S.  (avatar)
updated 3 months ago

On days when Maddie acts up I really do feel shitty as a mom. What went wrong, why is she behaving this way, what did I do wrong and what didn’t I do enough of.

I know that all kids has phases and misbehaves but I worry I lean on this too much and ignore what’s actually a problem.

She’s pretty good most days but on her off days... she can be horrifying. I am looking back at the day today and I can see what happened to make her act out but how much of that could have been different if I’m a stricter parent.

But also.. how to be stricter. I already feel like I am save for screaming at her in public. I don’t like scolding her too harshly in public cos she’s a person too and no one likes being shouted at in front of others so I try to speak to her like an adult but in a very stern way.

I do fail and reprimand loudly in public but sometimes really no choice sigh.

She woke up earlier than usual while I slept in so while I slept B gave her a banana which she ate about 2/3 of. I woke up then made her banana pancakes and she ate a lot of it. The moment she was done J arrived and we went to the park and then to lunch.

A lot of times she eats her breakfast at 930 then if we go out, lunch is soon after at 11/1130 but she still eats fine. I suspected she might be very full from a big breakfast but figured she would still eat.

She didn’t want much chicken rice but attacked the soup. Then want noodles instead but the chicken rice already on the table la. Out of nowhere she grabbed the rice crackers I had in the diaper bag next to her and got one out.

I told her she can’t have it during her meal and to give it to me. Usually she would but today she said NO. It went back and forth and I was so angry I snatched it from her hand. My bad la this one shouldn’t snatch things from her she’ll pick it up.

She went crazy and screamed and flailed her arms around! One of her hands hit my face though unintentionally so I was BOILING. Jy’s mom was shocked and widened her eyes. Just yesterday she was saying Maddie is so well-behaved and demure (HAHAHA).

I told her if she doesn’t calm down and behave herself I’m taking her outside for a scolding. She calmed down and agreed to eat her rice but I felt my face burning with shame the next hour.

How much stricter can I be with her, she knows it’s not tolerated but it seems she forgets and pushes us. I know a part of it is due to her personality where she is fearless and plucky. She’s never been scared of climbing up high, she’s sat on slides alone since she was 11 months and she’s not even afraid of lion dances.

I make allowances for that personality of hers to leach into how she behaves with us... stuff like not immediately saying yes or trying her luck negotiating is fine cos I don’t want her to be a robot who does everything the mother says out of fear anyway but the shouting bit is totally unacceptable.

I can sit her down and lecture her for 20 minutes telling her why some behaviour is unacceptable and she would understand me. But weeks later it happens again.

I’ve gotten so angry I’ve hit her, thrice so far in her life. I’ve since realised hitting is kinda useless with Maddie cos she has a high pain threshold and will ask me to do it again holding her hand out. I’m saying I’m not above hitting if the crime calls for it. Just doesn’t work with my child.

When Maddie was younger and better behaved I really at one point thought I’m doing an OK job with motherhood. But I’m questioning that of late.

She has her qualities like she’s smart sorry to toot her horn, but she can read over 150 words and has started on books albeit we have to put our finger under each word for her to read and it can be slow, but in this aspect she’s doing well.

She can do simple math like 1+2, and 2+2. She’s good with chores, can even fold her own clothes well.

But all of this means nothing if she has a shitty attitude.

I’ve never seen B get angry at her till this year. I rarely even seen him angry or have heard him raise his voice. The first time it happened it made me so uncomfortable. Just yesterday he chucked her dinner into the sink cos she kept getting off her chair and walking around cos her chicken was overcooked.

She cried and cried, then had some fruit and we put her to bed. At midnight she woke up asking meekly if she can have milk. Took the chance to tell her this is what happens when she doesn’t sit and eat. I don’t force her to finish food ever cos she eats a lot, so if she’s had enough I’m happy to let her go but I also know when she’s not eating because she’s distracted and when that happens I want her to sit and eat for the discipline bit of meal time, not the nutrition bit if that makes sense.

If we are traveling and out at restaurants I make allowances if there distractions and she can’t totally focus but at home I can’t tolerate this nonsense. She’s almost 3 there is no excuse.

Anyway B and I had a chat lately and decided that after this current freelance job of mine I will stop. I do think when I’m busy I close one eye and I’m not present. My primary job should be caring for her and if it’s suffering it’s not worth making a few extra bucks for me to feel like myself.

I hope this change will evoke some better changes in her.

Many friends has shared that their kid is the same or worse but personally I rarely see it with my own eyes so I do wonder if other moms are just trying to make me feel better...

In fact the kids in my circles are very well-behaved which is why I feel like Maddie is the odd one out. I’m sure they do resist and tantrum in their own way when they were younger but it’s done in a milder manner and by the time they are 2.5 it’s snubbed out already.

Imagine two moms saying ‘stop it’ the same way to two different kids over months but their reactions are polar opposites. Kid A will freeze and quickly stop what they are doing and Kid B says No!

