Friday, 5 July 2013

Challenging Child...

I have a challenging child... do you? 

I have one child who is strong-willed, a drama queen and knows her own mind. I also have a child who is laid back, easy going, quick to smile and easy to love. Some days the more difficult one feels hard to even like, and it would be easy to dote on the other one more. Does this make me a bad mother? I have really had to think hard about this, as the Mummy-Guilt tears me apart at times, and I get so worried she'll sense it...

But I have come to the conclusion that this doesn't make me a bad mother (although I have yet to believe this on the inside), unless I actually act on it. I love my daughter more than life itself, and I hope, anyone who knows me (in real life), can see that. But there are days I struggle to actually like her... her behaviour at the moment, leaves a lot to be desired, and while we are doing our best - it feels like it is just not enough, and I am ready to wave my white flag of surrender. This parenting thing is just not for me, seriously...!!!

Her blonde hair, big blue eyes and gorgeous smile seem to suck everyone in... sometimes even her Dad and I, but do not be deceived! 


We are having problems with settling at Preschool at the moment, she hated it to begin with - but then started to enjoy it, cope with the drop-off and settle really well; but these past couple of weeks it feels like we have gone backwards significantly. But not only is this behaviour happening there, but it is happening here at home also - the tantrums have ramped up, and the mornings are horrible 4 out of 5 times a week. She is becoming clingy beyond anything I have dealt with before, and will not go to hubby or deal with him if she decides not to... if she wants me (which is 99% of the time), she will go straight into tantrum-mode before she will deal with hubby. She adores her Dad, and yet you'd think she doesn't even know him let alone like him, the way she behaves around him sometimes... thankfully 'lil M is becoming a "Daddy's Boy", and will have him over me when he is home, which relieves some of the pressure on me - although I think he has worked out that this is a necessity.

We are being as consistent as we can - initially we tried to joke her out of these tantrums, then we tried bribing her out, and we tried cuddles and basically, everything 'nice' to try and dissuade her. But it was getting ridiculous, and she was totally controlling everything... so we have got tough, and she just gets put straight in her room, and has to stay there until she has calmed down enough to join the rest of the family. We check on her regularly, but she is not allowed out until she calms down - I don't know what else to do. When we ask her why she had a tantrum, inevitably the answer will be 'I just wanted my Mummy', and all very seriously at that. However, when she is in the middle of it - doesn't matter who is dealing with her (me or hubby), she won't settle down until she is ready to. So Mummy makes no difference then anyway...

I have just given the Head Teacher at Preschool, permission to do whatever it takes to start settling her... they have been very loving, nurturing and sweet with her there, but it has got to the point where she monopolises a teacher 100% of the time she is there, and she is playing on this! We know she is just playing games, and so we feel it is time to start getting a bit tougher on her, and not allowing this behaviour to continue. They adore her, and she really has been pampered by the majority of the teachers there, but it is time to put a stop to it now. So while I can see all this, and I also NEED it to stop as it kills me every time I have to say goodbye; the screaming is getting louder and the clinging is getting worse; there is this little bit of Mummy-Guilt that says maybe it isn't her playing games, maybe she really is struggling with anxiety, and it's my fault? Maybe she can feel the internal struggle I am facing daily with her at the moment? Maybe she is seriously feeling abandoned by me? Maybe those first six months, when I struggled through PND, have left a significant mark on her after all - and she is trying desperately to bond with a mother who has emotionally pushed her away?



So I sit here saying one thing to the teachers and my husband, but feeling something totally different - and the internal struggle, the Mummy-Guilt, is just about eating me up.

I try to tell myself that 'this too shall pass', and in twelve months time it'll probably be the opposite - 'lil M will be hitting those 'Terrible Twos', and Button will hopefully have calmed down and be more pleasant! 

Her behaviour is beyond anything I have dealt with before, and I am at a loss... I don't know what to do. I am stuck, and I am struggling with it all. I remind myself, that this strong will is going to be an asset when she is older, and can stand up for herself - and as long as we bring her up right, she won't be pulled along with the crowd, hurting herself and others on the way. She'll be a strong, brilliant and confident young woman that people will admire - that is our goal! We don't want to squash these attributes within her, we want to mould them and make sure she knows how to use them appropriately within society. Right now she doesn't, but she is forgiven as she is only three... she has time on her side, and if only we stand firm and teach her right, she'll be okay! I know this, as I have seen kids coming from much tougher backgrounds that what she has, turn out to be loving, responsible and amazing adults - I know, if they can beat the odds, then she has everything going for her, and will do us proud! But it is feeling like a long hard journey...

So - please tell me it gets easier, because this little girl deserves the best...



6 comments :

MaxineD said...

Yes you are doing your best, yes she has a secure and loving home. That does not mean she will not test the boundaries, again and again, especially if she feels any wavering by either of you... hang in there - she is a sweetie, most of the time :-).
Just remember you turned out o.k., and I was not a perfect mother my any means.
Love and blessings
M

Ange - Tall, Short and Tiny said...

:-( I hope that getting the teachers on board helps the situation at home as well. J went through a really rotten stage for a couple of months after he turned 3, but has now settled back down...two other friends are just in the thick of it now, so I will have my fingers crossed that she is just going through the same phase.
You are doing an awesome job xx

Amy said...

It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things and this is just something Button has to walk through (with you!). Really hard having to be the 'tough guy' when you really just want to cuddle, aye...but sometimes that is just what is needed. Munchkin is spending a lot of time in the bathroom lately (his cool-down place), and always wants Mummy cuddles, even if I'm the one who told him off!

Little Gumnut said...

Feeling for you Elizabeth, it's an incredibly hard thing to have to deal with day and day out. It sounds like you've explored all the options and the tough approach is the only one left. You're right, it will pass... you sound like a really loving mum and like you're doing a great job. Never give up! Never give in! It's great that her preschool teachers are coming on board too. xx

Melissa Leigh Blignault said...

BIG THUMBS UP TO YOU!!!!
You are doing an amazing job, You have two beautiful kids who love you to bits (even if miss madam is testing that theory at times). We are going through something similar and it is so tough somedays... One day I sat on the loo (sorry if too much info lol) on the verge of tears and our munchkin came over and gave me a kiss, they do the darndest things.
Thinking of you, hope this passes and you can gain some sanity back ;)

vegemitevix said...

It does get better in time. Honestly, it does. I once had a little two year old girl who ate all the baubles off the Christmas tree, sucked the muffler on my car, ate so many poisonous plants in the garden the Poisons Centre was on speed dial, and even overdosed herself on Prozac. I wondered if she'd ever be an easy child. I too wondered if we'd ever bond, as I also had PND when she was a baby. She's 17 now, and though we've had our moments I can honestly say we are truly getting there. I have a note on my desk alongside my laptop. It says in scrawly writing - I love you Mama and my friends all love their Aunty Vicki. xx :-) One day your little girl will write such a note for you. Just hold on tight and hang on, you'll get there! Vix x