i may have post up lotsa stuffs that made you think i am a more than wonderful parent. i’ve gotten comments from friends & readers how great a mom i am. and close friends have affirmed how calm and cool i usually am, at least compared to many parents they’ve seen.
but i’m not your perfect mom, of course. i’m certainly not your lovey-dovey mom (i encountered these moms from time to time) who raves at how wonderful motherhood is and how precious her kid is (no doubt it should be the case); the mom who seems to have it all together, the mom who marvels at every single moment she has with her child. nope, i’m not that mom. today i shall be vulnerable and share the real picture: the life of a normal mom.
today, for the 3rd time perhaps, in maybe a month, i embarrassed myself by raising my voice at the kid, in a crowded public place. i lost it after umpteen times of tantrums, screams, demands, protests, repeats of “i don’t like you”s and “i don’t want you anymore”s and finally the last straw of him hitting out at the husb. i grabbed him at his arms, swung him around, looked him in his teary eyes and said loudly, “stop this behaviour now, in this family we do not say such unkind words, scream & hit!” the ever-calm husb was trying to calm both of us down, who by now were in tears.
i have been dealing with challenging behaviour for awhile now…
bringing the kid up has been a breeze so far: no meal times battles, he loves to eat, he fully self-fed at 1 y/o. no bedtime battles, he sleeps 10-12hrs every night since he was 3mths old. toilet-trained in less than a mth. he’s eager to learn & is very independent – he does most things on his own very early on, he cleans himself after he wakes in the morning, throws his own diapers, washes up, dresses himself, wears his own socks & shoes, brushes his teeth, cleans himself after a poop. he could play by himself & keep himself occupied if we are engaged, or when i am exhausted or sick. there was hardly a need to exercise discipline or patience because he understands our reasonings about rules. even during discipline, he readily accepts and goes for time-outs calmly. he usually is cooperative and follows instructions well. he is soft-spoken, funloving and gentle. spend a day with him, you’ll be enamored by this little person’s huge personality. everyone did.
but since about a year plus ago, things started to change. he became loud, very loud at times. challenging to get him to cooperate. and he started whinning, majorly sometimes. whinning irks the hell outta me. fast forward to the last month or so, he protests violently when asked to go for time-outs, he will scream his lungs out, clench his fists & stamp his feet. he does the very thing the moment you asked him not to do. he protests against any consequences, sulks, folds his arms & mumbles angrily under his breath. the screaming fits come & go, and most recently that has escalated to hitting out. and i’ve been reactive, negatively reactive…the list goes on… it has been utterly emotionally and mentally draining, i guess for the both of us. :<
with all the knowledge and skills of a social worker who used to counsel kids, i felt clouded by the emotions of a parent and unable to reach my own kid. very often, i found myself asking where’s that gentle, mild-mannered, sweet-natured boy gone too? and too often, i ask where have the calm & cool me disappeared to?
at the end of the day, i need to find the core of who i am, as a person, as a parent. and most importantly, to remember the core of who my child is. he is the same but he is reacting to something, something lacking, something he is in need of. it is for me to find out and to fill. grace parenting, my Heavenly Father’s perfect parenting model is what i am looking up to. grace for myself, grace to give to my child. grace abounds regardless of.