lovemy2girls's picture

Need help breaking the cycle

Hi all!
I'm new to this board, it's been a long time since I've posted on one at all because I've been busy since number two was born. But, I've run across something that really bothers me. My six year old is as smart as a whip, scored extremely high on her IQ test, is interested in things most kids her age are not. She always has been. She said her ABC's right after her first birthday, she identified trapezoids and rectangles and colors (not just identified, said them in sentences like, if I bite this Dorito on the top, it looks like a trapezoid) before her 2nd birthday. And she's a sweet girl. Recently we had her put on prozac for her severe anxiety. Not something I took lightly at all but she seems to be so much happier since we did it. She isn't fearful to try new things, she stopped waking up screaming at night for no reason, she laughs harder and makes new friends.
But here's my issue. I've really tried hard to be a firm but loving parent. I want her to behave, and mind her manners. I want her to respect her elders and not be the kid that other parents dread to see coming. But I think I've stifled her creativity in the process. I think I've made her afraid to be confident in expressing herself because she's afraid she'll disappoint me. Something my little perfectionist hates to do. Just today, (and this is another frustrating cycle) she kept hanging on the counter even though I've asked her a million times not to, and she knocked off something, 30 seconds later she knocked off her breakfast and I got soooo frustrated. How do I calm down, look at the situation and laugh? How do I not sweat the small stuff? Because I don't want her to be afraid to spill her milk the way that I was. Although I do wish she'd listen to me and stop hangin on the darned furniture!

Thank you for reading this long message.


acitez's picture

Try to get a nap and a walk every day. Work out playdates with neighborhood children so you get an hour vacation every week.

My daughter was having a similar problem with her oldest, and the Dr suggested behavior modification for her, not her daughter. If you blow something out of proportion, snap a rubber band you are wearing around your wrist.

The old chestnut of counting to ten is good, too.

It's hard to rewrite the tapes our mothers recorded in our heads, but most of our frustration with these messes is because we resent having to clean them up, especially when we are already tired. Simplify your obligations, possessions and housekeeping so that you have plenty of energy.

SnglDad's picture

Why is it wrong to be angry? We as humans have a range of emotion that somehow has become something that we are supposed to hide or feel ashamed of having. In your attempt not to stifle her creativity, you are stifling you parenting instinct. If you do not want her hanging on the counter, it’s alright to let her know in a firm voice that you do not want her to do that. You can explain to her that you do not want her to break something, or harm herself. You will not harm your child by giving definitive boundaries. As for laughing at things being spilled or knocked over; you can laugh at those 25 years from now when you tell her kids the stories of things their mother did as a child. There is a reason that you are not able to laugh at it right now, it’s because on the inside you do not find it funny, and as if you do not have enough to do in your day, now you have to clean up a mess that never would have happened if your daughter had listened to you in the first place.

lovemy2girls's picture

Oh Lord, it was good to hear both of these replies, but mostly it was nice to feel justified in my immediate irritation at having to repeat and repeat and be angry when my voice isn't heard. I don't want to stifle her creativity, I don't want her to be fearful all the time, but I also don't want to have to clean up even more then I already have to because she refuses to listen to what I ask of her. It's funny that I worried I was keeping her caged and afraid at the same time I was admitting she wasn't and it was making me crazy!!! I don't want her caged or afraid obviously but she must be nowhere near that or I wouldn't have to constantly holler "I TOLD you not to hang on the arm, edge, bottom, top of that!!!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes I just need a mommy wake up call either way it may lean and I appreciate these comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed that.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

While I agree w/ SnglDad on this one, I believe there's a way to help yourself curb those frustrating moments. You shldn't have to tell your kids a million times to stop doing something. If after the second or third time of saying "Don't do that!" your daughter still doesn't listen, you need to step in and physically take her hands off the counter and put her somewhere else. If she comes back for more, use discipline to correct the behavior. Make sure you carry through w/ what you say. Don't let yourself get to the pt of frustration. It's not worth it. By doing this, you're also avoiding an accident from happening, like something getting knocked over. I used to think that kids learn from their actions, which is still true in some cases, but many times they do come back and repeat their actions. My youngest son is a perfect example. When he was about 1 1/2 yrs old, he was running and fell head first into the corner of our banister. We told him to stop running many times, but he didn't listen. Sure enough, he got hurt. Now if we see an accident waiting to happen, we intervene right away, rather than take action after the fact. Once you remove your daughter from the situation, explain to her what cld've happened and why you did what you did. Hope this helps.

mysoultoday's picture

Hi! This is my first time commenting.
I can sympathize with the feelings of frustration you experience. I've discovered some helpful techniques to stay more calm when things like that happen.
Focus on yourself before you react. Try different things and find out what works for you, for instance, closing your eyes and taking a deep breath before you say or do anything. sometimes I just stop what I am doing and race around the house or the backyard for a count of 10, something random to let my mind clear a little and relieve what ever stress that has built up. It doesn't have to take a long time. Do it as often as you can whenever those little things happen. You will start to see them as a little less frustrating, and as opportunities to practice calming down. You'll find things that do work, and things that don't work, and it is a good feeling to know that you can have some control. You might even begin to feel wise!
There are lots of books about relieving stress. See if you can find one that fits your situation. A lot of parents experience this so there are lots of people working on the solution!