As you can probably tell from my last post in the parenting category, I was not at a very good place.
-There was less structure and more chaos.
-I felt discouraged, hopeless, and sometimes defeated.
-I was overwhelmed and stressed out.
-I was being reactive rather than proactive in my parenting.
-To be honest, I grew a little lazy and was not giving my all.
-I had lost my confidence.
It was time for the “reset” button. I needed major retraining, mainly for myself as a mother. With the advice of my mentors and prayer support of friends, I was determined to dive back in, this time 100%.
If only there was a true reset button. How EASY would that be! I push a button, and WALLA! My children are ready to go with my new game plan. Have I told you yet that I tend to be idealistic?
The “reset” process has been long and difficult, to say the least. It has been requiring every square inch of me, from the moment the girls get up until the moment they go to sleep. I see progress some days, and I see regress on other days.
Let me share with you a day I recently had which definitely fell into the “difficult” category. I took the girls to the pool for our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) playdate. I was looking forward to seeing my friends I hadn’t seen in a while. About half an hour into playing in the pool, I sensed that Peanut was quickly advancing into her “testy” mode (I know her so well by now, I can smell her attitude a mile away).
I gave her a warning that she must stop the attitude, or she’ll sit in the chair.
She didn’t stop. Strike One. Out of the pool, and off to the chair we go.
She tried to fight sitting, but I told her either this or go home. She sat.
After playing again for a while, I corrected her on taking a toy from her sister. She talked back. Strike Two. Off to the chair we go.
She tried to fight the chair again, and I gave her the same choice: either sit or go home. She sat.
Before she went back into the pool the third time, I explained to her, “This is the last time you’re sitting on a chair. If you disobey or talk back to Mommy again, we’re going home.”
She played nicely and listened well for another 20 minutes. Lunchtime came, and when I said we all needed to go to the bathroom first, she said she didn’t need to go. I explained that I needed to, and they must come with me. She refused. With all the attitude she could muster up, she said, “No! I don’t want to!” Strike Three.
It was not pretty. She kicked, screamed, and shouted, “I DON’T WANNA GO HOME!!!!!” She tried to pull away from me. I kept my calm as much as I could, while I picked up my 36-pound daughter with my 95-pound body. I tried to hide the gigantic embarrassment I was feeling inside. My friend helped me with LittleBit (thank God), and off to home we went.
Peanut screamed all the way home (about half hour drive). By the time I parked in our garage, she was finally in her “surrender” mode. She knew exactly why we had to come home (for talking back to me, once more), and she also knew there will be another privilege taken away for the way she behaved about coming home.
We’ve had some rough, draining days during this “reset” period. Just when I think I’ve seen the strongest side of her strong will, she takes it to a whole new level. I’ve been working persistently on her “fight for control” issue for the last two weeks, yet progress seems to come ever so slowly. However, where I have seen a major progress is in my attitude. I no longer am in a defeated, stressed out, reactive mode. With God’s strength and wisdom, I’ve been able to create more of a game plan, be proactive, and regain my confidence. This has made all the difference in the world!
On the morning of the pool outing, during my prayer time, I almost asked God to give me an easy day with the girls. Instead, this was what I ended up writing in my prayer journal:
Lord, help me to glorify You in my parenting today. Show me YOUR ways, and give me the strength and wisdom to walk in it.
Talk about God answering by granting me a divine opportunity.
To Be Continued…