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Monday, July 27, 2009


I feel like I'm struggling so much lately.

With Kayla I'm struggling with Discipline, Defiance, and "Education/Therapy."

I feel like she fights me on every little thing. This sweet, little girl has turned into a very stubborn, strong-willed, defiant, independent little girl. Which isn't all bad, some of those qualities are good to have.

But when it's time for her to do something and all I hear is "No!" it's frustrating, and exhausting. "Kayla it's time to brush your teeth/get dressed/put your shoes on...etc" or anything really, she doesn't want to do it. She even runs in the opposite direction and giggles as if it's a game. She says "No" with such an attitude.

If I sat her in time out each and every time this happens we would never get anything done or ever leave the house. When she doesn't willingly go do what she's been asked/told to do I take her arm and lead her, but she stops in her tracks, or goes limp. I'm not a spanker, so a swat on the butt isn't an option.

But I am struggling with how to communicate better with her, and how to umm....encourage her to listen, pay attention, and follow directions...to just comply. I yell much more than I care to admit and I hate that I yell...but sometimes it's the only thing to really get her attention; to show that I'm that upset, but I always feel so bad afterwards and tell myself I'm not going to yell again. That doesn't last long though, she just knows how to push my buttons and I get so tired of telling her over and over and over.

Then I'm struggling with the fact that I'm not doing enough educational things with her. I know she is behind with fine motor skills and writing and she's not going to get better unless she practices every day; but have we? Ashamedly, no. School has been out for over a month and I haven't made her sit down and practice writing every single day like I should have.

The problem is I don't know how to motivate her to want to try, or make it interesting, or fun. I don't know how to teach - that's why I could never homeschool. There have been times that we have practiced, but it doesn't last long; she doesn't stay interested for very long.

The other problem is trying to do anything with her when Lucas is around. He wants to do whatever she is doing and throws a fit if he's not sitting at the table too. I try to give him something similar so he's "working" like she is, but she's distracted by him anyway. So I try to work with her when he's taking a nap, but it doesn't always work out that way.

So I'm struggling with feeling guilty that I'm just not doing enough for/with her...and that I'm responsible for helping her reach her potential and be as successful as she can, but I feel like I'm failing her already. Guilt isn't a great feeling to have.

I'm struggling with Lucas and his constant climbing on the furniture. It wouldn't be so bad if he would climb up to sit on the furniture but of course he doesn't. He has to stand up and lean over the sides, or pull papers off the table. It's such a constant with him. I can't go in the kitchen and wash dishes because after every dish I have to run back to the living room to pull him off the chair. He's exhausting in his own right.

Although he is getting much better at signing and saying 'peeees' when he wants something, instead of screaming and throwing a fit; so that helps!

I'm struggling with Joe being gone. There is no sugar-coating deployments - they flat out suck, pardon my language.

I'm glad I have the support of living here with my mom, but it doesn't mean I still don't struggle with the fact that Joe is gone.

You get used to your spouse being gone and just go day in and day out with this new normal; you can't dwell on it every day or you'll be in a constant state of depression...so I don't think about it all the time, but there are times it really hits me hard - especially dealing with Kayla's behavior, or Lucas's antics.

During those times I struggle with not having my husband here, with us not being a complete family, with our kids not having their father around.

So, I've shared my struggles - anyone else care to share what you're struggling with lately?

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Calico Sky said...

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry. (((hugs))) For fine motor skills you could use playdoh (having Kayla roll it, giving her small pieces to make into shapes etc) and also those threading activities, you know where there is for example a bear and you thread a piece of shoelace through the holes. Other ideas are colouring, puzzles, smaller lego. All these help with fine motor skills. I remember when I had the kids it was so hard, but eventually I got into a routine that at least 4 days a week we would be home by noon and while the younger one napped we'd work on educational things.

I'm sure you do far more than you realize.

My struggles - how on earth to become a mom. Any ideas? ha!


LauraJ said...

Wow! I could have wrote this!
For us we're dealing with constant meltdowns when he's not getting his way. I threaten naps-which are just little time outs in his bed and he gets them and they help to calm him down.
I'm also dealing with the I'm-not-doing-enough-stuff-to-stimulate-his-education guilt. We put way too much pressure on ourselves for this. They do go to school afterall that's what they are there for. Summer is a time to have fun, be relaxed and just go with the flow. No need to stress out about writing and such. I had those dreams too of teaching him to enjoy printing and writing, even drawing. He hates it! To avoid tantrums I don't push him!

jessica @ raising joey said...

