Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Is It Just Me?

I know kids are supposed to test us, push the limits and explore their boundaries but must they do it all day, every day? Sara seems to be taking great pride in doing all these all day every day. Between the sibling squabbles, talking back, not listening and challenging every thing I say, I feel like I am at the end of my parental rope. I try reasoning. I try taking away privileges. I have rewarded the good behavior. I have resorted to yelling. Nothing works. How much is normal 7 year old behavior and how much is me failing as a parent? Are we too much alike? Is that why we butt heads so much? How do we break this cycle of back talk and punishment? I wish my mom were alive so I could ask her if I'm handling this wrong or if I'm overreacting. I'd also like to profoundly apologize to her if I put her through this nightmare of female dramatic meltdowns. I'd like to think I was a perfect, well behaved, helpful and obedient child. But, I seriously doubt it and my father will correct me with detailed examples of my very long and annoying stretch of puberty (that lasted 23 years, according to him). My daughter is bright, creative and funny. I'd love to see more of that side of her and less of the sassy, defiant and argumentative side that thinks she has a say in everything going on around her. I want her to learn how to cooperate, listen and obey without squashing the imaginative, bubbly part of her. Some days I feel like I'm failing in both regards - getting her to listen without arguing and failing to boost her active, energetic side. It's a difficult balancing act and I'm constantly falling off the high wire with her. Or maybe she is pushing me off. If life is this hard with 7 year old, what chance do I have with a teenager?

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