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Fighting with my daughter seems to be becoming an integral part of our lives. :( We just butt heads constantly. I know that I have control issues, but I also find the stubbornness and tenacity of my daughter completely over-the-top. She finds it necessary to fight EVERY request, every order, everything. I'm so tired of it I could scream. Last night was horrible and this morning wasn't much better. After doing a LOT of thinking about it, trying to figure out what to do to change my attitude and my reactions, which, let me tell ya, ain't easy, I had a sudden flash of insight.

Karin wasn't allowed a bedtime story last night because she gave us such a fight going through the bedtime routine, and then she wouldn't stay put and she wouldn't lie down and she wouldn't go to sleep, so Anders and I were taking turns sitting with her, and at one point, she flipped over and glared at me and said "Du bestämmer inte över mig, mamma.*" Which means, roughly, you ain't the boss of me, mama.

"Yes," I shot back, "I am. Now lie down and go to sleep." But you know what? I'm NOT the boss of her. She's the boss of her. She's the one who decides whether or not she's going to accept or reject the things her parents require and expect of her. Regardless of the fact that she's causing grey hairs to literally SPROUT LIKE GRASS on my head.

People tell me all the time that it's great to have a child that knows what she wants and is so independent and sure of herself, and it's true, and I AM glad of it. But sometimes I just wish she'd just wear what I put out, and do what's she's asked and go to bed without an argument, and not take everything I say as a chance to do the opposite just for the joy of perversity. And make no mistake, there is JOY in her perversity. She gets something out of being contrary or she wouldn't do it.

So, now it's a matter of walking the line between allowing your children to do whatever the hell they want to and having social services called down on your ass for neglect. Muttering that mantra choose your battles is helpful but what about when all the battles are over my authority as a parent? I would also be doing my child a dis-service if I allow her to believe that all of her behavior is appropriate or allowable.

I firmly believe that my children need to be fed, bathed (reasonably often) and given a good night's sleep so that they can function on a daily basis. These aren't points I'm willing to budge much on. I can allow Karin to be her own boss in that she can decide whether or not she's going to come along willingly, but she needs to learn that her actions have consequences. It's one thing to allow kids to get away with things once in awhile, it's another to completely lose all track of what my JOB as a parent is: namely to teach my child how to navigate the world within a realistic framework. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, where are you when I need you?!

Really Good Writing Out There Right Now: This is Your Boyfriend from One Good Thing

*literally: You don't decide over me
mood: busy
music: Barbra Streisand—Lullaby For Myself


Interesting post. I feel for you :) It must be bloody hard to change your reactions to something like that - it's hard enough with a partner! Did you have a good relationship with your mum when you were little? I didn't, and it was just her. I didn't go against her all the time I think, we just fought OFTEN.

I know I commented before on the slight joy she takes in going against you too. Maybe you hit on something when you say she needs to understand the consequences of her actions if she does go against your recommendations. Can you let her stay up to when she wants and then come in and wake her really early? ;) Then you'd probably pay for it the next day too :)

I guess you not only want her to sometimes just do what you say but also to WANT to do what you say. As hard as it must be for you I find all of this so interesting, the psychology of it really fascinates me - look at me taking a perverse interest in your pain ;) No, I'm not really :)

You've probably tried everything but I'll mention something that worked a bit on me anyway, which was a wall chart where I got a gold star every time I didn't wet the bed :) Of course that's different because it's about learning not to do it rather than agreeing with mama but still there was something in seeing those gold stars and knowing that if I got ten in a row I got to go to the toy store and pick something out. I'll never forget the day I went in to get my first toy :)

I did have a good relationship with my mom actually. I had a an up-and-down one with my dad, and unfortunately, I feel like I'm MY DAD when it comes to parenting :( Or maybe it's just because I'm a Leo and Karin is a Cancer (bad combo). :D

The wall chart is a good idea. I'll talk to Anders about seeing what we can do with that.

And I know you ARE taking a perverse interest in my pain! :P

Ahhh .... a Leo ... that explains a lot ;)

Just kidding!! I'm a capricorn ... stubborn as all hell :)

And you're YOU when it comes to parenting, no-one else.... :)

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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