Monday, July 19, 2010

Kids and Their Jedi Mind Tricks

Posted by Mandy at 1:21 PM
It's really amazing that no matter how deliberate, purposeful, and intentional you are in your parenting, it just takes two days of an ill-tempered six year old to make you completely question yourself.

Carter is my super tender-hearted child. I mean.. it's pretty bad. One cross look his way can send him into a sobbing fit. A genuine, you just stuck a spear in my heart and twisted it, sobbing fit.

Now, apparently he has split personalities. Coupled with Dr. Jeckle is Mr. Hyde. When Mr. Hyde comes - look out!

I believe that he is now the master of all feelings. He knows how to feel them all with a crazy intensity, and he is learning how to dish those feelings out to others.

He can pick a fight better than any other boy I know. He can make his sister red from anger in .5 seconds if he's so inclined. He can me want to roll him in duct tape and glue him to the couch from annoyance. He's also the first one to get everyone in the house laughing hysterically, and he's very well known for his spontaneous hugs, kisses, and "You're the best 'fill in the blank'" moments.

Over the past two days, he's fine-tuning his "how can I break mommy's heart the best" skills. Oh yes. He is.

Yesterday, after a "I'm not eating that - fix me a PB&J" moment, Carter ended up laying in his bed instead of sitting at the table for supper with the rest of the family. Oh the tears. Oh the drama. "But I HATE BLT sandwiches!!!" (no he doesn't..) The remainder of the night just got worse and worse as he was not only tired, but tired and hungry due to his refusal to eat. (and yes, I am of the mind set that kids will eat when they're hungry... and they'll eat what I feed them or eventually starve to death. Their choice.)

After he finally managed to brush his teeth and as slowly as possible climb onto his bed on the top bunk, I came to tuck him in. I decided to just drop the whole recap of the night to scold him one good last time, and just hug and kiss him and say his prayers, and beg God for him to wake up on the right side of the bed the next morning. All went well, until I was leaving.

Carter - "Mommy.. you know what I really hate?"
Me - "What?" (assuming he'd say BLT's... again..)
Carter - "You."

Me - "Me?" in my head
Me - "That's fine." to Carter

I just walked out.. not sure if I was thoroughly Peeved at his snot-head comment, or if I was heartbroken over those words. "He doesn't hate you.. he's just mad... he'll get over it."

A few minutes later, a cry from Carter's room:

Carter - "Moommmeee! Come here, please!"
I walked in, hoping he was going to cry and apologize and do a typical "I don't know why I said that" apology.

Me - "What do you need?"
Carter - "Can you fix my sheet? It's all wrapped up at my feet."
I fix the sheet and kiss him before I go to walk out.
Carter - "... but I still don't like you."
didn't say a word...

Today was more of the same. We homeschool during the summer months, and it was writing time for him. I made him a sheet of fill in the blank sentences, which he usually enjoys, and he immediately got upset.

Carter - "I hate this!!! I'm not doing it!"
Me - refraining from smacking him "I'm sorry you hate it.. just do it quickly and you can go play blocks."

Oh the crying, the screaming, the DRAMA. Is he a  6 year old boy or a 14 year old girl?! He finally consented and did the work.

One of the sentences was "I really don't like ___________" He of course filled the blank with "mom." And, he made sure to show it to me immediately. Nice.

This is something that I dealt with when Madison was much younger. Ages 3-4. Carter pulled the "I hate you" card about a year ago, I just told him that was fine that he hated me, and he never said it again. Now, here we sit on day two of him being a total butt-head to me and I'm not sure how to handle it. Ignore it? Discipline for being disrespectful? Combo? I really, honestly, am so taken aback by this from HIM that I just don't know what to do.

Thankfully our day since this incident has gone beautifully. He actually went back and changed the "mom" in the sentence to "going on walks." (he hates going on walks... unless we're in the woods.) So maybe that's a step in the right direction?

Isn't it crazy how a few mean words from my little 6 year old totally makes me question my parenting methods?
"Am I mean to him?"
"Does he really not like me?"
"Is he going to grow up a psychopath and have women issues because of me?!!"

How do they implant these little seeds into our brains that grow into mega-thought-consuming-thorny-bushes?

Am I the only mom in the world that has a child that says he doesn't like her? Even if he turns right around and says I'm the best mom in the "UNIVERSE!"... it still kind of hurts to hear those words he spouts off in his fits of frustration. Maybe it means I'm doing something wrong... maybe it means I'm doing something right? Kids can't like their parents all of the time... right? Right?


Lou Arnold on Monday, 19 July, 2010 said...

Great Post! Kaylee does this, but Ashton never did. Kaylee is always I don't like you because you made me mad.

I just simply tell them that it hurts my feelings and it doesn't really matter because I will always love them.

Angela Peterson said...

Sounds like Carter is learning how to push your buttons and is testing how far he can go. My 5 year old told me she hated me one night at bedtime. Later, we discovered one of the girls at school had said it to her & she just wanted to know what it meant.
But yes, it is amazing how kids can make us question everything!

Reagan on Monday, 19 July, 2010 said...

There's a commercial I used to love and it showed parents taking turns slamming room doors in each other's faces while yelling "I HATE YOU!" for practice (presumably this is preparation for the teen years?!?!). Anyhow, I'm not looking forward to this happening but I know it's coming. You are a good mom. If you weren't he would have had that PB&J sandwich just so you wouldn't have to "listen" to him. Your a good mom because he's gettin' some homeschooling. He might hate your boundaries now but he's gonna love 'em some day!

And until them, you can say what my mom used to say to me, "I'm sorry your feel that way because I love you."

Brooke on Monday, 19 July, 2010 said...

oh man...I will say a prayer for you and carter before bed what your telling me is...this parenting thing keeps getting harder? Lord hear my prayers!!!!!

Night Night,

Living Creatively on Tuesday, 20 July, 2010 said...

I feel so guilty for treating my own parents like this when I was younger. And they are and always have been GREAT parents. In fact, I've repeatedly apologized to them for being a brat at various times. And,in turn, they've apologized to me for the times they thought they were wrong.
Some (most) kids just do this because it's one thing they have control over. You can punish them, or send them to their rooms, whatever, but aside from actually putting tape over their mouths (ha!) you can't force them not to talk. So, like a 3-year old, they push whatever limits they can.
Of course, knowing this doesn't make it feel any better.I just try to remind myself, when my son does this, that I acted the same way at times. And I LOVE my parents.

WeeMasonMan's Mom on Saturday, 31 July, 2010 said...

I clearly remember being in 1st grade and getting mad at my mom and telling her I hated her and then going and getting this drawing that was hanging on the wall of "Things I love" where I'd drawn a picture of my family and totally scribbling my mom out. She cried for like an hour. I still feel bad about that.

That was my round about way of saying it sucks and it hurts and I think unfortunately all kids do it at some point or another.

mrsmarkdave on Thursday, 05 August, 2010 said...

If your kids say they hate you even only one time, it means you're doing something right. So keep on keeping on :-)

I never told my parents I hated them only because I knew I wouldn't live to tell about it and if I did live to tell about it, I wouldn't look too pertty. But I sure thought it.

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