What’s different. I think it’s both different moms/methods and different kids as well definitely but how do I get mine to behave better when she’s told no. And the tricky part is, she doesn’t behave like this all the time so it doesn’t happen often enough for me constantly repeat enough to instil quickly. Once in a few weeks so it feels like she had already forgotten. But there are also weeks where it happens in two consecutive days.

I wish there is a science to this but humans are finicky creatures especially the little ones but I’ve also always believed they can be moulded right with the right parenting. Maybe I’m not parenting right.

Day 102

Friday, 12 Apr 2019

94 25
alilkindness (avatar)

alilkindness Hey love, I think you are already doing a really good job at motherhood. It is normal I believe for children at her age to test boundaries. I work with pre-school kids between the ages of under 1 to 6 years old. There are just too many variables to pinpoint and patience is constantly needed. Children do need reminders and constantly too before it becomes a norm. Hang in there, mama! You are doing good!

3 months ago

yunnysanusi (avatar)

yunnysanusi On ur last paragraph, it is really the truth i think, because, M really is such a well behaved kid in my honest opinion, at least when compared to mine. I think, if im not mistaken, i read somewhr, thT toddler still cant 100 percent control theirselves, maybe that is why M sometimes repeated the Same behaviour eventho you've talked to her. I really believe if we continues to nurture good habits and attitudes in them, it will be molded in them as they grow older despite the fact they misbehave sometimes (if my words make any sense). Hugs!

3 months ago

thistletrinkets (avatar)

thistletrinkets Trust me! My son’s’ are worst, and in almost 80% is because I have been a slacker mom. I try not to think about that and accept they happy and healthy it is okay. Honestly I think you are doing a great job! There are just days when it can get really annoying but it will pass

3 months ago

calvinadawn (avatar)

calvinadawn Oh 3 is a tricky tricky age! Sometimes you feel like hey, they should know better cos they can talk and be reasoned with, and they can comprehend better. But then, I myself sometimes forget that at 3, they are also still trying to figure things out. I remember being very harsh on EB when she was about 3, just after ED was born and my nerves were very frayed cos I was sooo exhausted and she was just pushing all our buttons. Then her birthday came, and I suddenly remembered...that’s all she was. 3. And I instantly felt bad. Now ED is going through the same phase! You are most definitely doing a great job. Don’t doubt it. We all just have to go through this phase together.

3 months ago

chhhhh (avatar)

chhhhh Following your journey since Maddie's infant days, I think you are really doing a great job in motherhood! My eldest daughter is 3 now, I do struggle dealing with her tantrums + misbehaviour and all. Lately, by chance I picked up a book "The Whole Brain Child". It's really mind blowing. The author explains that the children's “upstairs brain,” which makes decisions and balances emotions, is under construction until the mid-twenties. And especially in young children, the right brain and its emotions tend to rule over the logic of the left brain. No wonder kids throw tantrums, fight, or sulk in silence. The author also gives strategies of how to handle various scenarios. It's a lot to digest and takes time to tactfully apply. I am still reading and find this book really helpful, at least I stop blaming myself for being a shitty mom, not entirely clueless when tantrums happen. You're not alone. Big hugsss!

3 months ago

kitstuff (avatar)

kitstuff I also think you are doing a great job! Like what @calvinadawn said, she's just 3. My youngest son who also just turned 3, is also acting up these days. He has been good all along, sitting down quietly to eat, no tantrums. Recently, he wants to walk ard and eat, tells lies and throwing tantrums. I'm trying to be firm and at the same time trying to remember he's only 3. I'm sure he's going through a lot which he's not able to express. Keep doing what you are doing. All the best! 😊

3 months ago

jessieyap (avatar)

jessieyap even as adult we lose rem po er,lose control and we have bad days. some days we wake up tired and it affects us. some days we eat junk cause we like it some days we don't feel like eating at all. there are good days there are bad days. to children too, there are good and bad days.

3 months ago

jessieyap (avatar)

jessieyap lose temper. parenting is a lifetime journey ah

3 months ago

ebonynivory (avatar)

ebonynivory Hi, I think if you look at her good points you are doing very well as a mum. And you also pointed out that she’s not always misbehaving. I do think that children (generally) go through that tantrum throwing, pushing their limits with you and other misbehavior to actually learn to regulate themselves (that is if the parents then take time to teach them what’s right and wrong). Human beings are not perfect and little kids included 😊. I have seen kids who behaves badly and you can tell from the way they misbehave which ones are parented responsibly and which ones are let wild/loose. So don’t beat yourself up over it.

3 months ago

manyhats (avatar)

manyhats You are the best mum for Maddie. It sounds like she’s very intelligent and strong-willed, which at her age can translate to behaving in ways you’ve seen.

My former workplace uses a lot of Dr Dan Siegel’s parenting resources to help parents understand how their child’s brain and self is developing. He has a lot of free info on his FB page and his books are easy to find in bookshops and libraries in Perth.

3 months ago

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