My children are scary. My daughter is 8 and she acts like a teenage girl. My son is 11 and he acts like a teenage girl....
In the past, I've always tried to be rational and responsible when dealing with my children's outbursts.
"But, Mom! Everyone else is wearing make-up in 2nd grade! Why can't I??!!"
Because this is not "tramp training camp".
I don't say that, but I'm thinking it. Instead I take a deep breath and say "What other parents let their kids do is their business. You're my business, honey. Girls that are wearing make-up at 8 years old are trying to look and act older than they are. You're 8, Morgan. Try to be 8! You'll be older soon enough and you'll have the whole rest of your life to wear make-up."
"I hate you! You're the worst mom EVER!"
What I really want is to stick my tongue out and say "I hate you too, stupid head!".
Instead, I calmly say "You can hate me if you want, and I'm sorry that you feel that way, but I love you."
With my other child it's not much different:
"I don't want to put my laundry away! This isn't fair! You make me do everything!"
[inner voice] You do nothing. You don't even pick up after yourself. You play video games, leave butt-prints in my couch, and make my life miserable every chance you get....
"Son, I'll gladly put your laundry away if you'd like to go to work for me, wash and fold the towels, sweep and mop, load the dishwasher, take the dog for a walk, dust, and cook supper. No? That's what I have to do today, so I don't think its much to ask for you to put your own clothes away after I kindly washed and folded them for you."
My children are the ones that make other people decide against reproducing. My kids make me understand why some animals eat their young. I'm torn between telling them the bald-faced truth, and being a mature, caring adult. Occasionally, I can diffuse a situation with humor, but more often than not they make my head explode. I've been known to use sarcasm.... heavily. I've been known to yell back. But, I always try to be mature when my kids act like spoiled brats. The fact that they act like spoiled brats kind of shocks me to begin with. They don't get everything that they want. I've tried to instill values in them. I've taught them right from wrong. AND I've always been a super-cool punk-rock mom!
How would they feel if I threw a fit because I couldn't have what I wanted. What if I refused to do anything? What if I hated them and slammed doors? What if I went out in public in a ripped and stained red shirt with yellow plaid shorts without brushing my hair or teeth?
Last week, I had enough of the door slams. When my son slammed the door, I proceeded to tell him he was doing it wrong. I then demonstrated the proper way to slam a door and made him do it the "right way" for nearly a half hour. I won and there hasn't been a door slammed since. Yesterday, my daughter started screaming and flipping out because she couldn't find her favorite shirt. I yelled gibberish and flailed my arms around. When she finally stopped her tirade and looked at me in shock, I calmly said "Now you know how ridiculous you look screaming like that."
Obviously I have to be just as obnoxious as they are to get my point across. I guess when I say what that sarcastic little voice inside my head WANTS to say, they get the point much better than when I try to be calm and understanding. To think that these are just the 'tween years. As teens, I'm probably going to have to resort to psychological warfare. I'm going to have to shave eyebrows and draw mustaches while they sleep. I'm going to have to drive them to school in pajamas with feet. I'm going to have to saran-wrap the toilet. I can't wait.
Do you have the same problems? How do you deal with your 'tweens?
LOL! This is so TRUE!! Glad I am not alone!!
My daughter has the chore of doing the dishes of witch she refuses to do. until i am screaming for them to be done because there are no clean dishes to serve dinner on. I ask nicely for a day to be ignored until I am at my wits end PLEASE WASH THE DISHES. I them am told why are you yelling at me I DIDDN'T do anything. Here is the interesting part I explain over and over the fact that she DIDN'T do anything is the problem and why I am now screaming. If she had washed the dishes there would not be an issue. To this she will reply why do I have to make such an issue of things. Oh Did I mention we do have a dishwasher I am not asking her to toil over a sink of hot water and to ruin her manicure.
@Ann- I think every mother feels this way sometimes. If my kids and I don't learn anything from our experiences with each other, well.... at least we'll have some stories to tell =P @mylons- The silent treatment doesn't work on my kids. They don't care if I ignore their yelling. Evidently, their hormones make them yell for no reason whether they have an audience or not. Let me know when you get into the teen years! My son is the same age as your daughter, so we can swap warfare ideas and plot together! MUAHAHAHAHA! xD @Dida- Those are great ages. I think my kids were perfect angels until about 1st grade.
I think this article is so funny and yet I feel for every mother who is going through this. Reading this was like me looking into my own future... yikes, but its reassuring that I'm not the only mother who feels like this sometimes. Thanks for writing this Kris!
I mutter under my breath...ALOT. I try to rationalize and that don't work either. I actually have to be quiet and ignore her. Then she screams at me because I'm ignoring her. So I tell her "when you can talk to me in a regular voice, at a regular volume, and without an attitude...then I'll listen." It takes her awhile, then she comes around. And when she starts up again...I look at her, point to a corner (or the stairs to her bedroom), without saying a word. She knows to go to where I'm pointing. Of course she starts up again and all I do is keep pointing without talking. She's only 11 and yes, I will definitely look into some kind of psychological warfare workshop and training!!
Wow! I don't have tweens yet but, now I'm thinking that I'd like my kids to stay 4 and 6 forever!