We've been struggling with Joey's behavior as well. For him it's a mixture of sensory issues, along with all of his GI problems. We're currently working with several of his doctors to try to figure out what's all going on with him. My happy little guy has been replaced with a grumpy little boy I don't know. :(

Sunny said...

Everything you say about Kayla sound just like Antalya. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that struggles, but at the same time it is very sobering to hear the struggles you are still having with her - I keep telling myself that it is going to get easier soon, but Antalya is three years younger than Kayla. I think I need to stop telling myself that and accept the fact that having Antalya as my daughter will always have it's challenges.
Hang in there - I'm sure you are doing much more than you give yourself credit for. Your family is lucky to have you.

Izzy 'N Emmy said...


Brandie said...

The one thing my kids have taught me about discipline is you have to be consistent. Which is hard when they are pulling you in different directions. And pick your battles. My other thought, which you probably realize, is that my kid's behavior plummets when their Dad is away or even working long hours. He's not the strict one in our house,but for some reason just his presence settles them down. (((hugs)))

RK said...

I could write for days, especially today since it hasn't started on the best foot. But I can't because there's a toddler going through the pantry and a dog barking at the back door, and there is a crockpot that needs to be filled up for dinner and the defrosting meat in the microwave is almost done. And Kinlee's napping but it'll be done soon, and then I need to get both girls fed and dressed in the next hour so we'll be ready to run errands with M when he comes home for lunch with the car.

None of it is the end of the world, yet all together, and just on some days, it's like all the world at once... I feel very guilty alot too. I try to work through it, but I seem to be losing ground.

No matter what I'm going through though, I can't imagine doing it with my husband (though he's not really all that helpful if we're being honest today) on the other side of the globe for a year. I think you're doing way better than most of us, Michelle....and as they always say, this too shall pass. I'm counting on that!!

And now Kinlee's yelling that she's awake and ready to get out of bed...so the day moves on! :) Sorry for the rambling!! You hit a nerve!

Lacey said...

I'm so sorry Michelle. I can't imagine what your going through. Like I said, my hubby is going to probably move out of state before us to start working, and I am reading your blogs and taking advice from you on how you do it. I'm terrified to be a single parent, I'm even afraid of the dark. I'm not going to do very good.

Melissa said...

I'm right there with you Michelle, but I only struggle with one. I know your frustrations with not wanting to yell, but that's the only way that you feel like you "get through"...It is very hard!!! Parenting doesn't get easy now, does it?

UGH, I can't imagine what it's like with your husband being away...but the good thing is that he'll be coming back. Hang in there...it'll be ok in time.

The Munck Family said...

Wow, a look at real life...how refreshing. You my friend are walking in shoes that I too wear daily (the past 10 years) with Jonathan. He is a wonderful joy and at the same moment he is my biggest struggle. I pray daily to give him all he needs and most often feel at the end of the day I have yet agian failed him. We struggle in almost every area of his development, and when we reach a goal that's taken months and even at times years we celebrate...BUT what about the time between...it seems to place a heavy burden on me. Sorry I seem to be a downer, I'm not meaning to I just want you to know that I share your hardship ( yet with a husband, I can't imagine him not being home for the support only a husband can give.) I have some great things you could do with Kayla and even have Lucas along side, I'll email you :) You are a wonderful Mom and God placed these precious kiddos in just the right home with the Mom that best fits them...even when we don't feel that way...I'm sure He is pleased with you!

So you ask our big struggle at the moment here is mine...
Being the Mom to 9 kids, soon to be 10 and having on lookers thinking that I have it all together at all times. From being the laid back mom, homeschool, discipline, being a good wife, keeper of our home, having a child with Ds, and the list goes on. I'm a Mom just like all the rest and fail in "many" ways daily.

So many (((HUG))) and prayers coming your way!!!

Mommy Bee said...

I could have easily written this post myself. I am struggling daily with my 4.5 year old. She doesn't seem to want to cooperate anymore, and I end up yelling much more often than I'd like. I, too, feel so bad afterwards. As you know, I'm also going through a deployment right now. Put simply: Life just isn't the same without your husband/daddy around.
Unfortunately, I don't have any answers for you (or me!), but I am sending you hugs. You're not alone by any means. Here's hoping things start to improve for both of us and our girls!
Mommy Bee

MerH said...

Wow - your post was describing my day! I can't wait to see the suggestions given in the comments section to your post. Be encouraged by the fact that this is normal for any child, and by the fact that all of us readers can tell what a fantastic mom you are!

