Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sugar and spice...uh, are we sure about that???

Today has been one of those days. At school, after chapel, Piper refused to walk on her own, and she plopped down on the floor and wouldn't budge. I caught her sweet teacher picking her up to bring her back to class, so I made Piper walk and gave her time out for her 'tude and refusing to do what she was told. Since we have been home (3pm), she has been in time out 5 times. It is 4:42. I am truly fearful of the teenage years!! She reminds me of the velociraptors (sp?) in Jurassic Park, looking for the weakness in the fence. She knows her sweet teacher will give in, so she pushes. And she pushes her brothers, too, until I catch her. They cave on her for anything she wants, whether they have a right to it or not, bless their hearts. I am glad it is that way rather than the other way around!

Well, she just helped herself out of time out, so she's back in again.

It's so funny. Everyone I hear of who has girls first say they are easy and their boys(if they come later) are harder. I am sooo the other way around! While I am glad my girl is spunky(yeah, that's P.C. for a stinker), and that no one will get past her, she is a handful! I think I am probably having a hard time with the fact that there is someone else who needs to be parented differently and that is hard to do with all three kids at the same time, at the ages that they are. I struggle with the fact that a lot of things don't seem fair to her and I worry it will affect the way she thinks she is treated. Factors are things like her age (she can't do as much as big bros) or her behavior(she truly thinks she has been wronged sometimes, when it is just part of learning the rules). We aren't big spankers (the boys next to never get one), but at this age, until they are older and able to understand the rules and punishment is more along the lines of privilege removal, swats and time outs are it. I don't believe that you can reason much with a 2 year old, so this is our approach. Please don't get into the whole spank/not to spank debate, that's not what this is about. But I am open to other options since while these do work, I worry about the fact that she doesn't see it happening to the boys and may have issues with that that could present themselves later.

Anyone with their strong willed kids have any other methods? Her infractions aren't huge, but have to be addressed. They tend to be refusal to cooperate or take "no" as an answer.

That said, here are some pictures of my cutie pie in her (RED) jammies and being little Mama to her big brother, wiping the snot from his nose. I love it!


Melani said...

My best advice is 123 Magic. It is a younger version of Love and Logic. The secret is little to no emotion with clearly laid out expectations and of course lots of praise for good behaviors. I have an adopted 8 year old daughter that came to live with me at 2 1/2 years old. I think she and Piper must be kindred spirits. She displayed many similar behaviors- defiance, anything to get her way. She did everything she could to control her out of control life. Now she still loves control and even tonight we had battle over homework, but overall she is a well adjusted almost 9 year old sweet and happy little girl. You're doing a great job- don't losoe heart!

Carol said...

Hi, Rachel!
We are dealing with some of the same issues - I have two VERY different kids and they are both very strong-willed! I worry that they will resent each other - already my daughter tells me I'm not fair and my son tells me I'm not fair :-( At least they agree on that! I'm going to check out the 123 Magic series - this is the second time I've read raves about it. We are talking about getting together a group with slightly older kiddos and compare notes! I'll try to email you!

The Page Family said...

Hey there pal-o-mine!
Sorry ... don't have any advice for you, but I wholly agree that you don't try to reason with a 2 year old, or a 3 year old ... maybe by the time they are 4 they get it. Honestly, they don't care about the reason .. they just want what they want! I hate it when my kids ask "why?" They don't care about why .. it's just an opening for an argument. Take it from the mother of a 20 year old who has been down that path!

Kali doesn't get it either that she can't do/have what Carson does/has because she is a year and a half younger. He is starting to read now and likes to sound out words. Then she'll do the same thing and has no idea what she is doing. It's cute and irritating all at the same time. Can't wait to see what happens in August when he starts "big kids school" and she doesn't get to go with him!

Hang in there. I'm running to Barnes & Noble tomorrow to get that book too!



Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog. A great book amoung the 5 news ones I bought...was Adoptive Parenting. This is by far the best purchase I have made and gives examples of all the parenting approaches and then throws in there how to do it with "the adoption twist" so that if fits what our kids need based on being adopted. I also love love and logic and if you call them they are a great resource. They suggested "When Love Is Not Enough", I bought it and it too is very good, short and easy to sweep through and then be more thorough when you have time!
jen in MI

Darcy said...

Hang on and just outlast her! That is my best advice. And when you pick the battle you have to WIN the battle, so pick and choose wisely. Of course, when our daughter first came home at 22 months some of the battles she picked were over silly things like hairbows! Looking back though I really think it was more to make sure we were going to "handle" things and she could just relax and be a kid. We made it so she had to let us parent her. That wa a tough concept for one who was sooo independent.
I too like 123 magic and it's amazing that simply counting to 3 lets them know you are serious.
Oh, and buy some good earplugs!

Kendall and Justin said...

Hi - we're another family from Georgetown adopting from Ethiopia through Gladney. We heard about you through the Yahoo group. Our blog is Your daughter is adorable!

Sara said...

Hi, I just happened upon your blog today and wanted to share...I have a very spirited 3 year old son, I have found the books "The Spirited Child" and "Strong Willed or Dreamer" to be very helpful. Also, very practical is "How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk"- many of these books are targeted at kids slightly older, but really truly there is a lot you can apply to any age. And it is nice to be one step ahead as they enter the next developmental stage instead of frantically looking when desperation calls:) Stay strong, love her with all your heart for who she is, and remember patience (I know how hard that can be). I remember something I read once that really resonated with me and helps me stay calm when I want to pull all my hair out and it was something like this: all the qualities that we admire in adults such as determination, vision to reach goals, strength of character, and leadership abilities are the qualities that we find hardest to parent (ie they translate into stubborness, persistance, bullheadedness, bossy- or some variation of these)-- so stay strong, focus on her strenths and remember she will be one amazing woman one day with parents like you who love and support her.