Monday, April 25, 2011

She saw through me

Yesterday we were at dinner and I casually mentioned that I did not allow the kids to play any computer  games at all accept once a week on Thursdays. That is the day allocated for computer games but only after they have completed their homework. Blah blah blah.

Suddenly the girl retorted "Mummy, I know why  you said that. You said that so that daddy won't scold you. So that he will know that you never let us just play games and you take care of us well." :P

Daddy gave a big knowing smile and said "Yes, mummy is good, when we go home, I shall give her a biscuit."

In another unrelated incident also during dinner, the boy looked up at the fast approaching night sky then pointed to all the nearby condo with the windows starting to light up and said "Mummy, they are all getting ready to go to sleep, maybe they are reading books too, just like us!" :)

Oh, how I do love the kids and their innocent remarks.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mummy this, Mummy that.

All day I have a constant barrage of "Mummy, this, mummy that." Mummy, mummy, mummy.

Mummy can you help me with this. Mummy can you come to look at that. Mummy, please come. I am asking politely, mummy. Mummy, mummy, mummy.

Mummy, you're not listening. Mummy, see? Nice or not? Mummy, today blah blah blah. Mummy, how? Mummy, mummy, mummy.

Mummy, mummy? mummy... mummy! You're always like that, mummy. Bad mummy. Mummy! Mummy, mummy, mummy.

Mummy, I'm hungry, mummy, I'm thirsty, mummy so much homework! Can you help me, mummy, I don't understand. I don't know how to do. Mummy, mummy, mummy.

Mummy, why is ..................

Mummy, how to...............

Mummy, where is my.................

Mummy, what is....................

Mummy, who took my..............

Mummy, mummy, mummy..................

Mummy this, mummy that.

It is no surprise that after a while I have started to hear but don't listen. Tsk. Tsk. Bad mummy!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My daughter only misbehaves for me

Me and My Girl

The other day I was talking about how to handle my 9 year old girl. Though she occassionally behaves in that annoying way of pestering, asking questions over and over again, being rude and making me repeat myself over and over again, this type of behaviour happens more frequently with me than with other people.

In order to understand her behaviour, I wrote down a list of her good points and what I would like her to do more or less and I asked her to do the same.

She wants me to listen to her more...

She would like to do some things in her own way....

After having some talks with her, I realise a  few things....
  1. I am at the receiving end of this bad behaviour the most because I am with her the most.
  2. I am impatient with her and speak impatiently with her most of the time and she is speaking in the same manner as me
  3. She is doing this attention seeking behavour because she would like me to listen to her more.

  4. She would like to have the freedom of doing certain things in her own way
  5. She is not afraid of me. She thinks she can get away with this kind of behaviour and she can demand things from me. I find that she is offhanded and takes me for granted
The first two is obvious to me, very obvious. When she speaks rudely to me, I hear myself in her. No. 3 & 4 she told me in writing in  her note to me in the little exercise that we did. As for No. 5, when I asked her why she only behaves that way with me and not with her friends or with daddy, she told me "because I am scared of my friends" and later "because I am scared of daddy".

Right, so now I know all the reasons for her behaviour. Yet, it is still not easy to stop the bad behaviour. It is like we have entered into a vicious cycle that we can't get out of.

I get especially annoyed when she hands me her stuff to keep. I have told her time and again that it is her responsibility yet she continues to do it. She would ask me where her things are, hand me her specs to keep, her clothes to hang, her hairbands to put away. She even gives me her rubbish to throw. I tell her "Go and do it yourself. It is your own things. I am not your maid. I am not a clothes hanger or a dustbin. Go and do it yourself." and the very next moment she does it again. She also likes to call me and speak to me at that very moment, as though it is of the utmost importance and whatever it is that I am in the midst of doing can wait. When I tell her to wait and that I would come back to her and I do come back to her, she would sulk and complain that I have made her forget what she wanted to say.