Tarrah said...

OH Michelle. I will definetly say a prayer for you. I struggle with the same attitude issues with Abriella, Not working enough with Abraham and now having a 1 yo walking. It's hard enough with your husband around, I can't emagine with your husband gone.

Hang in there, this too shall pass. Try to get out!

rustinlane.blogspot.com said...

I think everyone struggles with different things and different times. Are current struggle is Rustin is a runner...so if you don't hold his hand in transition to the car to the house to school and where ever he takes off and runs the opposite direction. The boy can run!! We do puzzles, coloring, books,aqua doodle, play doh every day and sometimes I still feel like we are not doing enough. We do what we can when we can and pray for the best;)

chelle said...

Hang in there. We too have a spirited little girl that wants to say no to everything. I am attempting to refuse to argue with her. If she says no twice we take away something very important to her. If she loses her control and screams, cries etc she is sent to her room.

As for making them want to learn. Sit with Lucas and some crayons to practice writing with him. Before long the attention and fun will tempt her over! And then Lucas is included too!

Just some thoughts that have worked with us (sometimes)

I can only imagine how much you miss Joe ... BIG HUGS!

Carol N. said...

Hey Michelle - I hear you! We had our social worker come to give us advice on dealing with Aidan. She's given us a few parenting books (I haven't read them yet - we were on vacation). But, she suggested we use a timer for the thing that was troubling us most. Getting Aidan to come to eat without a tantrum (limp body, yelling, hitting us. . . kicking.) It took us three days before he started really getting the hang of it. It's much easier now.

Maybe I'll film how we use it, so you can see how he responds.

Two other thoughts:

1. choices: "which shoes do you want? pink or purple?" or, "shoes first, or coat first?"

2. First this, then that. "First shoes, then play." I keep this simple and repeat it a lot. I know Kayla's older, but it might still work.

Sorry for the length!

Jessie said...

I am right there with ya Michelle - I am so sorry, but know that you are not alone in this motherhood stuff. It is a phase I am certain. It seems like my kids always act up more when they are going through a growth spurt. Hope you get some relief soon - stay consistent! That's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

I'm just so sorry that you are struggling Michelle. It can't be easy to be going through, and to be doing it on your own too. :( I wish that I had some amazing suggestions for you, but I'm just at the tip of the ice burg right now - sending you much support and love though!

Chris said...

Michelle, I am so glad that you shared what you are going through. You are such a strong woman and such a good mom. I think when you have a child with a disability, you always feel like you should be doing more, but honestly, at the end of the day, you are only human. You are doing a great job with Kayla (and Lucas). Think of all you did instead of working fine motor skills. Think of your trip and the fun she had. Don't short change just doing typical summer vacation things. You are giving Kayla a typical childhood--and you are doing it on your own--I can't imagine what it must be like not having your husband there. She will write, the fine motor skills will come, let go of the guilt. Believe me, I know it is easier said than done, but you need to.

You read my blog, so you know of my struggles. The biggest right now is what to feed John now that his beloved wheat is off limits. I need to find that wheat free pizza you told me about. I know I could/should be doing more to teach him/aid in his development, but honestly most of the times, I just want to be his mom, not his therapist. We do the best we can do. Sometimes it is enough, sometimes it is more than enough, and sometimes maybe we fall a little short. Believe me, you are definitely ahead of the game.

Sending you big ((((HUGS)))).

Nicki said...

As far as the defiency goes, I think its part of the age, because I know Little Bear, Tigerlily and even Pufferfish are very much like this. Sometimes I think little girls are even more defient than little boys... they're just cheekier, they like to argue, you know? have you tried 1-2-3 Magic? If you read the book its a lot more involved than just counting to 3. We try to use it... basically if the child doesn't listen, and you count to three and she still doesn't listen, she goes straight to Time-Out and her five minutes doesn't start until she is calm and quiet in whatever room you're using. (You have to use a room, with a door you can shut, instead of a corner,) After the five minutes you let the kid out and ask her again to do something, and if she is still defiant, back into the room she goes. This works because it cuts out all yelling or arguing. You do what you told, or you go to time-out.
As for summer educational stuff, I know... I had such high hopes for this summer, too... but the summer has gone so fast!
Try not to feel guilty about any of this. you have NOTHING that you should feel guilty about. You are a wonderful mom, you are doing the best you can, you are doing it with two very young children including one with special needs, and you are basically doing it on your own. you are doing wonderfully!

Lori said...

