Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Kid Frustration

It's been a tough 24 hours. Last night's bedtime routine just about did both Jay and I in and then this morning it continued for me starting at 6:30. Fighting, not following directions, yelling. I'm just so tired of playing referee. "He hit me." "She made fun of me." "He pushed me." Don't get me wrong, we don't allow the kids to physically hurt one another, but when I don't see it and don't know what precipitated it, is it wrong that I don't care???? GO AWAY AND STOP BOTHERING ME!!!

Caroline wonders why Bryce gets physical with her when she taunts and teases him about something. Bryce wonders why Caroline teases him when he gets so angry and upset every.single.time. They can't stay away from each other. Constant touching. And just when you think you've had enough, they become friends for a bit. And then the two are in collusion making you absolutely freaking crazy. Screaming Christmas songs back and forth while they are supposed to be doing something. They can't live with each other and yet they can't live without each other either. Meanwhile, my sanity is hanging on by a thread.

It's not one single, big thing they are doing, it's the cumulative effect of a bunch of tiny things eating away at you. I'm tired of tattling. I'm tired of teasing. I'm tired of hearing about the misdemeanor type violence. I'm tired of hearing about who got short changed in some deal and that the other person won't go away or won't play with you. I can't come up with answers to all of these things every single time! Sometimes I feel like I'm on a really bad game show that is pressuring me for answers to seemingly impossible scenarios.

And this is without Piper being completely thrown into the mix yet. Yes, she gets into it sometimes but her lack of speech has kept her out of the bickering so far (a silver lining?).

This morning as I was trying to finish getting ready while Bryce was shrieking Christmas songs back and forth with Caroline and NOT getting dressed, I honestly almost cried. I was very close to tears. I was holding back a certain expletive that I will never ever utter at my children because it was on the tip of my tongue. I wanted to tell them to shut up, again, I refrained as it's not something I yell at my kids. I got very close to the end of my rope this morning.

Tomorrow, Bryce will be getting dressed BEFORE breakfast - he's been put on high alert about that. We're also having a talk about this tonight at dinner. Who knows if it will help, but I can't take the rest of the month of December like this if this is a partial result of holiday excitement. I just can't. I even went home in a good mood last night ready to spend a nice evening with them. Even Jason getting dinner earlier than usual had no effect. I wish I could put them each on a little treadmill and run their little legs off to burn some energy. Maybe that would put a damper on their energy to fight???

I should add too, a thank you to my MIL for listening to me vent this morning and remembering how hard it was for her with her 3 fighting kids too. So clearly, this too shall pass....she's a very patient, happy person now so clearly all those years of fighting children didn't damage her!


Viv said...

Oh E, I feel for you. I think it's the age and the holidays - my girls are now at the point where they do not watch TV or get breakfast until the get dressed. I was tired of them waking up at 6:45 and having their closed laid out for them since the night before and then me rushing (and yelling like crazy) at 8:20 since the bus was coming in 10 mins! (and even then it was me pulling/pulling them to get dressed myself when they can darn well do it themselves) I don't care if they were watching Super Why or Sesame, they need to follow directions! And this was every day! So I had to readjust their mornings to keep my sanity - nothing like a good Mom who feels the need to take a drink at 8:30 in the morning to ruin a day, right!

Hang in there, it will get better, you have good kids and you & Jay are great parents. Take cues from your parents and inlaws and you'll be fine. And just know it's not just your kids that are acting this way - 'tis the seaason right?

Heather said...

My mom used to say, "Fight nice" and "Come get me if there is blood." That's the extent of her getting involved with our arguments...and there were many arguments, believe me. SO, I think you need to be LESS involved in their fights. Kids need to learn to solve conflicts on their own. There is no better way to do this than to have the adults stay out of it (unless their is blood). I'm telling you, this strategy worked wonders for us as kids and I wish every parent used it because it truly teaches kids how to handle conflict. I plan to use it myself...in about 2+ years.

Katie said...

You know I'm right there with you on this kinda stuff. Sometimes I yell at them to stop yelling and the absurdity of that statement makes me laugh. Ahhh, kids.

And I have a pretty good idea of what you phrase you had on the tip of your tongue this morning... and trust me...i have been there. LOL. ONe time I was so stressed and annoyed and frustrated that I had to lock myself in the bathroom with the water running and fan blowing so the kids wouldn't hear the stream of expletives that I just had to vent for some reason. OH and they have made me so crazy that I have cried on occasion... like when our shutters were installed. Oy.

I gotta say though that that age group C & B and my E are in right now is so tough. I think it is the toughest yet! The teasing & tantrums will drive you MAD!

Good luck and here's hoping you have a smooth send off tomorrow. ;-)

Erika said...

I don't have a problem with letting them argue/bicker something out and I do need to do that more but the fighting it out isn't okay in my book. Physical violence, while not such a big deal now, WILL become a big deal as they get older and stronger and setting the precedent now that it's not okay is important. Heck, Bryce already inflicts some wounds now unintentionally - maybe it's a boy thing. Not that girls aren't capable of hurting one another but I've already seen first hand that boys can do more damage. You should see the bruise Caroline has on her forehead after a shove from the other night - not one that was supposed to hurt her, but it was supposed to push her down (she fell into a cabinet). I just will not let them physically fight it out - blood isn't the only indicator that they're truly hurt.

I know I fought/argued with my siblings a lot as a kid and I'm not worse for the wear and I really only remember the big fights. My sister scratching me in the face (twice) sticks out as I went to school with marks on my face.

Katie said...

My mom had a strict "no hitting girls" rule for my brothers-- probably for that reason.

Girls can fight, but they don't inflict as much damage (intentional or unintentional).

Heather said...

I see your point, and now with a boy I will probably be enforcing that rule too...I guess being that it was me and my sister that is the route my Mom took...it worked for us, but I can see how important it is to teach a boy early on not to hit a girl.