I’ve been saying it for a long time. Judah is by far, our hardest kid. He meets his milestones. He has conversations at a level far above that at which he should. He is polite. He is helpful. He is a loving cuddle bug who wants to be with me all. the. time.
I asked for a Mama’s Boy, and I got one.
But, 5% of the time (maybe 10% on a really bad week), he is so difficult, it makes both of us rethink this parenting gig altogether. The thing that works to put the kibosh on his particularly bad behaviors (shouting the F word at John for the duration of his well-visit comes to mind) is just not giving the behavior any attention.
Not a raised eyebrow. Not a dirty look. Certainly not a verbal acknowledgement, time-out or other punishment. The second he knows he’s raised your blood pressure, even just a little bit, it’s like gas on the fire, and he’s going to keep going and going and going, and the bad behaviors start to snowball.
It’s really really HARD to ignore him when he gets into one of these cycles. It took us a long time to figure this out, it was hard to stick to long enough to see results, but it’s what works for him.
With the birth of El Blanco Pequito, the past two months have brought extra help to our house, an extra set of eyes on him, and probably most problematic as it pertains to this: an extra set of eyes on us and our skills as parents. I won’t lie, it’s harder to stick to your guns when grandma is right there expecting some sort of punishment to be doled out.
So, we’ve had a few really difficult weeks, some really terrible behaviors that have reared their ugly head that we thought were long since buried. We’ve snapped on multiple occasions, and the bad behavior fire is roaring. We completely abandoned our policy of ignorance, in an attempt to look like we were “doing something”.
Acknowledging the bad behaviors got us probably the most stressful 2 weeks of parenting so far, culminating in the above mentioned well-visit.
So, after many tears, lots of yelling, and talking to multiple professionals, we are back to our original plan.
Aside from a few attempts at getting us to waiver (“Mom? What does…MUCK mean?”), things have been pretty calm the past few days.
This is far from the last parenting hurdle we will ever face, but it has taught us one thing- we know our kids. We know what makes them tick, we need to have faith in ourselves and our decisions, and not change tactics because we happen to have an audience.