to get through. He currently hates me.
Well... ok... hate is not a strong enough word.
He loves me well enough... I don't really think he
actually hates me... but acting like he does, fits very
well into his methods of reaching his little kiddie goals.
We play the cheek kissing game at bed time, snuggle
and do back scratches... I carry him from here to there
when carrying is needed and he runs to me to share
news of his world when things are happening... We play
games and read together... There's loads of other cute stuff
that goes on with us...
However, during the course of a normal day, dealing with
normal events... he responds to me with absolutely
inappropriate behavior. He argues almost every point I
make on ANY subject... he opens every conversation with
me by yelling "NO" and "STOP" ... over and over...
I've been terrible at handling the 1-2-3 and generally following
through with threats of punishment...
Example: "If you boys don't quiet down, I'm coming back to
close your door!"
... and then I ignore it while they don't settle down.
Suz has to step in a remind me to follow through.
This is at the heart of my challenge with him... that I have let
him develop the impression that daddy wont follow through.
When I ask him something... if he answers... he yells his
answer and gives me this look that is pretty much the same
as throwing daggers at me.
He never misses a chance to point out to suz that he prefers
mommy !! etc. I mean... it can be pretty painful sometimes...
So I've decided to beat him.... hahaha... shit, I'm just kidding... relax. hahaha...
This situation is a reality that I'm sure many parents of two or
more kids face... the children playing the parents off against
one another and finding the thin edge of a wedge to use in getting
their own way.
The really really... really hard part... is how the children can
work a situation to gain some random advantage... no shower
at bed time... 10 more minutes of nintendo before bed... more
milk ... etc...
Their process is a winner because it results in mom and dad dealing
with each other instead of dealing with the child. It's a distract,
divide and conquer thing that the children have no real idea they
are doing... only that it works.
~ the kids play favorites... Geo turns to me... Edward turns to Mommy...
~ suz is much more consistent and calm with the discipline stuff...
with the "organization" of parenting...
~ Edward yells at me a lot...
~ I have set way too many bad examples by raising my own voice...
It's a stage... honestly, I'm not broken up about this...
As with most things related to challenging moments in parenting, the
problems are transitional and will fall behind soon enough... only to
be replaced by a new problem.
I'm trying... I'm holding onto the "calm daddy" zone and I'm trying to
stick to a consistent pattern of conflict resolution with the boys and
things improve... in their own time.
I guess... I guess I'm talking about this... because I get some very nice
emails from friends and I see comments in journals that make me wanna
point out how I have so many of the same problems that every other
parent has. It's not always sweetness and light in our world... but
we all love each other and always make decisions based on what will
be the best for our children and their future...
I was gonna filter this... but ... maybe not.
Life is complicated and when you think it can't get any more challenging...
you have kids. Only then do you begin to realize how poorly you've
been defining "complicated" and "challenging".