* this post was written a few days ago, but i wasn’t quite ready to post it, because everything felt so raw and frustrating still. so, here it is ready for a sunday entry. *
bear and i just had a $hit morning again. there is a definite pattern happeneing on thursday mornings happening at our house; lots of defiance and power struggles from him. thursday’s i keep him home from school and take him swimming at the local YMCA. he loves the classes and has been doing really well. but, his behaviour has been really, REALLY challenging on these mornings. last thursday he hit his brother in the face, then went to push me and well, i just couldn’t handle the thought of taking him into public in a mood like that. so we skipped swimming.
today, the kids played, there was some shenanigans, but nothing out of this world. then i had the kids sit down to a snack, then i asked them to pee and for bear to put his pants on. and well, it was all down hill from there. lion had his pee, i helped into his pants and piled all of our coats and boots at the front door. bear was dancing around wasting time and refusing to listen. i reminded him that if he didn’t get his pants he couldn’t go outside (it’s january and we’re in canada and it’s cold!). he kept up his defiance, and then i got mad and he got mad. and then, it was too late to go swimming and that’s when bear lost it.
i just don’t even know what to do.
after we both cooled down i went upstairs and we had long talk. i tried to explain to him that his swimming lessons and ballet lessons are a privilege , rather than a right, like clean water, food, our home. he seemed to understand. i explained that he can show myself and dear hubby love and respect by listening to us when we ask him to do simple tasks, like helping set the table, getting dressed, being polite, or helping tidy up. by listening, he earns the privilege of participating in his extra curricular activities. i asked what his response is to his teacher at school when she says it’s tidy up time. well, of course he is positive at school and keenly tidies up a mess.
i’m glad he’s a respectful kid at school and listens to his teachers.
i realize that as his mama, i am a safe person, probably the safest for him to throw his anger, tiredness and difficulties at. but, sometimes i just don’t understand why he fights me so hard on things like getting dressed, so we can get to swimming on time. he pushes, so i push back and then he pushes even harder.
it’s a classic power struggle, but it feels like we should have had this fight a few years ago, like when he was three. is five really supposed to be THIS hard? surely i’m not the only one fighting over simple tasks?