Tonight is one of those nights that I am glad I changed the name of my blog from "Parenting with Grace".....because there was certainly NO parenting with grace in this house tonight.
My oldest twin (they are really 3 months apart) has been naughty ALL. WEEK. LONG!!!! I am at my wits end with her. She is a very strong personality and has a "take charge" kind of attitude. I have been struggling with how to encourage this trait in her while also ensuring that she also learn how to obey directions from authority (ME) and not overstep her boundaries.
Here are just some examples of her behavior that have driven me to near madness this week:
1. helped herself to a bag of chips after I specifically told her "no snacks". (It was an hour until lunch and I had told her I would get lunch ready in a few minutes).
2. slammed the door in my face after I asked her to leave it open
3. Played Wii after she had lost the privilege of Wii for the day!
4. After I had asked her to sit in dining room while I made her hot cocoa she gets up and heads into living room to see what baby sister is doing.
5. Left my broom on the deck (in a snow storm) after I had told her to take care of it when she was done. When I told her to go back out and get it she hollers at the other twin to "GO GET THE BROOM!"
6. Removes the comb from the bathroom and loses it in play room. (special comb needed for our two African beauties-I was unable to do hair tonight because of this-they all know that this comb is OFF LIMITS!).
7. Repeatedly knocking her drink over at the table because she has an incessant need to touch EVERYTHING in her sight!
8. Hitting her sisters....
Ugh....the list goes on and on. I have struggled to figure out what exactly it is that she is doing and why it bothers me so much. I mean, come on, when one child seemingly keeps getting in trouble don't most parents try to figure out what the root cause is? My conclusion is that she just can't stand to not be in charge. She has to always know where everyone in the family is and what they are doing. She is constantly taking things from her younger sisters because "she can do it better." She is a boss. She is a bully. And I am at a loss!
I have taken away privileges, spanked her, used time out, sent her to bed early.....And, I've even tried the opposite....keeping her busy to make her feel like she's contributing to the family (she used to love to help), playing games one on one with her, fixed her hair nice including beads (she loves to feel "pretty"), etc. NOTHING is working!
Tonight I snapped! I sent her to bed in anger, lashing out harsh words one after another, not even listening to myself and how ridiculous I must have sounded, dishing out one command after another about staying in bed until I came and got her in the morning, and taking away all dance privileges for the rest of the year if she didn't "turn it around" in the next few days. (Now that's a clear order any child can follow, right?) She was sobbing. I was yelling and slamming doors. It was ugly!
Meanwhile, the other twin was laying in bed in shell shock from this ridiculous behavior on the part of her mother. I'm sure all of the behavioral psychologists out there must be cringing at the damage I have done in our attachment therapy, which has been a slow process since adopting her 6 months ago.
I know I need to make things right, but for right now I just need to distance myself from her and cool off. I am praying that tomorrow will be a new day and that she will miraculously turn it around and start behaving, but somehow I doubt that will be the case. For now I need to pray that I will be able to "parent with grace" for each instance that I'm faced with.