Monday, October 6, 2008

Having A Bad Mom Moment

Claire is into singing ALL the time-- which I love, I remember being exactly that same way.

Tonight we were walking and she was singing, "i'm sad today cause my moms says hey and is angry every day."

Yep-- Claire summed up our relationship as of late in her short song. She is in the mischievious, lying, peeing regression, can't find enough things to entertain herself stage-- I'm in the, I thought you were an independant four year old, that doesn't need managed every minute of the day. As a result-- many visits to the naughty spot and an angry mommy. I feel like I am ruining the relationship with the only child I have.

So tell me the tricks of the trade--

*How do you nip lying in the bud, while its little Innocent lies like I didn't kick all my dirty clothes under my bed-- before it gets to its not my crack in my purse.

*What are creative independent activities that a four year old can do-- with out being micro managed by mom-- don't get me wrong-- I like to do things with her, but seriously she's four and is very capable, and has been-- she' s all of the sudden needing told what to do every second of the day.

*It was November, two years ago when Claire was potty trained-- we have had relatively few incidents with her in the last two years. In the last month we have had at least one "accident" a week-- but I think its been more. I totally lost it last week on this one-- she decided to pee all over the fabric I had just got her to make a trick or treat bag in front of Janie's kids- ahhhh!

There-- three things you insightful, experienced mothers can share your wisdom on. Help-- I have to find happy mommy again.


Brooke said...

Funny you wrote this. We have been going through the same thing here. The lying thing. We have been having many family home evening lessons about being honest, and today we talked about being clean. He understands what we are talking about, but I don't know if he knows how to apply what he has learned.

SO when I catch him in a lie I ask are you being clean or unclean. . . honest/dishonest. Then out comes the honest answer. . .

Here was a fun lesson:

I colored all of the pictures, and he wanted me to tell the story multiple times.

The peeing. Isaac actually hasn't had any accidents any more. You might not like my idea. But I am all about natural consequences. Isaac has just been lazy about using the toilet. Two days in a row he had non pee accidents. That was the LAST STRAW for me. I took him outside, and explained he was a big boy. I also talked about why we use the toilet, and we can't be in the house messy. It's not healthy. So because he had made a mess I needed to "clean" him off. I got out the hose and sprayed him down. He hated every minute of it. (not a warm day, and very cold water). *after that he did get a warm bath with soap. He has yet to have another accident :)

I don't know how to help with activities. Most of mine are managed. . . somewhat by me. I get out paint, crayons, play dough, and let them have at it. I check in every few minutes (not interrupting, just making sure they are doing what they should be doing). Another big thing around here right now is dress up! I don't have to do anything but help get them dressed and then their imaginations take over!

Good luck! Let me know what you find that works!

Brooke said...

Oh with the FHE lessons. I use a lot of scriptures too. I believe it doesn't matter how old a child is, they need to know the pure doctrine. Then afterwards we break up the scriptures, so nothing is unclear on what heavenly father expects from us.

Eliza said...

I wish I could help but I don't have any personal experience *yet* ...though we are heading into "terrible twos I want to be Mr. Independent all the time but I'm really too little to understand enough to do so" stage. :-D You're a great mother, you'll find happy mommy again!

My name is Andrea said...

I'm sorry, Sarah. I'm always the mean mom that says hey and has no patience...I spend most of my time beating myself up for not being a better mom, and the other half wishing I was "enjoying the journey" a little more. I don't have any fun activities either (call a little girl to come over, and play outside so they don't make a mess?)...hmmmm I got nothin'. I'm no good, sorry.

Jessica said...

I am with Andrea- have a friend over. They entertain themselves pretty easily. My second was almost 4 (one weekshy) before she was potty trained. Tried as I might she was SOOOO stuburn and wouldn't do it. So finally I gave her all the responsibilty. She wanted to wear a diaper then she had to change it. The first day was great, but the second day really stank for her. By day 4 she was potty trained. I think the same thing would work for your little one. If she wants to pee on the floor then let her have the job of cleaning it up. THe key to that is not to let her know that you are mad. -good luck-
About the lying... I do different things for each kid. Kyle- I have to call him on it and he will step up and tell the trueth. Anne- I let her know that if she is lying to me then I would be very disapointed with her and it would make Heavenly Father really sad. She is my most honest one. Toria- a 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar works wonders for that girl. -this works great for all my kids if they have "potty mouths"- My kids aren't big fibbers, so it is rare that I have to talk to them about it. They all have to go through that stage of testing you. It really sucks, but it will pass. Keep your chin up and remember not to let her see that she is getting your goat.

The Taylors said...

