Saturday, January 24, 2015

Raising a strong willed child

Last week was a really rough week for me as a parent. Grant decided to challenge me on multiple levels. To the point where I have question myself as a parent. I really just wanted to throw in the towel, and say I give up and put up my white flags. But you can't just give up on your child, something needs to happen to realize that you do in fact have control of the situation to make it better.

Last week, just to list the numerous things that happen, the stuff that makes you wonder "What were you doing that you let these things even happen Megan?" But when you are juggling two kids, (in which one of those kids challenges you on a daily basis) trying to get out the door, and be a full time working mother, you start to lose control. The week started with Grant following down the stairs at my uncle's house. He slipped on his socks and flew down the steps like superman with his arms out. He got a huge goose egg on his head, which surprisingly went away the next day and it was just a bruise. The next day Grant was playing around with coins. I took them away, but didn't put them away in a great place. Grant ended up getting a hold of them, and all the sudden I hear coughing and Grant says, "Oh oo, I ate a penny." Yes he ate a penny. Which almost two weeks later he still hasn't past the penny through completely. We ended up getting an x-ray to find out that it is in his large intestine. If it doesn't past by Monday, we have to get another x-ray. So that has been an adventure in itself, trying to find a penny in Grant's diaper. So gross. Anyways Grant ended up pushing Holly down the steps TWICE (which we have a tri-level, so its only six steps thank God). It happened on Wednesday and then it happened on Friday. Both times when I was getting ready for work. I was so upset with him the second time, that I couldn't even look at him in the following half hour. It was the worst feeling having to go to work, right after your child pushes your other child down the steps. It's hard to resolve the problem when you are already running late for a meeting. Luckily Holly is very resilient and ended up being fine. Also during that week, Grant came out of nowhere a bit me, and put a bad bruise on me. There are a lot of pushing Holly that week and knocking her over, he also dumped a whole box of cereal on the floor, when I was trying to give him some of it for breakfast. I feel like he did some other really bad things too, but now I have blocked them from my memory. Last week was just a REALLY rough week. I felt defeated. I felt like a failure. Like I am not doing something right to have a child who is CONSTANTLY testing me. So after a frustrating week, I decided to get a book called "Setting the Limits with your Strong Willed Child." I am usually not one to resort to books when I need help. But after the week I had, I felt very desperate. So I did my research and looked at some various books, and decided to get the book by Robert McKenzie.

I still have quite a bit to read in this book. But so far this book has really resonated with me. Everything this author says about strong willed children, pretty much fits with Grant. Apparently Matt was also a strong willed child when he was Grant's age. His parent's also read a book to help with his strong willed nature. Not sure if it was the same book. This book is the second edition. Anyways the author talks about how kids have different temperaments. Strong willed children have these temperaments more than children who are not strong willed. Negative persistence is one of them. Grant definitely persists in a negative behavior just to see how far he can push. One thing that has really struck a cord with me, with this book, is that it has assured me that there is nothing wrong with my child or that I am a failure as a parent. Kids who are strong willed, need to learn the hard way in order to understand that they should not behave in a certain manner. And it may take multiple times learning the hard way, before a strong willed child learns not to repeat a negative behavior. This book talks about methods to use when managing a strong willed child. The author stresses the importance of reading the book in its entirety before implying any of the strategies mentioned.

I am really excited to read this book, and have learn quite a bit already. I still have a lot of the book to read. But as I read each page, it reaffirms the fact that yes my child is extremely strong willed. One thing that terrifies me is that I could have two strong willed children. I hope for my sanity that Holly is not strong willed as well. Though I sometimes worry, especially since she has been modeling some of Grant's negative behavior in the last week.

I really hope this book helps, considering I feel defeated as a parent, and just not sure what to do. Grant loves to press my buttons and test me daily. It will be interesting to see the methods that I will need to implement. So far the message has been that consistency is very important.

So we will see. This week hasn't been as bad as last. I think Grant being coupe up in the house isn't helping either. I am ready for it to be warm outside! Grant really isn't a terrible child that I am making him out to sound like. But I think he is too smart for his own good, and now that he can verbalize more, he definitely knows how to press all the right buttons.

I'll definitely be sharing more of this book in future entries as I continue to read this book.

Happy Saturday! And on a different note, I can't believe my little Grant will be 3 in two weeks. Wow, where does the time go?

2 comments:

  1. Love that you're so proactive, Megan! When it feels like there is nothing you can do to change your circumstances you look for resources to help you and that is something I need to do more often. Thanks for sharing and can't wait to read more about your experiences as a mother of two as well as with this book!!

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  2. OMG thank you for posting this! Forrest is extremely strong willed child. He tests me so much on many levels. Most of the time, I find that I roll with the punches, and stragetizes how to deal with the behaviors. However, on some days, I'm like what am I doing wrong? Is my child really this bad? Is he destined to be a bully? Seriously. He gets it from me, and Stu, oops. So yes, it has been an adventure in itself! I look forward to reading this book, and how it helps you with Grant as well!

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