First, just let me say that although my extended family (all my male cousins) have or are serving in the military, I have never experienced what it is like to have a spouse on deployment. My heart goes out to you for your husband being away but thank you for his service.

Now, wow. Your plate is full. I think, though, that all Mommies have gone through the defiance stages. I think that we are all guilty for yelling and raising our voices more than we would ever want to admit too. I think that we have all felt helpless. I think that we have all thought that we were failing in some way or another. But, God is good.

It is so hard to believe that our children test us so hard and know just exactly the right buttons to push! My son does it all day (bless his little heart).

Here is what we try to do in our house with obedience. Establish the boundaries. Keep them clear and concise. The hardest part about this is actually enforcing them. It means sometimes not doing what we had planned to do for the day. For a while, you will have to be hard-nosed on this. Consistency is truly the key!

We say to our children:
"Please do this....." Then we say, "Now, listen and obey. If you choose to not listen and obey, you will be disciplined."
If they obey, we really let them know how much it is appreciated and what a good job they have done! (Oh, that's another thing. We say good job instead of good boy/girl. We don't ever want them to think that they might be unloved if they are "bad".
But if they disobey (first time obedience is a must!) we say: "I am sorry that YOU chose to disobey me. Since YOU chose to disobey, that means that YOU chose to receive the discipline."

Our children are so smart-even my 13 month old has learned how to throw herself on the floor when she doesn't get her way. They know how to listen and obey the things that they are told to do.

Although I am extremely guilty of yelling to get my child's attention, it is so hard to remember that this too is a learned game. If they learn not to listen until the voice goes to the high octaves...they won't. If they learn that Mommy will count to five but it really means 15 by the time we do 3 1/2, 3 1/18, etc...they won't listen the first time.

Oh it is so hard! It is so hard! Keep being honest here on your blog. Keep sharing your hardships and your openness. Although it is hard to write sometimes, it is such a blessing for others to know that they are not alone, the only yellers, the only ones who struggle with children yelling "no"...it is nice to know that sanity is actually still there.

Hugs. (and sorry for the length!)

Nancy M. said...

I struggle with being consistent with my children in discipline and other areas. Sometimes I'm just plain lazy and it's my own fault. My youngest son is similar to Lucas. He's in to everything and climbing, jumping, screaming. Oh, the screaming drives me batty. He's the loudest toddler I have ever seen! We all struggle with things. I think you're doing a wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

Hugs- you've got it so hard without Joe and you are very brave! You do a great job and are being too hard on yourself! And then it's easy to give too much weight to normal kid testing. We do use the count to three thing, we also reinforce the happiness of the word cooperation and introduced the basics of that early, ex- Yes means cooperative No is not okay. I tease Kayli about being the No girl when she's tired. Also, Kayli is so good natured when she's well rested but when tired or hungry- that's when we get the most no's! I know it's hard to be humorous when you're sad and tired but we also use play and humor to move her from a stuck position- like hide and seek to get her up to bed. Paradoxical works too, ex. - No kisses for mom before you go to bed! It's pretty hard to resist and often ends up in giggly cooperation! You are a great mom and she will learn without a lot of extra coaching, in her time.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I hear you on trying to get them to WANT to learn. SO HARD.

Struggling with money. Plain and simple. I told Patrick that I am ok with selling everything and getting an apartment, if that's what it comes down to. He wasn't amused, but I am serious. This debt is not amusing.

much more than a mom said...

My Bella is only 18 mos and already showing a lot of those signs. You are SO no alone in your struggles. All great comments so far, and I'll use some of the ideas too! Hang in there, kiddo. You can do it!

AZ Chapman said...

hugs try getting kayla some barbie dolls u can try to sell it to her by saying big girls do it.

as far as luke well lets just say book gal was the same way but got better over time. he will be a great atlhete sorry I know this fact dose not help at all

ABandCsMom said...

I'm so sorry you're going through such a tough time right now. Do you ever wonder that maybe Kayla is acting out, because her daddy is deployed? Maybe that's what's really bothering her.

Don't beat yourself up for not working more with her. You are teaching her every single day. Whether you sit at the table and practice writing or, if you put her in time out and tell her "no" a thousand times a day. She is learning.

She sounds like a smart little cookie. Who knows just how to work her mama.

Good luck. I'll be praying for you to be able to get through this rough time.

Angie said...

Michelle -- It's been a while since I've been to your blog. Keeping up with everyone on FB has prevented me from reading blogs as much.

