Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Mama At A Loss

I love being a mom. I don't mean to overstate things but I really do. There are, of course, challenges that come with motherhood. Some of these challenges are par for the course. Others require more thought and consideration. I'm dealing with one of those special challenges right now and would love some help or insight.

Eli is a good kid. And I mean that from everywhere in my heart. He is kind, soft, and loving. He plays well with others and is imaginative and thoughtful. He loves everyone around him and wants to be a part of everyone's lives he meets.

We are, however, dealing with some pretty tough problems with him right now and I don't know what to do. For most of his older life I've just classified these issues as standard toddler/little kid behavior. Things seem to be getting worse though and I'm getting completely overwhelmed with life. It could just be that we're first time parents and this is how all little 3 year old boys are...I just don't know.

Eli can get crazy...I mean like hyper to a point where we lose him. It used to happend infrequently but lately its been happening all the pretty much its all we get from him. He can be very task-oriented and does well if I give him a game to play or a project to work on. But as soon as he's not being completely entertained by me or a toy he comes unhinged. He yells, runs around, hits things, womps on Sammy, tackles the dog, throws things at me and creates general mayhem. When I give him 100% of my attention he's ok...if I divert for even a second I lose him.

Dan and I have read so many articles and talked for hours on how to best parent our little ball of love and energy. I am NOT a believer in holistic, 'natural', or pseudoscientific "cures" for hyper kids (no "essential oils" thank you) but I do think there is something more I can be doing to help Eli be happy and help our house not be a den of chaos 24/7.

We try very very hard to praise him endlessly for the good things he does and quickly and quietly discipline him for the negative...that's easy to implement in practice but sometimes it doesn't work out that way. I try to be patient but there is only so many times I can tell him to do something (like sit down at the dinner table, not yell at me, get out of the fridge, etc.) before I lose my patience. Today after coming home from a very long day at church (he flunked out of Sunbeams 3 times) I walked in the door to get lunch ready and he walked up to me and whipped my face with the metal end of the dog leash.  I'll be honest I did not get down and explain to him quietly why we don't hit mom with dog leashes, and put him calmly in time out. Nope...I spanked his bottom and hauled him off to his room. Not a great thing to do indeed but I do have a boiling point.

I love my little boy intensely. More than I can ever explain. He and Sammy fill our home with so much love and excitement. I want him to be happy more than anything else in the world but I am STRUGGLING learning how to communicate effectively with him. Dan starts school up tomorrow which means I will be alone with the kids a lot more in the next few months. I have been praying so hard for answers on how to be the best parent for my little boys. I just feel at such a loss these days.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Robynn, so I have three boys. Three is probably the most difficult age for us too (we are currently in the middle of our third three year old). In my house, I think it has mostly stemmed from a change from baby to big kid, old enough to do a lot of things, but really still totally dependent. A couple of things that we have found that help: 1) assign him some chores. Our three year old can put away the silverware from the dishwasher, take out the recycling, make his bed, do his "reading," and do a chore of "Mom's Choice" everyday. Honestly, three year olds love to have some responsibility. 2) in the winter this is really hard, but make sure he gets some crazy exercise time. Maybe its a gymnastics class, maybe just soccer in the backyard with Mom. 3) Mommy time. I don't know why, but my three year olds have always been more clingy than they were a year ago. We build some serious one-on-one time into each day. We read, play play-doh, bake, whatever. As long as he gets a little undivided attention, it really helps his day go better. I hope this helps at least a little helpful.