This is what it has recently looked like most of the time between me and Rockchick.
I call it her rockstar attitude (quietly to myself) its her way, or the attitude way. She screams at us, throws hissy-fits, slams doors and sulks, basically she makes life hell for everyone around her.
Needless to say life was stressful for everyone. BUT we have started to deal with it. Its still THERE but its much better.
This is what we did.
The first thing that needs to happen is that you identify the difficult behaviour. As soon as you do that, GET THROUGH TO THE END OF THE DAY. This is a very important step, because if you dont get through to the end of the day, it means your kids have driven you to suicide. We don't want that.
Anyway. Get to the end of the day. Dont do anything that day, carry on. Note both the childs behaviour and your reactions. Identify whats actually going on.
For us it was, the child is fighting everything we say, she is sulking and bitching and being consistently difficult. And we are consistently getting angry and yelling until our voices are hoarse.
Now if you can do that, you can research. Type it into google, look at the childcare and parenting books gathering dust on your bookshelves. Sit back and process it. So I did. This is what I found:
An article on sulking and whining which reminded me of
Nigel Latta's blog article about stopping your head exploding, hes so hilarious!
His article on "the golden rule of parenting" Which is: Do not make their problems your problem. Its very easy to tell when you do that, because YOU are stressing out.
So I read the lot. And then shared my findings with my hubby. We sat and discussed and thought and finetuned and tweaked and recalled specfic incidents and then we made a plan.
Number one: Stop rising to the bait, stop feeding the tiger. Thats much easier said than done but I tell ya making the plan sure helps. Knowing what THEY do and planning HOW your going to react means that its much easier to fall onto that plan in that situation.
Number two: When the attitude appears calmly tell her we will not speak to her when she behaves that way. If it continues, warn her we will send her to her room if it continues. Again easier said than done. However, again, the plan helps.
Number three: If it continues send her to her room, if she refuses, calmly walk her to her room and shut the door, telling her she may come out when shes going to change her attitude.
Number four: If symptoms persist, take:
So we tried it, with some improvement. But basically old habits die hard.
Both her attitude habit, and our habit of letting it stress us out.
She still tested it, pushed it, checked to make sure we meant it, that we were going to stick to our plan, sometimes we failed miserably at that and sometimes we succeeded. However things began to shift, slowly.
Step in rule number two: you must try every new parenting idea for at least two weeks before you can gauge weather or not its working.
Now a few weeks on, we are seeing results. Slowly. We are finding it easier and easier not to rise to the bait, and she has good attitude days and bad attitude days. Shes getting more likely to respond if we remind her that we wont tolerate it.
I have found that actually punishing her for it seems to only feed the tiger, simple intolerance tends to work best. Refusal to rise to the bait.
And if all else fails, there is always Valium.
xx The ramblings of another mother.