Recently in the kitchen, I confronted my three year old daughter about loving a purple dino cup more than me…
My sister said I was being ridicuolous and that my daughter loved me more than the dino cup, we asked my daughter and she said over and over that she loved the purple dino cup, because it was a dino, and that she didn’t love me.
We asked her in different ways, we made a ven diagram about what she did or didn’t like about me, and it just became clearer, and clearer that my daughter and I didn’t love eachother anymore.
It happens with spouses, couples and I guess with children too.
Initially I was so angry, I very uncharacteristically threw the purple dino cup full of water to the floor. It was another rock bottom emotional moment for me. As the water spread across the floor, the problem I had been having internally, emotionally, vaguely, became tangable, physical, mesurable in density… (the problem I have with my daughter displaced about 2 cups of water).
I have had this problem, since she was born, but before the water hit the floor everyone dismissed it.
My husband, my sister, my father, refused to beleive that things weren’t great between my daughter and I, but they never had been.
They had been better, but never great.
I remember my baby, screaming, flailing, crying out, in my opinion, to be understood.
I fed her, I held her, I carried her in a carrier, I taught her to read, I never left her to work (I brought her to work), but none of it mattered to her. Her dad understood her on a deep emotional level, that I never did, and that kept her dissatisfied, and me exausted, feeling inadequite and bitter that my best effort wasn’t worth anything to my demanding daughter.
That was 22 days ago, August 1st.
Today things are much better, because I finally understand my daughter and also I’ve been using ICC from Gretchin Rubin’s the Four Tendencies book. It has really helped.
I’ve tried literally a dozen very good sounding parenting books that were not able to help me with my extreemly rebellious, high spirited toddler: The Whole Brained Child, How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen, The Happiest Toddler on the Block, No Drauma Discipline, Siblings Without Rivalry, No Bad Kids, Elevating Child Care, Boundaries with Kids, Brain Rules for Baby, The Awakened Family, Parenting Without Power Struggles, The Explosive Child, with Gretchin Rubin’s the Four Tendencies I finally got what I wanted, something to help me manage my daughter’s constant crazy outbursts.
ICC specifically fits well with my daughter while many of the “How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen,” ideas made her amused, but didn’t solve the problems we had, ICC does solve them 80% of the time. “Whole Brained Child,” was too listening based for my daughter, even when she is being good she doesn’t listen well, she is super visual and kinetic, but not auditory, she doesn’t have much inborn ethics at all to play upon. We have built I don’t want to kick my brother because I get a dollar less allowance “ethics” recently and that’s better than nothing.
ICC is inform, ex for hitting the dog, “we malama (care for) the dog in this family, the dog lives here in the living room and deserves to be safe here” consequence “if you keep hitting the dog you can not be here in the living room, you will have to be in your room,” choice “what do you pick to do? Will you stop hitting the dog or will you go to your room?” If she doesn’t go on her own, she would be grasped lightly, yet firmly on the wrist and escorted, if she stopped walking I would drag her gently like I would drag a heavy, yet valuble item around the house. But lately, she just decides to comply.
This is literally the first month of her life that she has started complying with anything I have asked her to do without a fight, her whole life.
It was 20+ struggles a day with this child since I met her in October 2015, I’m not 100% sure if it’s her age or the new discipline technique, but I’m 100% happy that we can spend the day learning, having fun, talking about values, instead of fighting over stupid stuff like wiping after using the bathroom, wearing shoes over rough terrain ext.
Today was amazing, she woke up and got through our normal morning routine, potty, wash hands, new underware, have hair brushed, breakfast without any fights, then we did the entire school day without any fights, then we helped a neighboor go shopping and did our shopping and she didn’t have any melt downs shopping or in the very long car ride, she was so amazing today compared to normal. It was family movie night and after the movie (Minuscule) she drew her first family portrait on the white board.
It was kind of beautiful that it was family movie night and she drew her first family picture. I want to believe that there is some internal values of unity and harmony getting through to her from the efforts we make to do things together at least one night a week.
Yesterday I found some very reasonably priced taco themed stuff (she loves the books “Tacos y Dragones”) for her upcoming birthday party, from Oriental Trading Company, and my husband says I can get it Wednesday.
Life seems really good right now. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my daughter, but she is very forgiving and it feels like the relationship is reversing it’s sourness.
I’m very grateful that the 13th book I got to help me with the problem between my daughter and I had the answers I have been looking for, for the past four years. Yesterday I wrote a post about the downside to persistance, but today I see the upside. Persistence over a long amount of time, has the ablility to produce results that seem impossible to most people.
I thought my daughter and I being a poor fit would always make our lives worse and that she would just have to rely on her father to be there for her in ways that I couldn’t because I couldn’t understand her. But thanks to raising my awareness above the level that created the problem I can live a completely different kind of life with my daughter now. I’m starting to love her the same way I did when she was a baby again, I’m starting to enjoy her company again, I’m starting to look forward to watching her grow and hopefully being someone she can turn to as a teen and adult again.
Knowing why my daughter fights me so much, and does so much stupid stuff everyday, is what I needed to have patience with it and find love for her. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong for me to need to understand her to be patient with her, but that is truely what I needed, and I’m very grateful to have finally found it. A special thank you to Gretchin Rubin!
I’m hoping to improve my other relationships with The Four Tendencies book’s techniques as well.