Anyone think this little angel should be grounded today?
Man, we are going through a phase. This phase is called “If I’m not happy, I’m going to make darn well sure that you’re not happy too.”
If she doesn’t want to do something, she will ruin it for you. By you, I mean me, the mama. You know the phrase if mama ain’t happy, aint nobody happy? She’s taken that and made it her own. To extremes.
Now, before I go any father, y’all know I love my kid more than anything in the world. She is an awesome kid with a great heart, interesting, and funny, and a blast to be with. But like every kid, every person, we gotta test the waters once in awhile and see what happens.
Despite having talks with her, this phase has been escalating. Last night was the climax. We were at a great party and she refused to eat, talk, dance and instead did her best to make me miserable. I mean unending whining and complaining and following me around the room even though I kept putting her in a chair.
I’m proud to say that I stood my ground (only almost caved once until Amy kicked me in the butt). We stayed at the party, I did my thing, and she sat pouting most of the night. Even knowing there would be consequences, her stubborn little butt refused to crack a smile until 30 minutes before the party was over…. at which point, she finally gave in and played and had a blast.
It doesn’t end there, though. Later that night, I was voice messaging one of my besties and we were dying laughing. The kind of laugh that has you wheezing and unable to breathe and unable to stop. The best kind of laugh. Punkin didn’t like the way I was laughing and was determined to make it stop. Angrily. Oy Vey.
So, today, she is grounded. No TV, Movies, Kindle, etc. It’s 12:44pm and it’s already been a very long day.
Why am I even sharing this?
Friends, Mommin’ is hard. Being consistent is hard. Raising decent little humans is hard.
It would have been so easy to just give up and take her home last night, thereby ruining my evening as well as reinforcing the fact that if she has a bad attitude, she gets what she wants.
The time for talking was past – we’d already had conversations about how to handle those kinds of feelings, how not to be rude even if she wasn’t happy, how to look for the good in the situation, how to find something, anything to be happy about. How if she fully intended to be miserable, then to at least not ruin it for everyone else. The talks had been had. It was time to put money where my mouth was and enforce it.
Thank God for Mom Friends who sat there and let her pout without coddling her. Thank God for Mom Friends who reassure you that you’re doing the right thing and stay strong. If you’re reading this, you know who you are, and I love you for what you did last night!
So, last night, she got first hand experience that I will not back down and give into her when she’s being mean and miserable.
Today, despite many pleas and lawyer-like persuasiveness, she gets to see that grounding is grounding and it’s not supposed to be fun but I will stick to my guns.
And me? I get to feel bad about it. I mean, not like I’m a terrible mom kind of bad, but the kind of bad where it sucks that your kid had to act like that and now you have to be the mean guy and enforce discipline and consequences.
Mommin’ is hard and it’s not always fun.
But if I’m going to raise a good human, this is how to do it.
Talk, explain, teach, discuss. Set boundaries and expectations clearly.
Enforce. Even when it’s hard. Even when it sucks. Even when it would be waaaay easier to give in.
Dole out consequences when needed. Follow through. Stick to it. There’s a method to this madness.
Love through it all. Love most of all.
And remember that if we put in the hard work, the phase will end… eventually.