Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Hardest Job in the World

Parenting. I've been going at this for 7+ years now and have huge highs and the lowest of lows. My darling Maggie was a difficult baby, harder toddler and then right into the 14 year old mouth from there. For so long I wondered "What am I doing wrong?" and then it dawned on my that Emma couldn't be more opposite. If it's ME, why isn't Emma the same. I've watched Oprah, Dr. Phil, talked with experts at school, the doctor's office and just about anyone that would listen until I figured it out. All of the above had the same answer that I didn't WANT to agree with but understand the theory now. It's fear. Oprah had a panel of child psychologists on and they all agreed that the sign of a good parent is "having kids that fear you." Emma has this - all I have to do it use a tone or give a look and she knows that trouble is coming and has NEVER tested me beyond that point. But, here's the question. What do you do with a child that DOESN'T fear you? I do not in any way, shape or form condone child abuse. But, I do believe in the occasional spank when needed to get someone's attention. Emma's never had one ... Maggie, more than I can possiby begin to count. I've washed her mouth out with soap of every scent at BBWorks, I've used tobasco sauce, vinegar, stripped her toys and beloved blanket on several occasions (and when I say strip I mean down to the sheets!). I've screamed until my head just about blows off, I've threatened. I've pulled the car over, taken her out and got back in. I've convinced her that the Neenah Police Department is "jail" and have even parked there on occasion. NOTHING even remotely scares her. UNTIL NOW. I may have found the key. SILENCE. They say silence is deadly and my daughter can't stand to know that I'm upset with her. It's a technique my Grandma used and I'm going for it. The other night she knew I was mad at her and begged me to let her cuddle with me. I wouldn't let her. Now, my next mission is silence. Grandma says "you have to go 2 whole days without a word or acknowledgement to her and you have to be completely committed and determined." I AM! It is not my job to be her friend, that's not why I'm here. I'm her mother and I'm going to raise appreciative, polite, socially acceptable children if it kills me. I will never give up. So, for now, it's a goal to see how the "silent treatment" works. I'll keep you posted!

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