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Am I a control freak?

March 1, 2013
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As I have written in many other posts, I have been struggling with my (now 6 year old) daughter. We have both been getting extremely angry with the other at times.

Part of it is my fault. I have stopped threatening to punish her if she doesn’t do what I want. (More on why I am doing that later.) What I realized is that I have no other tools. Once I stopped threatening, I didn’t have anything to say… and she has responded by acting up. (Which I would have shut down with a threat in the past.) To say we are both out of balance right now is a fair assessment.

But I think I might be getting a handle on it. Here is a recent success:

On the way home from shopping last Friday, she got upset over something I didn’t think was a good idea and she stated wailing and crying really loud. I couldn’t stand it. So I turned on the radio to drown it out. She started kicking my seat and screaming for me to turn it off….

Sigh.

I was proud of myself. I pulled into a parking lot, turn off the radio and got out of the car. I stood right outside the car (she freaks if she is in the car and can’t see you) and waited. (And breathed. And breathed some more.). When she stopped, I got back on the car and asked if she was calm enough to drive home. I didn’t say anything else. (Which took amazing restraint!)

Ok, so why am I doing this? Prompted by this book Positive Discipline , I have really been looking at my parenting and have come to the shocking realization that I am a TOTAL control freak. I want my daughter to do exactly what I want her to do, exactly when I want her to do it, AND exactly the way I want her to do it. If she doesn’t, I nag, complain, chide, or yammer at her until she does my way or it gets done anyway … Or until she gets mad and I punish her. Can we say “sigh”? How much of this is “training” her and how much is just me wanting things they way I want them? I know I can’t control my son (the 2 yo) so why do I try to control her?

How much of her ADD spacey ness is an escape from this?

Another success, she has been refusing to clean up the toys at night. So we had a family meeting to brainstorm other daily chores she could do instead (where I nearly pulled my hair out as she insisted on writing out the list with complicated drawings and taking FOREVER to do it!)… We came up with a list of 5, she picked “make lunch” to try this week.

For two day, she has spent close to 30 mins to pack up lunch for her and her cousin… With very little prompting from me. I have been working very hard to NOT micromanage, but let her do it as long as the basics are met.

It was amazing… She was excited to do a ton more work than before because it was her choice.

She is growing up, and clearly, my parenting needs to change to support her need for some independence.

Ok… I can do this… 😉

D

in a bit of computer irony…I originally posted this on Tuesday, but I discovered about a hour later that WordPress had attached my full name as author ….yikes!

Linking up with Emmy’ proud mama moments

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One Comment leave one →
  1. emmymom2 permalink
    March 1, 2013 4:30 pm

    Yes you can! And good for you! I too have to work really hard not to control. It is so easy to think, well I know what is best and just want to force them; but if someone did that to me, I would fight back as hard as I could! And yes, with anything new there is always an adjustment but keep going to strong and it will keep getting better.
    Thanks so much for linking up!

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