Zoey is 4, which means she is becoming a very opinionated, independent and sassy little girl. Long gone are the baby days – we don’t even shop on the same side of Walmart and Target for clothes anymore. We’re on the other side… the side where there are less cutesy clothes and more with sequins, neon colors and terrible musicians, which, by the way, I don’t allow her to wear. Does anyone else find it utterly creepy to have dudes on their daughter’s clothes? Justin Bieber and One Direction have no place on my four-year-old, and that’s that.
Wow, I sound old.
Discipline… can I be frank for a second? And please, don’t take this as me being ungrateful for being a mom, because she is the greatest gift of my life… but she’s also the greatest challenge. It’s just the way it is. While I so desperately wish to make her a big sister and have more children, it’s a big challenge.
Disciplining her sucks. Big time.
We do what the doctors recommend: ignore and isolate. When she is being unreasonable and throwing an epic tantrum, I sometimes have no idea what else to do, except let her work it out. We shut her bedroom door and just listen for a while before I sit down and make her look me in the eye and very firmly explain to her that she’s not entitled to this or that, and that she needs to get over herself before we allow her to join us in the family room again. Otherwise, she can go to bed.
It sucks. It’s no fun. My favorite part of motherhood is getting to be a kid again… taking her to kid movies, the zoo, the adventure science center, the park… all those things are so much fun for me. It’s my favorite part of being a mom. Nurturing her, teaching her, talking to her about real things in life… I love every second. Yesterday, she asked me about baptism after witnessing one in church… LOVE that!
The sass? No mam. I question myself every day… I question every move I make as her mom… question whether that move is going to make matters worse or better. The truth is, I just don’t know. It’s hard… trying to figure out what is going to work and what isn’t. All these doctors, authors and specialists think they have all the answers with their “one size fits all” approach to discipline, but the truth is every kid is a different person, just like you and me. We all respond differently to different things. There is no mold!
That is the hardest part of motherhood: wondering every day if your method of discipline is going to help your child grow into a better person, who will eventually consider you the greatest influence of her life, or if it’s having the reverse effect and pushing her away from you.
I really hope this irrational, emotional, outburst behavior is just a phase.