I know the idea of being bullied is a very serious matter, but the the title of this blog stands.
My Kids Bully Me.
Today, I came home from work and my girls were outside playing with the sitter. I had a long day and was exhausted but was suddenly energized as I saw them. S was playing with the sprinkler (fully dressed, I might add) and A was roaming around trying to keep up with her big sister.
Awesome. We can play for a bit, have some laughs and then go inside to get dinner ready.
I was greeted by smiles, giggles and waves…just what I needed on a Monday. During our play time, A and S shared a tricycle, which was adorable and I thought, “this is what dreams are made of.” Then, they turned on me. They decided they ruled the roost and I was a mere pawn in their game-of-life.
A started to trot down the driveway, I redirected her and she began having a tantrum. She then walked away from me, pouting, and sat on the step at the foot of the doorway giving me the silent treatment. This was her way of letting me know “I am in charge, and I WILL NOT be told that I can’t walk where I want.”
Next, I informed S that it was time to go in the house to start dinner. OH, the TEARS! I told her to help me clean up, and she did everything BUT that. I could read her mind, “you want me to get the bike, sure no problem, mom….I’ll take care of that right after I flip over the water table like the Hulk.” I proceeded to turn off the facet to the sprinkler and she simply looks at me, wags her finger and says “No mommy no. You no turn off the facet. You need to be a good listener… now go to time out. Sit there!”
Okay, first off, do I sound like that when I reprimand her?
Secondly, and most surprisingly, I started to try to reason with her.. she flipped the scripted on me! I started to tell her that if we go inside she can watch TV and have a treat… wait, what? I quickly realized my mistake in letting her be the boss, and informed her that if she didn’t stop turning on the water to the sprinkler that she was going to have a strike against her, which means she may get her stuffed animal taken away at bed time.
Nope, didn’t work. Instead she came back with “No, no strike. You need to listen or you will get a time out.”
Needless to say, I eventually got the situation under control but it didn’t go unnoticed that I have created monsters (in the most loving way).
This is just today’s example of my strong-willed girls bullying me. Each day it’s something new. Somehow my husband and I find ourselves negotiating with a 17 month old and a 3 year old, and sometimes we lose.
If I had a dime for everytime S told me “no mom, not right now” or “I am not eating that” or “this is MY hair/dress/shoes/feet” I could retire early. And before you judge me for letting my kids run wild, I will let you know each one of these phrases lands S in time-out (which she pretends to enjoy, just to get under my skin).
So here’s the big question… do I discipline the “fight” out of her, or do I let her continue to forge her own path?
I have no answer. My only answer is that I want both of my girls to be kind. I cannot tolerate the disrespect for myself or others. We work on this every day. I want S and A to be independent and I know I have to give them space to make their own decisions, but it is hard because sometimes that “space” leads to them believing they are in charge.
I can appreciate that S understands the discipline we are giving her, as she’s using my techniques back on me. But it continues to be frustrating.
I think for now, I will try to let the small things go. I find that the “bullying” is exacerbated by me forcing the girls to do what I think is important. Sometimes having dinner a half an hour “late” is worth it. Maybe today S was frustrated because she wanted to spend time PLAYING with me instead of watching me cook, clean and organize the house. Or maybe she is 3 years old and stubborn, who’s to say?
I do know that I am going to keep disciplining with time-outs, giving strikes against stuffed animals, and taking away coveted princess dresses. S & A may need to forge their own paths, but they also need to be respectful. I want to raise my girls to be good members of society.
There is a balance in there somewhere and I clearly have not found it yet, but I’m working on it. Until then, I will continue to be “bullied” as I watch my girls, and myself, grow. Something good will come of it all, I’m sure of it ❤