We are now the proud parents of a beautiful, new and shiny 6 year old. She bears an uncanny resemblance to the 5 year old we had until last weekend. Beautiful, pink and sparkly, yet volatile, argumentative and prone to temper tantrums.
Over the years I had hoped she’d grow out of having tantrums. She rarely has them in public now, mainly at home. They can start for any reason, most of the time I can’t understand why she’s bothering to make such a fuss. Prime example today, she was standing outside our house with her friend who had come to play. They noticed there was a couple of cherries left on our tree, so her friend picked one, then E picked one. I saw E inspecting it, then she threw it on the ground saying it had something on it. I then picked her one which was fine, but she still found fault with it and threw it on the ground, shouting and stomping that it wasn’t fair her friend had one and she didn’t. By that point I had lost any patience I may have had, we were running late as it was, and I said we had to go with or without a cherry! It was such a stupid thing to get so upset about it, if it was an isolated incident I would have more patience, but it happens regularly, sometimes several times a day.
I’ve been trying the ‘say yes more often’ way of thinking recently, but it hasn’t really helped. If I say ‘yes’ once, E then expects it everytime, and sometimes its just not possible to say yes, even if it would be fantastic if I could!
Its been so bad recently that I’ve lost track of her good points. She’s a beautiful, sociable girl, who loves making and drawing things. She has an amazing determination when she decides she wants to do something, so she has taught herself to whistle, skateboard, ride a bike, click her fingers, and the current one is cart-wheels! She desperately wants her hair to be straight, even though the poor girl has inherited my random curly hair. She loves her grotty soft toy, Crabbie, to bits and won’t be without him.
However, she hates physical contact, so spontaneous hugs and kisses are not her thing. Sometimes she will come and hug me, but usually manages to elbow me in the mouth or something so I end up pushing her away when I should be squeezing her tight. She is six going on sixteen, and can’t understand why I’m here in charge of her life. Life is just a series of frustrations for her. I have no idea where or if we have gone wrong somewhere.
I was listening to Rob Parsons, author of the Sixty-Minute Family, speak at a conference recently, and something he said struck a bell. He was talking about a parent who came to speak to him about her 2 wonderful children who do everything she says, love life to the full, are easy going etc etc, then their 3rd seems to push the boundaries to the limits, talk back every chance they get etc etc. Sounded awfully familiar! He said to her that he was sure people had told her she would grow out of it? Yes she said! Wrong, he said! Some children fight the boundaries every step of the way, its the way they are, and the way they will always be. Oh happy day 🙂
She wants to be with other kids her age all the time. We go to our weekly home ed social group, and meet up with friends during the week, we have something on every day, but we are not out every second of the day. I like it like that. She spends the day pining for 3.30pm when her friends get back from school 😦
A friend told me a while ago that one day I would find out why she was so ‘spirited’, there would be a reason for it, and it would all make sense.
How do home ed families who are in areas where there is little home ed community contact cope? What am I missing, that is probably staring me in the face? Anyone got any suggestions on coping strategies – tell me its not just me?!!!