Each day is a challenge. I try my best to listen to her more, try to slow down etc and then either she is rude or I am impatient and then we are back to the cycle of more rudeness and scolding. It would seem like I am scolding her every day. I wish that our relationship was smoother and more relaxed.

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Do you scold your child in public?

The other day in school I saw a mother put out some lunch on the table for her kids. I saw that she had brought bowls from home and placed them on the table with a hot flask of food. However, all this effort that this lady did to bring hot lunch came to naught when I saw her speak to her child a moment later.

She was scolding the girl in a loud voice. She went on and on, took out the girl's communication book, pointed a finger at it and shook it about. Then she went on to a group of other mothers and showed them the book all the while scolding the girl in a loud voice. As if that was not bad enough, she pointed at the book a few times her finger jabbing at it and showed it to her driver and spoke to him in a loud voice about it while still scolding the girl. Everyone in the cafeteria could hear her.

I do scold my child in public, especially if I think the misbehaviour warrants an immediate reprimand. However, I better remember this mum the next time I do so. If I were the child, I would have shrunk to nothingness, wished the floor would open up or dig my head in like an ostrich the way the mum was going on and on.

I read about it all the time. We as mothers, should never discipline in anger but to teach. Of course this is much easier said than done. Quite often, I scold out of anger, frustration and exasperation. I really should learn to control myself better. If you have any ideas for self control do share it, other than the count to 10 and hold your breathe idea. :)

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Friday, April 01, 2011

I don't know how to get along with my 9 year old daughter

Each morning or each night before I go to sleep, I tell myself, tomorrow is another day/today is a new day. I shall try my best today but I fail miserably each day. :(

My daughter has many positive qualities. She is really a very good, honest and obedient girl and she is very hardworking and diligent. She is also very smart and inquisitive.

However, she is an insecure child. She is also a very anxious person and she is not very independant. She expects me to do everything for her. She makes me repeat my sentences over and over and over again because she is afraid that I did not hear her correctly. Not only that, I have to repeat the exact words she says. Not any other word but the exact words she used. If she asks me a question (which is often since she is an intelligent and inquisitive child) she will ask it over and over again until she gets the answer which she feels is satisfactory to her.

This makes me very tired and impatient. As a result, she has learned to become impatient and rude sounding like me when I am exasperated and frustrated with her behaviour. She is also very stubborn. Once, she stood in front of the door for 40 minutes because she said it was better than doing studies. She will not say sorry and will utter some things under her breath instead. She is also learning to be very rude which I cannot tolerate.

She is turning into a tween. However, not only that because I have had this problem with her for a few years now. She wants to do things her way but at the same time she wants to make sure that I check them for her because she is so unsure of herself. At school, she will run to me again and again to make sure she gets things right. When she is talking to me, she has to talk to me immediately right there and then even if I am busy with other things. She requires so much attention.

She also loves to dilly dally which drives me even more impatient thinking about all the things that need to be done with so little time.

I have tried talking to her nicely and explaining to her, I have tried scolding her. Nothing seems to work.

Sometimes I can't help comparing her with her 7 year old brother. He is so much easier to look after. He is independant, remorseful when he is wrong and he does not require so much attention. He is sweet natured and caring.

Everyday I feel so exasperated. I tell myself tomorrow I will handle this differently. I will be more patient. I will stop to listen to her. I will teach her to be independant. etc etc etc. but right from the moment she wakes up till bedtime, she drives me up the wall with her behaviour. Sigh.

However, I cannot give up even though it looks and feels so hopeless now. Everyday I feel so frustrated but then I am the mother she is the daughter. I am the adult, she is the child and she is an insecure and anxious child. I just feel helpless and I don't have the skills to handle her. I want to help her to become independant and confident but I am not doing a good job so far. I also want to teach her to be more patient and respectful to others.

I need to give this more thought and have more strategies on how to handle her. Now this problem looks too big to handle. I should probably list down each part one by one and handle them each in parts so it won't feel so overwhelming and impossible. Yes, I think that is what I will do.

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