The parenting jig!!

This Mother’s day I’m in a rather introspective mood.
The thoughts are abuzz since a few days.. and I was wondering if I should write about this at all or not.

In the early years of motherhood I’ve been very short tempered, easily venting out my frustrations. This was due to so many things going on at that time and I hardly realized or even considered the impact that it would have on others esp Ammu.

Ammu turned out to be short tempered too. Even as young as 2-3 years old, she’d yell and tell others off when she disliked something or when things did not go her way. There definitely was a sense of entitlement and tinge of rudeness to go with it. I countered this with more yelling and more often than not it led to an altercation with my dad. Rarely did I handle such behavior with a cool temper and soft words.

Dad was worried about the impact my temper would have on her. My thinking was that she would ‘adjust’ to her mom’s ways. Did we not grow up that way.. putting up with our parent’s quirks! A chance meeting with a counselor a couple of years ago made me do a ‘U’ turn on that. She told me that to reform my child, I’d have to reform. ‘Learn to manage your temper and she’ll learn to handle hers.’ is what she had said.

A change in my circumstances also helped me to manage my emotions better. Nothing happened overnight but definitely things have changed for the better, at least where my temper is concerned. I mostly yell only after repeated requests and warnings have yielded no results. Or when she insists on having her way when I’m really tired or busy with some other important stuff and she refuses to acknowledge that. Times when I yell and then regret are very very rare now.

The catch, however, is that she has not changed one bit.No amount of counselling, cajoling, explaining has made any effect. She’s even more stubborn now and insists on going on and on till she gets a whacking! The sense of entitlement is bigger and there is defiance in her manner and words, which generally comes across as being rude and disrespectful.

Between Ammu and Adi, there is one upmanship all.the.time.This of course leads to arguments and fights. Frankly speaking it has only gotten worse this summer vacation. Adi, though naughty and has a i’ll-do-what-i-want attitude, is the softer of the two. He relents much more easily when she requests or asks him something. Now, our worry is that her rebellion is rubbing off on him also and that is the reason he gets into a ti-for-tat mode. Not entirely sure of this. Though we hope that if Ammu is a bit considerate, it will have a positive effect on him. Of course, these are all conjectures and we never really know what to expect.

Not that she doesnt realize all the pain that she is causing. She does and even regrets her actions and promises to behave henceforth. But then, when things dont go her way, she immediately flares up and refuses to see reason. And, she expects everyone around to toe her line and fall in place. So the flaring up happens quite often. And, no one is spared! It is her own expectations that is causing her misery and that is a cause of great agony for all of us.

Since a couple of weeks, we all have been witness to her outbursts at one time or other and we’ve been worrying about how best to go about handling this. One constant thought is ‘where did i go wrong.. have i been too lenient.. have i not imparted any values to her’. I know it is a collective influence of all the people around her that has shaped her, but I feel the primary responsibility is mine.

Many a times, things have become clearer once I put my thoughts down in writing. This time too, I hope that the cloud will clear and I will see the way ahead. I believe that she will eventually turn out alright. She is sensitive and hopefully will become sensible too! This phase is a difficult one. I never worried when people spoke about teen and pre teen mood swings/tantrums, etc. But looks like I should brace myself up to expect the worst and then handle it in the best possible way. This year she turns 10 and then the years ahead .. I wonder what awaits us! Need all the positive vibes and good wishes to brave this one!!

P.S: This blog turns 5 !!  And..this is the 350th post!! Yayy!! 🙂


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