I’m famous!

Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids and the Aha! Parenting website somehow found my blog post about dealing with M’s raging tantrums and linked to it on her facebook! Then, boom! I have about triple the readership I usually have in a day in just a few hours. I definitely feel like this is my five minutes of fame!

To all those parents who made their way here today via that link, I get it. I am right there with you in the trenches, dealing with tantrums, defiance, and the struggle to parent in a way that makes you feel good while still setting firm limits. How the heck do you get your kid to be nice to others? Learn and explore and yet not destroy everything? Clean up after themselves but still be allowed to be themselves and act in age-appropriate ways? How do you accomplish the formation of a compassionate, respectful human being’s character without threatening, punishing, or bribing? How do you stay calm and do the right thing while thinking this isn’t working! Just stop it already! I can’t take it for another second!

I don’t even know. I’m glad that one of my prouder parenting moments is featured on Dr. Laura’s facebook, because I’ve had way more moments that I’m not proud of. I’m glad there are people out there like her, who write books, articles, and other publications that help us parents feel like someone else “gets it” and has a few answers. Nothing about raising kids is easy, nothing goes the way it’s supposed to, and no child always responds to any one type of disciplinary method on any one particular day. I’m learning that this is normal, that we (my daughter and I) are normal.

Anyone who has a child who behaves in extreme ways, once in a while or all the time, feels lost, ashamed, and isolated. Parents present the best of themselves and their kids in public, including online. I see other families with their little darlings sitting nicely in a row for hours, and want to scream. I want to cry when other moms look at myself or my daughter oddly when she is unable to behave because a transition is hard for her. I want them to see her the way I do: as a smart, loving, charming girl who just struggles with managing her emotions and transitioning. I don’t want them to label her ADHD, hyper, wild, problematic, or difficult. I don’t want teachers to dread her or want her to leave their class. I don’t want my relatives to tell me “you have your hands full” anymore. I don’t want to worry about bringing my daughter to play dates or parks or picnics because everyone else there won’t understand and will judge. I don’t think I can stand hearing one more well-intentioned but idiotic scrap of advice about how I should or should not be parenting my spirited child.

If you feel the same, you’re not alone, and I wish we could find each other!

Thanks for coming by!

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Categories: education, parenting

11 Comments »

  1. Oh, man. I thought of you last night as my three year old shouted no and smacked me when I told her that she needed to ask to be excused from the table. I wonder if she does this at school, I wonder if it’s developmentally normal or if she’s just a raging brat, I wonder what the “best” response to that behavior is… She wants a reaction out of me, so I don’t want to give her that, but to ignore her seems to accept that what she’s doing is ok. We’re all definitely doing the best we can.

  2. Me too found my way to you… and what you write is so resonating! Having a strong willed and spirited child as well I totally understand the struggles you are writing about. Well done for keeping calm and clear and not blowing it!!! AND: thank you so much for modelling for all of us. Much love and gratitude x

    • The last couple weeks before school started M’s behavior was just miserable. Just remember, nothing lasts longer at this age (even though it feels like forever). I know you’re doing everything you can to help him be cooperative, but sometimes they’re just going to get the best of us no matter what we do!

      • I think my increasing stress is making it harder for me to not lose my cool in his extreme testing moments. I feel like if I don’t get this worked out soon then it will impact his behavior and our relationship long term.

      • Stress always makes us less patient… You’ll do what you have to do to get through it. Remember to give yourself a little break, too. You are a conscious and loving parent, and he won’t be this difficult age forever!

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