You hit on so many things that I've felt/experienced with caroline lately. And reading the comments you've been given -- you've got a great support system here in cyberspace! :)

You are an amazing mom -- keep up the great work. You have two BEAUTIFUL kids.

I pray you'll find an extra special blessing today -- as you read this -- you have encouraged me to be a better mom. And for that, I thank you!!!

Corey~living and loving said...

much love to you Michelle. I'm thinking of you. It will get better, I'm sure. Sounds like you need some "me time". hugs!

smileymamaT said...

I can tell you're exhausted with all of this. It's hard to do it all, and sounds like you're close to running ragged. Possible to take a few hours on your own to rejuvenate? Then maybe you'd feel a teeny bit fresher when it comes to the writing practice and everything else you're trying to get done... but I bet the kids are learning from you every day in many ways, so don't worry too much if you don't have actual sit-down-learn time - after all, she'll pick it back up when school starts. Hugs.

The Girls' Mommy said...

Did you know that some days it breaks my heart when I read your blog? Because even though they are the same age, Abbie is doing like a tenth of what Kayla can do. (the post of her reading, naming all of those cities, singing in her graduation...) So, while every word you wrote speaks to me and feels SO close to how I feel and I completely understand it (and I simply cannot imagine the added challenge of doing it while your husband is away,) I want to send you a HUGE hug and say that, while I know how very frustrating it is, know that you are doing an AMAZING JOB. You are. Amazing.

The 'no!". We get that a lot. A LOT. One of our teachers told us that she uses it as a pause so that she can have time to process the request. She said to wait and ask again. This worked for our neighbor boy who also has Ds but not Abbie. She screams no at you the second time too. Time outs don't work because frankly she'd rather sit there on her own than help with clean up. So, we give two requests/tries, then put her in time out, and say that until she helps clean up she can't have dance party (which comes next, after clean up and before PJs). She sulks and then gets up and helps. Every night. So, either she needs time to make the choice OR she weighs it out and decides its worth it. I'm not sure which one is working, but it works in the end.

Beck said...

I'm sorry, Michelle.
If it's any comfort, I've been through phases with each of my kids that just drove me NUTS - but they always passed.
For right now: can you get a babysitter for an hour or two a week so you can have a break?

mommaof4wife2r said...

here's reality...my hubs is only gone one week a month and it's hard. the kids are more defiant when they know it's only you, bc well, they are kids and their job is to push. and push they do.

as for me, i just wish i could come and hang out and let the kids play. my girlies are in a funk lately too. it's 10am and jada has been in time out 4 times already...not listening a single bit.

let's blame it on the weather...in the meantime, i will pray for sterngth for you and for me.

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

Michelle, I feel your pain so much, truly I do. I can remember the times Randey would be TDY or deployed and I'd be home with 4 kids. And Desiree' was a handful, all by herself. She was severely ADHD and it was like trying to raise, teach, protect and guide an entire tribe of little girls instead of just the one. Luckily, the boys were pretty easy on me (that's how I remember it NOW, that is. lol)But still...it was frustrating to feel like I was the one having to raise the kids all by myself. And then I'd feel guilty because I was angry at Randey for not being there with me. And that was on top of the guilt I felt for constantly yelling at the kids and feeling like I was inadequate to the task of raising those 4 little souls. It was rough. I CAN tell you that it WILL get better. Eventually. And there'll always be tough times and rough spots, but you'll come to a place where you realize that you can only do what you can do...no more, no less. You're not SuperMom, you're not responsible for everything on the planet and your kids really are absorbing the things you're trying to teach them. The most valuable tool I've learned is to stop whenever I get angry and ask myself if that particular issue really matters. Sometimes, it's better to teach the kids that Mom can laugh off things or Mom can take things with a grain of salt. Not everything can be "the big issue", you know. Some things just HAVE to be unimportant. It's the only way we (and the kids) can learn how to tell the difference between major problems and silly annoyances.
Remember, Michelle...just breathe. Think about teaching the kids the value of relaxation and happiness, too. :)

And let me know if ever I can help you.


Jodi said...

First off (((HUGS))) to you! You are being a single parent right now and that is never easy.

Second, play is learning for kids. So make a game out of writing. Buy her her own little white board to carry around and write on, have her make cards or letters for Daddy or other relatives, give her the ABC magnets and a notepad so she can write down what she spells on the fridge, give her those soap crayons and let her write in the tub, spray shaving cream (or whipped cream if she will eat it) on the table and let her write in that, they have those aquadoodle mats that only use water to write with, give her paint and a paintbrush to write with. Don't make it a teaching lesson where she is sitting at the table. Make it fun and she will play along. There are so many creative ways to get a child to write without making it "school-like".

