Parenting Dilemma

I am in parenting hell.  I don’t know how else to describe it.  Is it horrible that I feel like I could easily beat my children senseless?  Is it also horrible that I have referred to my daughter as a bitch at 2? 

She is going to be the death of me.  All my children do is fight – screaming, hitting, punching, biting, screeching.  Most of this is on my daughter’s part.  My son, being the sensitive soul that he is, usually takes the abuse and then cries to me.  I have tried time out (she puts herself there now), taking toys away (she just finds something else), flicking her lips (she says she likes it)…AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!

There is a part of me that knows this is a power struggle – and she’s winning.  I know that sibling rivalry is inevitable, but she’s just so mean.  When I ask her why, she says, “Cause I want to.”  I have no doubt that is a very true statement. 

She has one of those personalities that takes up a room.  If she was my only one, I feel that it would be easier to handle, but with my son, he is so overpowered by her that I can see him feeling lost and I can see his self-esteem dwindling.  He also is trying to behave like her.  I think this is because he sees the attention she is getting and wants it for him.  I don’t want him to get lost because of her.

At the same time I make all of these complaints, I see the good things.  My son is so kind and sensitive.  He truly cares about people and is so gentle.  He loves to snuggle and play board games.  My daughter will be one of those people that gets everything she can out of life.  She loves to dance and sing.  Her laugh is one of those whole-hearted, from the soul laughs.

My parenting techniques are not working right now, but I don’t know what else to do.  Or how to change what I’m doing.  They are so night and day that I can’t seem help either one.  I went to a conferences last Friday and the presenter talked about being fair versus being equal.  He really did a great job of illustrating that you always have to be fair, you just don’t always have to be equal.  I truly believe that but I’m having a hard time figuring out how to make it work.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Parenting Dilemma

  1. Sarah

    I feel your exhaustion and your overwhelming sense of doom. I think to myself, driving down the highway in my bubble, “what am I doing…. why all these kids? It’ll never end.” They suck the life out of us, and then they feed it back to us slowly in little bits and pieces of smiles, laughs, accomplishments, and the rights they FINALLY learn to make up for the wrongs of the day.

    There are so many reasons that I am having a hard time figuring out how to make it all work – and being fair is far from the list right now. Just getting by is all I can think about.

  2. Thank you Sarah for commiserating. You’re right – they do tend to suck the life out of you. I am glad though we get it back, albeit in little bits! I’m with you on the just getting by but I think that’s part of my frustration. I don’t want to just get by…but I don’t know what else to do.

  3. AR

    I recommend the book, “Child Rearing for Fun” by Anne Atkins. Lots of common-sense advise, especially about not being intimidated by experts.

  4. I have a friend who has exactly the same situation — a very intelligent, sensitive older boy, and a girl who intends to take life by the throat and throttle it (and her brother, while she’s at it). They just have to support the son differently than they do the daughter, in order to be fair to him, because he is the vulnerable one in the equation. When the daughter is old enough to reason with, they’ll be able to change their strategy … but right now, they just have to be pretty militant with her, and it’s a full time job.

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