Last night I had a mommy moment that I'm not happy about and would like to share with you, and maybe you can give me a little advice or your opinion.
It started off with me asking Emma to pick up her puzzle she had all over the floor in the living room. She refused and stared to watch TV. I told her I would have to shut off TV until she picked up her puzzle if she did not start it right now.
She started to yell. I shut off TV. She proceeded to pick up one of the 3 remotes and threaten to turn it back on. I kept my tone even and under control and I told her "we were not playing, this was not a game, pick up your puzzle and I will turn TV back on"
She tried getting the correct remote from me, she was laughing and giggling and either thought it was a game or was trying to turn it into a game. However I did not find the same humor in the situation.
She started to freak out, Then informed me she was NOT going to EVER pick up her puzzle.... unless daddy helped her.
She went over and sweetly asked Daddy to help her "Daddy, pretty please would you help me pick up my puzzle, please, pretty pretty please"
Daddy. "No Emma, I am busy doing something you pick up your puzzle"
That went on for a few minutes until she ran to her room and shut the door... well not shut the door, slammed her door. (I don't take kindly to slamming doors or stomping feet. We need to respect the people downstairs)
Let me side track here and tell you, though Emma is generally a well behaved little girl she HATES cleaning and picking up after herself... when she doesn't want to. It is Literally driving me crazy. I come home from work and the house looks like a tornado hit it, between her, Sophia and daddy. So I have little patients for this sort of thing because it happens on almost a daily basis and nothing I do to modify her behavior in this area is working.
So, after she runs to her room crying and slams the door, I inform her if she does not pick up her puzzle I will pick it up but if I have to pick it up I will throw it out. She screams like someone just cut off her leg. How could anyone throw out her most favorite puzzle of he life that she has had for only 24 hours.
Calmly I tell her, I have asked her nicely many times to pick up her puzzle and she has to make a choice, to pick it up and keep it, or I pick it up and throw it out. But she has a choice and her choices and actions have consequences.
She came out of her room and told me she would NEVER EVER clean up her puzzle because no one would help her.
I had to explain to her that I would have gladly helped if she has asked nicely from the start instead of screaming and not listening. And Daddy already told her many times he was busy.
She Stomped around and said "I will NEVER EVER CLEAN UP!"
So at this point I have had enough (keep in mind its been about 20 minutes) and I Stand up and she FREAKS THE FREAK OUT!
I start to pick up the puzzle because I feel I have given her more then enough chances, I've explained the consequences and she has made her choice... I refuse to do this all night.
She is yelling, throwing herself on top of the puzzle, stomping, screaming bloody murder.
I look up at Matt at his computer and said "anytime Matt, anytime you can jump in here"
I'm not sure if he said anything because I was trying to not lose it and I had a screaming 4 year old in my ear.
after a few minutes of Emma trying to rip the pieces out of my hands Matt stands up and says "Emma calm down I will help you pick them up."
If you were going to help her pick them up, you should have done it when she ASKED the first time. NOT after all of this. Because now she said no she will never pick it up, thrown a fit, screamed, and so forth. In my book she lost her puzzle. and NOW he is helping her pick them up and she gets everything she wants.
In my book she just learned "If i yell enough, I will get what I want"
I was so mad that I dropped all the pieces I had picked up and sat on the couch in a huff.
I was so mad, I felt it was absolutely wrong. and I felt slightly betrayed, maybe that is the wrong word, but I feel Matt should have backed me up here and I'm still upset about it.
I kept my cool through the whole thing, Usually it ends up as a yelling match between Emma and I. Yes I'm not proud of the fact that a 4 year old provokes me into yelling and I'm not proud that I lose my temper, HOWEVER, I have been working on it.
Emma and I have started to do Deep breathing when we get upset. (and sharing our feelings for instance Emma has to tell me when shes mad, or sad and tell me why so we can work from there) So I am trying to set a good example for her. I do not want my girls to grow up and handle anger the way I always have in the past so I'm taking steps to improve this.
Matt feels Emma is 4 and can't control all her actions that's she still impulsive and doesn't always understand. He also thinks that taking her stuff away wont teach her, because it hasn't in the past...
True, in the past we have taken things away... but she ALWAYS GETS THE BACK! in a day, a week, a month.. she ends up with it back. She's not learning anything.
I feel Emma knows what she is doing shes a smart kid. I know she sometimes does things to manipulate, she does sometimes fib, I know this. I know she is ready for negative consequences for her negative actions. She will learn if we are consistent.
However we have to be a united front. Most of the time he does back me up, even if he does not agree. But last night I worked really hard to be clam and explain things clearly and she made her choice.
I want Emma to learn her actions have consequences, good and bad. I want her to learn to pick up after herself and value her possessions. and I want her to listen.
However I should note while I was typing all of this out, Emma had her puzzle all over the floor again. She was eating her cereal and Sophia was crawling around. She started to go after Em's puzzle and Em ran over to protect it from the clutches of Sophzilla. And she ended up picked up her puzzle when she noticed Soph wasn't going to give up on getting her slobbery paws on those delicious puzzle pieces. When she finished picking it up she announced to me that she was good and picked it all up.