Sorry, but I don't have any good advice since we haven't reached that stage yet. But I did want to tell you that you have a very cute family and from that picture, you look so much like your mom. Good luck! Oh, and by the way, this is your cousin Camilla--I can't remember if I've ever commented on your blog before. :)

Amanda said...

YOu are a great mom:) I am NOT an experienced mom so I don't think I can help ya:( If she wants to come over and play Jedi or legos I's love to have her-- LOL!! I spend most of my day taking care of L P watches TV or plays x-box when I let him:) Although he is a pretty creative kid and I usually come out from putting L to sleep and P is cutting up paper or yarn....But there are many days he is just jumping on the couch saying "so Mom what are we gonna do while L's asleep?" And I am thinking I have 101 things I NEED to do:)

Sorry I was no help:(

Lisa said...

I have no idea, but I will be able to learn from you once this has passed,and it will. :)

Practically Perfect In Every Way said...

if i ever ever ever give you advise on mothering i give you full permission to laugh hard and flick me in the forehead.

i don't know what the heck i'm doing!

Janette said...

You're a great Mom, Sarah!

When I first started nannying for this one family, their youngest was a 3 1/2 year old girl. She was awful (I'm sure NOTHING like Claire). She was so misbehaved and starved for positive attention. After a few months of repeating myself OVER and OVER and banging my head against the wall, a light bulb went off. I figured that she needed to be manipulated into 'behaving like a lady' and in return receiving positive reinforcement on a daily basis. So, we started what I called, 'The Lady Chart'.

I bought a poster board and made a squiggly board game type thing on it (think homemade Candyland). There were probably 60+ spaces throughout the 'board'. Every 5 spaces or so, the space would say, 'pick a surprise'. The surprises were VERY cheap and all thrown into the 'prize bucket' for her to choose from. They were things like Ring Pops, a candy bar, a new pack of markers, stickers, etc.

Every time she had a 'good moment', I'd praise her like crazy for it, walk to the board, and move the little princess game piece that I'd made up to the next space. Generally, she'd move up about 2-3 times a day ... but when she had a bad moment (wet her pants, lost her temper, whatever), I'd point it out, not dwell on it, and quietly walk to the board and move her piece backward.

Once the piece got all the way to the end of the board, she got to pick from a new toy/coloring book/game/whatever (think $10 ... and it would take about a month to acheive). OR, I'd take her to Chick-fil-A and she'd get a kids meal, play time, then an ice cream cone.

Anyway, I was amazed at how quickly she responded. Literally, within one month, she was an entirely different kid who focussed her days on looking for ways to find positive praise. We continued the chart for another 2 years, before I left. I've never known a more mature, obedient, or thoughtful little 5 year old girl in my life.

It took daily positive reinforcement to pull her from her funk, and keep her from going back into one. But it was SO worth it. Good luck!!!

Janie said...

I say beat her. just kidding. I saw all the other good advice so I just thought I'd make you laugh.

kira lee said...

sorry, no advice.
but i do have to give claire props for making her song rhyme!

The A Team said...

ryan did the same thing when jason came home and i went back to work. kids are so sensitive and feed on our emotions. it's hard to keep a brave face on all the time but maybe she's reacting to your stress and feeling like she's losing mom time. a trip to the pet store to look at fish and a mcdonald's ice cream cone just the two of you does wonders.

Bethanne said...

It is definitely helpful to have Jax around for Leah, so I'd definitely agree with the playdates. I also like to get out my old scrapbooking embellishments and to give her an idea and to let loose on an "art project". Computer sites - educational and fun (, Fun Brain, TVO Kids, etc) are nice too. Or you can try an ABC scavenger hunt, not where you have to organize it, but have Claire go around the house and find things that begin with the letter. Is there a camera that she can use to have a "photo shoot"? Dressing up and walking on the catwalk? I have a ton of ideas... not that all of them work or that I use them multiple times, but they're worth a shot once!

Good luck. Leah has done that a bit lately too...regressed... wanting constant stimulation now. I'm a big believer in art projects though.

Kendra said...

I was racking my brain and couldn't think of a single thing. My kids follow me around like puppy dogs. yuk. Maybe if I just got a dog... No. Hmmm. Well one thing is for sure, Janette know what she is talking about. I started to nanny the same girl when Janette left to start painting for a living. She was a delight. Janette whipped her into shape with her lady chart. Charts are a lot of work to get started, but once you do it, it pays off in big ways.

Anonymous said...

i ♥ ya sis! just thought i'd let ya know!!!

Anonymous said...

i ♥ ya sis! just thought i'd let ya know!!!