Beyond Cute

Oh you know…just getting dressed up

 

Me-Where are you two going dressed like that?
E-We’re going to a party.
H-Yeah so we had to get dressed up.
Me-I can see that. Is it a costume party.
E-No, just a cool party.
H-Well, we gotta go. Bye Dad.
Me-It was nice talking with ya.

 

God bless the internet. I have no idea what my parents did without it. It must have been maddening to not have instant access to information that can help you in this amazing quest of parenting. The only thing they had to rely on was family and friends to help talk them off the ledge when their kids were forcefully pushing them over it. Not that I don’t have that option, my family is great for listening, giving advice and helping put things in perspective, but sometimes you have very specific problems that you either want answers to or a relative story that makes you feel like you’re not the only one going through this. Or, maybe it makes me over-think things a bit too much and worry more than I should. Either way, the internet is very helpful.

With that being said, I’ve been doing a bit of reading online lately to help shape my thoughts and feelings of inadequate parenting. The girls have been…how can I put this nicely… “challenging,” lately. On the surface it doesn’t seem all that bad. They are fun, energetic, excited about school and learning. Underneath, there’s something else going on. Maybe it’s just a phase due to the recent graduation to “big school,” or maybe it’s just their personalities shining through in ways I didn’t expect as they get older. The problem I ultimately have with them is that they’ve reached a point where “they’re only _ years old” isn’t really an excuse to me anymore. That one was easy because you could always follow it with “they don’t know any better.” In this case, I truly believe they do know better and this is where being cute isn’t enough to save them.

Hudson for the most part is pretty good. She has a hard time listening and that in itself becomes very frustrating. Nobody likes to repeat themselves, and nobody likes to repeat themselves 10 times before their child actually hears what they have to say. This frustration usually leads to Huds getting in trouble, but luckily she listens when she gets in trouble, feels an incredible amount of guilt and is automatically trying to make things right by being extra good. She is a sweetheart for sure, so her apologies usually include really nice compliments like “I like your face. You’re so handsome.”

Elle on the other hand responds a little differently. She has been throwing some fits lately of epic proportions. I won’t get into details, but trust me when I say they are rooted in anger and rage and get pretty ugly. Since they are polar opposite of how Hudson reacts to discipline, it’s been quite the challenge to figure out how to parent them differently under the circumstances. Elle’s fits are not usually followed by compliments, which makes them harder to swallow and harder for us to come to a peaceful conclusion that doesn’t involve more tears (mostly by me).

Hence the reading. I’ve read a few very helpful articles that I think will help us both deal with the issues at hand and hopefully help us all get along better.

Like I said before, I think most of my frustration comes from the fact that they are so incredibly smart and say and do things that I often feel are way beyond their years, yet when they revert to bad, silly behavior, I can’t help but think “you do know better.” Thankfully I’ve found some tricks online to help me deal with these situations when they arise and I know that I’m definitely not alone out there.

Thanks internet. You’re the best.

 

 

 

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One thought on “Beyond Cute

  1. Hiya,

    I read your blog with joy at your engagement with your pre-teen girls and sympathy for your confusion about how to deal with the ‘fits of epic proportions…rooted in anger and rage’ that get ‘pretty ugly’. Graduating to ‘big school’ can be an important transition for children and this ‘pre-teen’ time can get confusing for kids. For many children fears and sadnesses that may have been stored since early childhood erupt cloaked in anger by the time they are teens. This, as Patty Wipfler, founder of Hand in Hand Parenting compassionately notes, ‘is no fault of yours – it happens in every family’. But what to do about it?

    Check out:

    http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/51/64/How-Can-I-Help-my-Angry-Pre-Teen

    The ideas and approach I found there have changed my parenting life profoundly for the better! Good luck in this amazing, changing time for you and your dear girls.

    It’s great to hear a Dad tracking and engaging so lovingly with his kids out here on the internet – I agree, thanks for the internet!

    Warmly,

    Anna Cole, PhD,
    Licensed facilitator of A Celebration Day for Girls &
    Parenting by Connection Instructor-in-training (2012)

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