For the past few days I've been really upset and trying to think of different ways to deal with a certain someone in our house. He's 3 (almost four), big brown eyes......Well, Joseph. I came to the conclusion awhile back ago that he hates me. He always wants the opposite of what I give him, he never listens anymore & he he pretty much just collapses whenever I tell him to do something that he doesn't want to. Like, seriously, collapse. He does it with others to but it's more dramatic with me. The other little kids some times do it as well, but it is NOT as dramatic. It is NOT as painful to watch and it is just not the same thing.
John and I think it's because *I* am the rule enforcer. I try to not let the kids get by with doing whatever they want whenever they want as much as possible. It's really hard because they all have strength in numbers and tend to pull me every which way. Alexander complains about this to me about Miley and Miley complains about Joey and Aiden complains about whatever Miley is complaining about and Joey is crying about I don't know because he is having his "fit" and Dylan...Well Dylan just kinds of sits back and watching it all go down, haha.
I have to be the rule enforcer. I can't just let them run the house. I can't just let Joey do whatever he wants because he is screaming the loudest and I want him to stop....I feel like I'm losing my mind!
But! This morning while thinking about birthday party plans for Joey & other things about the kids...It just hit me.Joey isn't a spoiled brat who hates me and will always hate me for eternity....He is strong-willed! But then I thought to myself, there is probably a fine line between strong-willed and just your average brat. So, I did some reading to try to figure out some things.
As I read onto this website and other websites I feel like I am reading a book about our guy Joey. An example was given about how they react when things change. I think he has suffered more this past year than anything. There have been good things that have happened but there has also been a lot of bad things happen. I was a part of both restraining orders against John. Before he and I got together I witnessed Joseph cry everyday constantly for his Dad. After J and I got together, I did not get to witness how he acted but I could only imagine because he was more verbal after I moved in and not to mention he was never the same when he came back. He's more sensitive, he NEVER wants J to leave without him and there are other things as well. He acts out in ways that have characteristics of a traumatized strong-willed child!
Strong-willed children don't usually roll with the punches. They tend to react to situations and environments intensely, exhibiting extrem signals of happiness and sadness when confronted with different circumstances and environments. (aka JOEY!)(http://www.livestrong.com/article/52565-characteristics-strongwilled-child/)
So now the question is, being the "enforcer" that I am...How do I deal with this? I read this website and it helped a lot. http://www.adoptionarticlesdirectory.com/Article/Parenting-the-Strong-Willed-Child-and-Keeping-the-Upper-Hand/12202
I have read and heard and wrote about consistency, consistency, consistency with the children. I have caved with the kids..."If I give you this fruit snack with you please just shut up..." But seriously, especially with Joe, I have found it's SO important to give him the same things I try to now. I can't give up, I can't let things get to me, I have to keep going & even though it's particularly harder to deal with him when he is bad....I read that he probably will be the more successful one out of all of them because he is so strong-willed. Not to say that none of our children will be successful in life...But if I continue my work with him he will eventually strive and not only do *I* need to work with him on being consistent and not just giving him what he wants. J does too, family member do too..I need help! Things will get better...and I have to keep going...because I love him so much. It kills me when we have our spats. So onward I go............