I love my munchkins, but some days definitely prove to be more challenging than others. It seems like lately my sweet little girl is filled with attitude, bad choices and snotty words. When it gets down to it, I can often discover what is really behind these outbursts- lack of schedule, attention, need for one-on-one time. Yet in the moment, it is not easy to handle.
We tried a rewards system for a while. At the end of the day she could earn a quarter for good behavior. She could also earn coins of smaller denominations (basically whatever mommy had in her wallet) through out the day if we caught her doing something exceptionally good. Helping out around the house without being asked, doing something nice for her brother, etc. However, she could also loose money for poor choices. She could spend the money on whatever she wanted when she earned enough.
She chose this Dream Light. I blame this purchase solely on show and tell at school. I was not going to argue though. We told her she could pick and she has been completely happy with her choice. No buyers remorse here! Yet now that she has it, we seem to be regressing back to the old behavior. Stomping around the house, saying hurtful things and that quick little temper is rearing it's ugly head again.
I find myself with a short fuse and I tend to snap back which are not the reactions I want to be have. I'm trying to focus on new ways to handle this behavior, specifically the way she has been talking to me lately. She can be amazing one day and then the next one can be filled with "I hate you" and "You're the worst mom ever". My newest strategy (thanks to Pintrest) is to completely ignore her when she uses these phrases. It seemed totally backwards to me at first, but I was willing to try it.
This method tends to be difficult and I can feel my blood pressure increase when we're in the moment. I'm working on sending her to her room while telling her in a calm voice that I can not hear her and will only listen once she's ready to talk to me in a kind voice using nice words. I'm not gonna lie- there are moments when I loose it and raise my voice, but when I do it correctly it does seem to be working!
The key is consistency. We're only on day 4. The first few times she would just continue to yell at me. Tell me I was lying, that I could hear her just fine. Now she seems to admit defeat much sooner and head to her room. I think relief may be in sight. And this momma needs it, especially before baby number 3 arrives and rocks our world completely. I'm sure there will be a whole other set of issues to deal with then!