Dear readers, fellow parents, and strong-willed-children-turned-upstanding-citizens,
I need HELP. I need massive amounts of advice and ideas and guidance. And I need some reassurances.
Lillian has turned FOUR and I thought that meant her reign of TERROR and INSANITY and TORTURE TACTICS were over. But, I was wrong.
She’s still a force to be reckoned with. She’s still a whirlwind of demand and stubbornness. She still won’t do whatever it is you want her to unless SHE wants to, and even then, she probably won’t because it wasn’t her idea.
It’s enough to make me weep with impatience and exhaustion and I-wanna-quit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE HER FIERCELY. I DO.
But, I feel like all of our interactions of late have been a battle of wits and a war of wills, that every time I open my mouth to ask her to put her shoes on so we can go to her school, or go pee so we can go play, or get her coat on so we can go fetch her sister, I’m met with this horrible noise and a temper tantrum for the ages and a lava-filled “I don’t want to!”
I’m getting close to breaking. And I’m afraid I will break her spirit and her happiness and some days, SOME DAYS, I feel like I might physically lose it and break her and me and our family.
It’s awful. And scary.
So, I’m posing this question to you, dear readers, what would you suggest? How would you handle a ball of fury that will be awesome in the future, that will lead to a crazy incredible adult human being, but right now is slowly killing my will to be a stay-at-home-parent? How would you discipline? How would you negotiate without actually losing ground? How do you compromise without giving in?
If you have any ideas at all, I’m all ears.
Because I love my baby, my troubled middle child, the one who tests me and pushes me and ultimately wows me every single day.
But I’m afraid for us, for our future, for our path. I want her to grow up as strong as she is, but kind and able to navigate this tricky world of ours. I want her to thrive and succeed and become the best she can become without being hindered by a childhood laced with anger and yelling and being in constant trouble. And I want us to still love each other when we both grow up…and not the obligatory love you hand out to the relatives you have to see and hug and chat with on the big holidays.
When (if) she has babies, I want to love on her and them. I want to be part of their lives. When she wins all the awards, I want to be in the front row or at the front table, leading the standing ovation, embarrassing her with my display of love, not making her resentful because it’s for show. And when she falls, as every person in the world does, I want to at least be considered on her list of people to call to help her stand back up again and make sure she knows she’s worth standing back up for.
I want all the things. How do I get them?