child is acheieving big breakthroughs in his or her learning, and it takes a little time for the new information to be "organized" or consolidated. In the meantime, the child may regress in some behaviors - breakdowns or tantrums, or milder "acting out" or regressions. Just a thought, as the timing seems right with her just reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, MountainLovinMama. That helps a lot. Her behavior has been REALLY difficult lately, but what she appears to understand academically has just bounded forward.<br><br>
This makes me have a lot more empathy for her. Thanks again.
 

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my dd (also very spirited!!!) is 4. i can relate to pretty much all of your post (except my dd is not reading yet).<br><br>
huge sigh. i can relate to your feeling like a failure and second-guessing yourself and what your dd will remember. i go through the same thing all the time, and lay awake at night beating myself up for not being more patient and GD that day.<br><br>
our backgrounds sound very similar, as do our reactions (trying to use GD, reading lots, and then losing it and getting really mad).<br><br>
my dd yells a lot, herself. lots of 'no's' and anger from her. i wasn't allowed to express it as a child, so i have an incredibly difficult time managing not only my own anger now, but hers as well.<br><br>
i keep trying to tell myself that i am not perfect. dd is not perfect. i apologize regularly (for being impatient/grouchy/whatever) as i snuggle her at night. after she has fallen asleep, i also will speak quietly to her and tell her that i love, respect, support, trust, believe in, stand beside...her. i figure if her subconscious takes any of that in, so much the better. i also keep little reminders on the fridge that can help to re-focus me when i am soooo angry.<br><br>
last weekend, we had an out-of-the-norm, rushed, stressful, hectic weekend surrounded by (loved but loud) family. i made up a song with the simple words, 'peace be to me, peace be to you, peace be to us' and sang it over and over and over, out loud as i was driving to our destination. i actually really helped while we were all couped up in the van and i just wanted to scream. [edited to add that by the time i'd been singing this song repeatedly for about 5 minutes, dd had started to sing it along with me, and it helped her, too!]<br><br><br>
you are working on being more consistent. you are aware that there is a better way, and are working to get there. you can't expect yourself to be further ahead than you are in any given moment. i keep trying to remind myself of that, too. when i expect too much too soon from myself or my children, it ends with frustration for all of us, and i decompensate into yelling/grouchy/nasty-voice mommy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hide.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hide">:<br><br>
how does that saying go, 'a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step'<br><br>
hang in there. i find it very helpful to read various threads here, for ideas, too.<br><br>
if you can be gentle with yourself, it might be easier with your dd.<br><br><br>
also, have you read, rasing your spirited child?
 

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I really liked the image of a sassy pony flipping her mane and tail through a home.<br><br>
Okay sorry! That was a short detour. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Proudly AP</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">. i made up a song with the simple words, 'peace be to me, peace be to you, peace be to us' and sang it over and over and over, out loud as i was driving to our destination. i actually really helped while we were all couped up in the van and i just wanted to scream. [edited to add that by the time i'd been singing this song repeatedly for about 5 minutes, dd had started to sing it along with me, and it helped her, too!]</div>
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What a great idea. I think I will do this the next time she starts to act up/I start to get angry. And yes, our backgrounds sound very familiar. Thank you for posting. It helps to feel understood.<br><br>
I have read the spitied child book. In fact, I think I have read so many books that by now I am rebelling against reading any more. I feel like I am reading instead of actual putting GD into practice, ykwim?<br><br>
Thanks again, I really like the song idea.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>RedWine</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks, MountainLovinMama. That helps a lot. Her behavior has been REALLY difficult lately, but what she appears to understand academically has just bounded forward.<br><br>
This makes me have a lot more empathy for her. Thanks again.</div>
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Glad that was helpful. I have been noticing some similar patterns with my dd, who has also begun to really read in the past few months, which is why that piece stuck out for me when I read your op. Making that connection helped me gain empathy as well....although the increased empathy did not automatically translate to endless reserves of patience! Good luck to you!
 
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