Since my last update on Sean at 26 months, there’s been an excellent linear progression on all aspects of his development – emotional, physical, his language, playing, sleeping, and eating.
However there has been a something quite new.
Sean has been rather difficult. He really has pushed me to my parental limits and then some more. His defiance is mind boggling.
It’s not just simple stubbornness. It’s UTTER DISOBEDIENCE, ON STEROIDS. It’s a senseless, irrational, single-minded, unwavering, testosterone-fuelled, kamikaze disobedience.
No amounts of reasoning, negotiation, positive or negative coercion will make this child turn from his one path.
The smallest and simplest task, “Please say sorry to your brother!” can build and BUILD into a HUGE, DESTRUCTIVE, EARTH-SHATTERING SITUATION that sometimes lasts up to 2 hours of screaming, crying, door banging, toy throwing, in and out of time outs. And STILL he will not bend.
I’m a complete train wreck at the end of it. My day – everybody’s day – is completely ruined. I don’t even know if I’ve won. Or whether he knows who has won. Or if anything was learnt at all! I am absolutely clueless as to what to do, or what it all means.
As I type this, I’m still trying to juggle all my mixed thoughts and feelings, and work out the bigger picture of all this.
Only two things come to mind.
Firstly. A couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend about children’s characters, and she told me about her 15 and 13 year old daughters.
She said since birth, the 15 year old was the mild, easy-going, big-hearted type. Now in her teens she’s finding it hard to stand up to people, and is easily swayed by peer pressure, fads and advertising images.
Her 13 year old was the stubborn, determined and strong-spirited one, the one who knew exactly what she wanted. Now, she’s the kind who never has a problem with saying no to her friends, saying no to drugs, having an opinion and sticking with it, standing up for what she believes is right etc.
Aside from it’s obvious simplicity, I thought that was a nice way to think about my situation. He’s got a strong spirit – how can I work with that?
Secondly. The age old parenting philosophy : Kids will do what you DO, not what you SAY!