I’ve reached a stage of my daughters life which can only be described as the “fourmidable” years. Over the last couple of months her personality and attitude has changed a little. I still see the kind, sensitive soul who makes me laugh daily and who’s bursting with love. She can chat to anyone who’ll listen and even those who don’t, seriously, there’s no stopping her! But, whats becoming increasingly more noticeable is a cheeky, backchatting, grumpy attitude. She’s becoming a cry baby.
A lot of the sentences that come out of my daughters mouth in reply to routine questions start with the word “No”. “Could you come and sit down for tea please?” – “No, I just need to finish <insert massively important job here>. “It’s time to get ready for school” – “No, I’m just <searches through her book of delaying tactics>”. And so on. Often, when the ‘No’ is categorised with ‘I don’t like the sound of that’ the waterworks start. These aren’t your run of the mill unhappy tears that make you want to scoop her up and make everything alright. These are the kind that send chills down your spine and get underneath your skin making you instantly angry and frustrated!
Today, has encompassed all of the above perfectly.
I was awoke at 5:55 (ten mins before my alarm, standard) by iBear thrusting her toy dog into my face before giving me the biggest cuddle. It was a good start to the day. Breakfast went by without incident and then the first disagreement happened.
She decided that she wanted to take her bike to school today, a first for her. Now in theory this wasn’t a problem but I know what she’s like. As soon as she saw one of her friends she’d be off the bike and walking with them leaving muggins here to carry it to and from school. I tried to explain this to her and her face contorted with pain ready to blow. I managed to defuse the situation by calmly explaining my concerns and if what I thought would happen happened then there’d be no more biking to school. She knew I meant this, I always follow through with threats (a blog post I keeping meaning to write about), and insisted she’d be good. She was, to be fair.
Fast forward to after school and she’s playing up and down the path home on her bike when it starts to rain. “Come on time to get home” I say. She wants to keep playing. It’s raining more and more now and I’m getting more and more annoyed as she’s getting more and more stroppy. She doesn’t care we’re both getting soaked, she wants to stay out! Finally she rides back home crying her eyes out in her “woe is me” tone. I ask her to slow down, she ignores me. Sigh! She patiently waits at the door and sheepishly asks if we still can make gingerbread men (our preplanned activity). I tell her yes but ask her if she understands why I’m getting so upset. She says she does. She always does.
After a bit of a time out for both of us we start making the gingerbread men. This goes really well, until we get to the icing part.
First, she cries because she doesn’t want to have to wait for them to bake in the oven. Then, once we’ve mixed the icing sugar, it was time to decorate them. She can’t get the hang of it, but doesn’t want any help. But she can’t do it. She’s getting frustrated. I offer again and she throws a wobbler. I try to reason by suggesting we do it together. She’s not having it, she’s gone. At this point I can’t take it anymore and, somehow without shouting, tell her I’m sick of this instant stroppy attitude whenever the slightest thing happens that she doesn’t agree with. She of course doesn’t agree with this so I tell her it’s game over and pack her off to a paw patrol.
There’s a couple of other minor grumbles as the evening approaches and then as if by a miracle, my daughter of old appears again during bath time and the day ends as it began.
One Dads View
I’m guessing all kids go through these kind of stages. I’m not sure if it’s a school thing, an age development thing or just a phase but I’m finding it pretty hard to deal with. I like to think I’m getting parenting right most of the time but I’m struggling to work out how to manage this. If anyone has any tips I’d appreciate it! Let me know below.