There are days (like today) where I don’t feel like much of a mom. And definitely not Mom of the Year. The boys have become little handfuls as they’ve hit 3 (JL) and 4 (JP—5, not that you can convince him that he’s not already 5 yet). And its days like today when I wonder if I’m failing as their mother.
I’ve become a yeller. And I hate it. But I honestly cannot seem to get through to them. I’ve tried talking softer, giving them warnings and even tried whispering just to see if something different would get their attention and make them listen. It doesn’t. The only thing that gets their attention lately is YELLING.
I’ve passed out “swipes” more often than not lately. I have. I’m not 100% opposed to spanking. There’s a definite difference between a spanking and a beating; I’m not here to debate that. What I’m saying is that it no longer works. In fact, JP has taken to laughing when he gets one. What do I do about that? I mean, obviously I won’t be dishing it out harder. I just don’t know what to do because by the time I dispense a swipe, I’m at my end point.
Time outs don’t work. They’ll sit there, do their “time” and then go right back to it.
Sending them to their room doesn’t work.
Taking toys away and taking away fun stuff like going to the park or going hunting with Daddy hasn’t phased JP’s behavior at all.
It’s like they.don’t.care. They don’t. Take away a toy? Fine, I’ll play with something else. Can’t go hunting with Daddy. Ok, I will another time. Send me to bed early? I’ll just sit up there and yell down to you for hours at a time. (How does he not lose his voice?)
I’ve tried telling them how much it hurts me when they don’t listen. I’ve told them it disappoints me. I’ve told them that it even makes me mad. How do you get them to see their accountability in the bad behavior and not just think that its how they are? And today, at nap time, I laid in my bed with them and sobbed over the terrible day we’d just had.
I know that I have complained to friends lately a lot that its just a horrible, bad phase and that I don’t know what to do. Does hearing me talk about it make them think its ok? I’ve told the boys that they embarrass me in the store with their antics. And, to be honest, it takes a lot to embarrass me in a store because I’m always the one that doesn’t let them win when the pitch fits for a toy or a certain food. Crying in a store doesn’t bother me. Never has. But they sure succeeded in embarrassing me today at shoe stores, the mall and the grocery store.
Its so hard to look around and see all these other parents with kids that do as they’re asked. Kids who they can take to a store and accomplish what needs to be done without threats and you leaving with a cart of crushed groceries because you finally had to put them in the cart so you could just get out of the store. Kids who know that when the blessed phone rings, it means to take it down a couple of notches, not amp it up so that they can hear us in the next county. I can’t let mine walk down the aisles without them running away or touching everything they pass and knocking items off of shelves. Or grabbing and wrestling each other. I operated on the “their feet never touch the floor of the store” policy for as long as I could.
Please don’t get me wrong. I love my boys more than I can put into words. To look at them and see how beautiful and smart they are fills my heart with love. When they’re sweet, they are the sweetest things on the face of this earth. They are the most precious gifts that have ever been given to me and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. That doesn’t mean I might not offer them up to the first taker on facebook at times…but that’s all done in good fun.
Do you have children (or had them, now grown)? What did/are your doing to deal with the sass, the defiance and the outright disobedience? Do you have any words of wisdom for this frazzled, upset southern mama?
Because if not, I may lose my mind.
Slowly going insane in Georgia,