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.
Friday, 12 Apr 2019
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