Thursday, August 21, 2014

Practicing patience and kindness

Lately I vary between thinking I expect too much of E's only four and a bit years - especially since C has arrived - and just being enormously frustrated and cross at rudeness, lack of listening and deliberate naughtiness. She has also been incessantly chewing on the collars and cuffs of her clothing. She does not seem to realise she is doing it and appears genuinely surprised when when we say "stop chewing!" Often she does it when concentrating, such as when watching television, but also when distracted or tired, and almost always when falling asleep - her pyjama tops are literally in tatters. Objectively it seems mean and unfair to growl and punish her for something she is not doing deliberately. But mean and unfair or not, it is driving me absolutely wild because she is ruining multiple pieces of clothing. 

We had a particularly bad day on Sunday - I took both girls to a birthday party on my own and I came home tired and stressed and E came home tired and hyper. In the ten minutes she was watching iView whilst I made dinner she managed to ruin an almost brand new merino wool tshirt. I was unreasonably angry and declared that she was now subject to a lifetime iPad ban, which prompted a complete meltdown. She went to bed terribly unhappy and I spent the evening feeling guilty and miserable, not about saying she was banned from the iPad but about how I talk and react to her lately. I felt like I am letting myself becoming unreasonably angry over little things. Yelling "talk to Mummy nicely!" is not exactly leading by example. Crumbs on the floor - even ones that wind up there because she wriggles around whilst eating dinner and doesn't eat facing her plate - things she has been asked to do a million times - are just crumbs on the floor. 

So this week I have been trying to be more patient and to talk more kindly. To remember that although four years is much bigger than four months it is still pretty little. To notice how much E adores me and remind myself that a lot of her challenging behaviour is because she wants my attention. To enjoy the nice aspects of spending time with her.

And incidentally, we have maintained the iPad ban and she has chewed a lot less and her behaviour generally has been better. So something good came from what was a pretty crummy Sunday.

No comments:

.header-inner .Header #header-inner { margin-bottom: 100px !important; } .main-outer { margin-top: 15px !important; }