This is a story I forgot to post awhile back. I found it on the old computer I was using at the time. I thought the information I got from Dean was worth sharing.
I had an appointment with Dean and discussed the recent pondering of selling my 4th child on ebay. I began to vent to him about how I was being more consistent with time outs and it wasn’t working. I also told him he listens to my husband fairly well. I mean he is still his testy self, but more often than not he listens to Michael. I also told him how surprised I was when I watched my sister put him in time out and he just stayed there, he didn’t even fight her to get up. I was so jealous. I usually have to sit him back in time out 5 times in 10 seconds before he will sit there, and that’s on a good day. So I asked him the obvious question “what am I doing wrong? His explanation was quite enlightening and it went like this…
You are taking it personally. You are taking his behavior as a personal reflection of your ability to parent. And you are agenda driven, meaning rather that being in the moment, handling that moment with confidence, you are handing that moment with the intention of creating a “perfect child”. And when it doesn’t go as you think it “should” for a “good parent” raising a “good child”, you experience fear, stress and anxiety. You are also looking around at others taking on whatever criticism you “think” they are “thinking”. Rather than it just being you teaching Bo from a place of Love, you have a whole pile of Fear driven emotions you are bringing to that situation and kids feel that, and don’t usually respond well.
So first off you need to draw a mental boundary of how you will allow you to talk to yourself about you parenting abilities. Look at your parenting tactics honestly and be patient with yourself. It is all a learning process. It is time to stop beating yourself up as a mom, and know you’re a good mom and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even YOU. And then remember that Bo is his own personality. He may be stronger willed than your others. That’s o.k. too. Don’t compare him to other kids. Learn to work with him as an individual. And remember to be consistent.
Here are some ideas for your next trip to the store. Before you go into the store jump in the back seat and have a little heart to heart. Make sure you have his attention and tell him if he screams, or throws things out of your cart that you will come out to the car and put him in time out. And then go shopping, and if he screams, leave your cart and go put him in time out in the van. And when you carry him out of the store screaming- don’t even give thought to what other’s may be thinking. Don’t even care about anything accept having a powerful learning moment with your son. This will keep your energy and emotions where they need to be, so that Bo can begin learning to be accountable for his own actions. Because until now he hasn’t really needed to be, because You are doing that for him.
After our talk, I decided to postpone the sale on ebay.
And after this conversation, I was able to let go, and take the pressure off myself and it was amazing the difference in Bo’s response. I still find myself falling into that agenda driven pattern or letting peer pressure from other parents get to me, but I pull myself out of it quicker each time.