When you are dealing with the hard stuff... the very, very frequent, or shall I say, constant stick poking and acting out, it messes with your head. You begin to think that maybe you are the problem. Just figure out what makes her happy, already!!!! Alas, it's like banging your head on a concrete wall, and so reading someone else describe the very SAME scenarios and promoting the same sort handling of those scenarios is a strange comfort.
James is doing very well. Relatively speaking, he's doing fabulous. He has certain things that he just won't do, though, and when confronted with these little things he delves into the world of manipulation. Used to be he would not tie his shoes, use the toilet, fold his clothes, tuck in a dress shirt, make a bed, etc... but months and months of working with him on them and he will do those things now without ado. The list is still long. For example he won't fold his collar down. Not on his shirt, not on his jean jacket, not on anything. Won't do it. Never has the two years he has been mine.
Missy is all over the place. There are not certain things. She is way more random.
This week it has been untying her shoes. Won't do it. Particularly on the way to school when she should have already had her shoes on she doesn't because they are tied and she won't untie them. She ties them herself, and has untied them for two years. Suddenly she can only slip them off and can't untie them. It's only one more way to try and get a reaction because she knows I hate dropping her off at school late. Suddenly she can't buckle her seat belt either, etc.... etc....
Yesterday I waited in the car in the church parking lot for more than thirty minutes for her to get her shoes on. After she finally got her shoes on, I asked her what she had to say about it all. First she said, "Sorry, I not be nice." Then she said, "Sorry I not obey".... all very scripted and routine words with little meaning anymore. I just kept looking at her like there must be more she needed to say from her own heart. Finally she said, and it was very hard for her, "I sorry I pretended I can't untie my shoes". Her very own words.
Today, I told her if they were not on by a certain street we would come home and she could work on it on our front porch. She fussed on the front porch for 40 minutes. Her fingers were "too tired", she didn't "like" untying shoes, she "couldn't", she cried.... Well, instead of undoing the laces she chose to tighten them into a huge knot.
Steve had just said to me that she has zero problem solving skills. I didn't know whether or not to agree with him... I went out on the porch and saw that indeed the knot now was bigger than ever and impossible, so I told her, "there's only one thing left to do now "
and she started yelling, "DON'T CUT IT!!!!"
NO problem solving skills, eh???
I did indeed cut it and then I drove her back to school
ONLY TO FIND THAT NOBODY WAS THERE~!
We had this whole song and dance for nothing.
I burst out laughing.
I guess if she is going to be that late it's better to be late when no one is waiting for you.
This is so typical. Both of the kids will pretend they can't complete the task and they will work very hard to prove it. They want you to believe you are asking too much, that you are the Wicked Witch of the West and after awhile I start to wonder if I am. When I watch their hands at first glance I see them "working" very hard trying . . . but if I watch more carefully while they think I don't see I will notice that they do and undo their task over and over.
It takes a HUGE amount of patience to see a task through and a million times you wonder if it's worth it. The best approach so far has been for me to say, "I have all day. Take your time. In fact, I have all week so I'll wait until you do". Then WALK AWAY (lest I buy in to the power struggle.)
The new plan is; velcro shoes. She will not get to wear her school shoes to school anymore. I have to find a way to eliminate the battle because she could make this an issue for the rest of the school year.
The only other thing I could do to take away the battle is to do everything for her . . . .
I am not sure is the right thing. My guess is that she would figure out how turn that into grief as well.
How do you other moms deal with this? Do you face it head on and wait for them to get with the program, or do you take away the battle? Would you buy her new velcro shoes, or make her wear her well used, old ones? It's only manipulation game number 5364.... and we are sure to face thousands more so how would you handle it?
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