Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thoughtful Thursday

Well, the Mama Guilt is on overload today.  My buttons are like a brand new touch mouse pad….so sensitive.  I am not sure what is going on, but Jakob and I have been battling for weeks.   We have our good days, and good moments, but for the most part we are not liking each other very much.  There are just a few behaviours that drive me up the wall, WHINING and BACK TALKING are at the top of that list.  Jakob has always been a whiner….he thinks that if he whines he will get what he wants. Not so much.  For some strange reason he has now decided that back talking is the way to go as well.  Again, not so much.  There are days that my tolerance for his behaviours is pretty high, but these last few days that is not the case.  I have spent more time yelling and arguing with him (I know, arguing with him is not the way to go), than I have loving on him.  This makes me feel so guilty.  I understand that this is just a few days out of a (hopefully) long life together, and that I shouldn’t let it get to me, that we all have these days….but it kills me.   

I want to have fun with my boys.  But it is hard for me to have fun with them when I don’t feel that they deserve it for acting poorly.  I am in a catch 22 position.  And here we are thinking about driving to the Jacksonville Zoo on Saturday….and Jakob has been misbehaving in school and he and I had a huge blow out this morning walking to school.  Do we still go?  Will he consider it a reward for his bad behaviour?  Or do we suffer for it too and stay home, knowing that it will be a rough day of whining that we didn’t get to go?

I need help.  I need a way to hold back my anger and not let this take over.  I need to figure out how to explain to Jakob that this behaviour wont be tolerated and that it is just disrespectful to talk to us like that.  I need to get back to parenting with love, not a raised voice and punishment.  I am taking any advice you may have for me.  Lay it on me, books, strategies, things that have worked for you, bribes, anything….please.  I feel desperate at this point.


Roving Lemon said...

1. Deep breath. Count to 10. Some days I have to remind myself to do this every time I am preparing to speak--to anyone, not just little ones.

2. I have had good success with immediate consequences, particularly taking away current favorite toys and setting parameters for earning them back.

3. In a quiet moment, might be worth thinking about whether anything big is going on elsewhere? Changes to diet or sleep? Lingering infection or other physical issue? Disruption to normal routine at home or school?

4. Take it one day at a time and take it easy on yourself. You're doing the best you can!

Kudos Kitchen said...

I seriously don't have the answer but the fact that you see clearly what is happening (his side and yours) seems like a good place to start. We all want to be rewarded for the good we do, so maybe you need to go overboard praising him and loving on him when he's not whining and fussy. Show him it's much better to act kindly to others so they, in turn behave that way back to him. Love on him like crazy at those good-boy times and see. I don't know, maybe you've already been doing that...just my thoughts. Good luck Tania! You're a great mom for reaching out for help!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that you are having such a time with your son right now and I, like Renee can only offer advice not answers.
Sometimes you just have to pick your battles with the kids but inappropriate behaviour has to have it's consequences and they should be immediate. Come the weekend Jacob won't be able to rationalize why he can't go to the Zoo because what he did to warrant the punishment will in his mind, be long forgotten. Taking away his prized possession for bad behaviour may work and it only gets returned when he apologizes. The more you yell and argue the more the talking back will most likely continue as any attention from you is good as far as kids are concerned.
Perhaps something is going on at school that his him acting out or perhaps his younger brother is getting more *good* attention and he is jealous.
Whatever it is, I think that you need to decide on an immediate punishment and deliver it as soon as the behaviour happens.
Rewarding him when his behaviour is good may also encourage it to occur more often than the bad. You can also create a reward system, perhaps with a goodie box of dollar store items that he can choose from whenever he is well behaved and he is supposed to.
The main thing is to remember that as tough as it may be right now, it IS only temporary and you will both get through it.
Lots of hugs at the end of the day when being tucked into bed and reassuring him that he is loved and an important part of the family.
You are a good Mom and the best one ever for your boys! Remember that.

Katy said...

It's hard, it really is. Parenting is so rewarding, but so...hard! We all do the best we can, and the fact that you're worrying about it means you're a good mom. I'm not positive how old Jakob is, but my oldest is almost 9 and the attitude is just awful at times. The back talking is bad, and so many times I don't think he even realizes how bad he's being! It's all I can do to remain calm at times (and to be honest, I don't always remain calm!) but taking a deep breath and saying "ok, what's going on?" helps a lot of the times. He's a very emotionally sensitive kid, and small changes can have big impacts on him, and his attitude. And he's had a lot of changes in the last few years. We're all still trying to figure out how to help him cope with his emotions, and it's a work in progress.

I have found, at least with him, that we have to make our expectations and rewards/punishments very, very clear. Even at his age, I still use the 1, 2, 3 approach, with warnings of what is about to happen if I get to three. He's a visual kid, so charts (and even signed agreements, I kid you not!) tend to work better with him.

((((hugs)))) I'm katyskitchen on Twitter. If you need someone to talk to, DM me on there, or email me at alphabet dot soup at live dot com. Sometimes, just having someone to talk to is the biggest help of all!!