Monday, August 11, 2014

Self-Control is the Hardest

So, yesterday was a rough day with the child. There was a lot of time spent in her room, a lot of time spent in my mind, worrying about the future. She scratched Daddy so badly, she drew blood, and in the end he punished her not only with time-outs, but by taking away one of her favorite fluffy pillows for a night. This, by all accounts, appeared to be the end of the the world.

Late in the afternoon, dispirited, I posted this on Facebook:
Trying to teach my daughter self-control is the hardest thing I've ever tried to teach her. Sleep training was easier, and almost as exhausting. And I so rarely see any positive results from it. Sisyphean task, all the way. 

Please, just please don't let her be that kid in preschool who gets angry and hits other kids. I am so stressed about this.

I got many friendly and wonderful replies from friends, reminding me that all kids have to learn this, and school will more than likely be a great place to get a handle on her feelings, learn to calm down and play. 

It's these internal, psychological lessons that are so hard to teach children, I feel. For one thing, how can you tell when they've really got it? It's not like riding a bike, where suddenly the fruits of your labor are obvious and successful. This is one of those annoyingly lifelong battles for everyone, and I kind of hate that it's so hard for her already.

But today is a new day, and I'm hoping a much better one for Maeve. Lesson learned? Probably not. But at least now she knows Daddy isn't messing around when he says he'll take something away.

The little monster, taking pictures of the movie she was watching.

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