Third, the tantrums. Ugh! By far the worst part of teaching a child to be independent and yet still following your direction.

If you haven't definitely try warning her in advance. Use a timer if you need to. We ALWAYS told our kids, "2 more minutes until..." Then they knew soon it would be time to end whatever they were doing and move to a new thing. Chances are she just doesn't want to stop what she is doing.

Most of know that we are here for you. I cannot imagine having my husband gone for a week much less an entire year. You are a good mommy. I have been reading here for a long time so I KNOW that. You are just stressed. Give yourself a break and try to find time to have fun with your kids. That is what they will remember.

jennifergg said...

Oh sweetie, of course, of course. It's hard being the mom, some days! I hope enough time has passed since you wrote this post that you can see the balance in your own life, a bit clearer--not all the things you're not doing, but the things you ARE.

I had a therapist tell me that kids need a break, especially kids in therapy. So consider this Kayla's break! And moms need a break, too.

Sometimes, when everything is a mess and life seems just too jumbled, the best thing to do is just allow it to happen, and remember that tomorrow is another day. A brand new day, always.

You're doing so well, and I hope you never, never lose sight of that.


Theresa said...

Thinking of you tonight.
Love Theresa

Anonymous said...

Oh The Girls Mommy response reminded me that we do the same thing,love that idea of No being a pause to think. Often it is a first response and I will respond "think about it" or "I'd like to hear a Yes mommy", give her a minute and she will change her mind on her own. It does take a moment to process I think...

Omaha Mama said...

I'm sorry you feel like you are struggling. For what it's worth, I think you are amazing!
I feel these same things you do and even without the stress of a deployed husband! My little guy always getting into trouble, my B can have quite a stubborn streak. I feel guilty when I feel like I yell too much and I don't think I've done enough this summe to keep up B's school work.
I hope you feel better soon, I'm sure Kayla's phase will pass when school starts. You can frame it this way, she has entered a new and very necessary developmental phase and it's exciting that she's trying to exert her independence! ;-)

Renee said...

((Hugs)) and prayers.

Barb said...

You know, I remember going to bed every night and laying there feeling so guilty because it seemed all I'd done that day was scream and yell at my kids.

All of a sudden, I realized it was happening any more. And I knew the defiance was just a stage and it had passed.

It gets better. Really.

Anonymous said...

I should read all the comments, but I'm sharing the computer with Gabe this morning and it's hard without him trying to take over the keyboard!

I do want to comment though to say that I'm dealing with all the SAME struggles that you're having with Kayla. You're not alone at all. Even all those "I should be doing this, that...and EVERYTHING!" guilty feelings, too.

And I've been yelling to beat the band lately. It's like that is the only motivator to get Gabe to do something. And I feel like a real sh!t afterwards, too.

Anyway, I will read the comments when I have time to myself...but until then, I send big hugs to you! Don't be SO hard on yourself, okay?

Karen said...

Michelle, it's good for me to hear that you're struggling with a lot of the same things that I do. Sometimes I think that Micah will be the death of me because he doesn't follow the rules that the other kids did. People ask how many signs I've taught him. The answer is zero. He won't learn anything that I teach him because it's ME. He picks up signs very quickly from anyone else.

Discipline is another issue. The temper tantrums, the blatant disobedience, the ignoring... GAH! We've found that nothing short of a paddle will help. Fortunately we never have to paddle him. We simply have to go get it and he's suddenly very compliant.

I wish there were easy answers. I wish that Joe would be home to help you. I wish that sometimes things would be simpler. But I'm still glad for my dear boy, struggles and all.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mom24 said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this--if it helps, most of us have struggled with a lot of the same issues, we just may not have had the sizable complication of having our spouse gone.

One thing you might want to try with Kayla, avoid any question where she could answer "no". For example, "Kayla, do you want to brush your teeth or get dressed first?" It takes a little more craftiness at first, but if you can phrase things in either or form, I have found it helps.

Don't beat yourself up. Few of us do the things to enrich our kids that we think we should. Do your best, but forgive yourself too. There really isn't a parent out there who does everything "right".

Take care, and be good to yourself.

Bethany said...

I think you are describing Payton's defiance! Seriously, I think we have the same girls. It is getting OLD, fast!

Karly said...

Oh, Michelle, I am struggling with some of those same issues...defiant daughter and precocious son. I was hoping it would get better in a few years...yikes!

No solution, but tons of empathy, my friend.