oh boy

I have been having a really rough time with Parker. His shenanigans are becoming more aggressive and hurtful. And, honestly, I freeze and have no idea how to react to him when he acts so disrespectfully.

As a teacher I was always a favorite, I was always in control, and I always knew how to react. As a mom, my emotions were turning me into a dumbfounded bystander. Something needed to change and thankfully it did.

Here is what I did differently the second half of the week that dramatically turned things around for me and Parker. First, I reminded myself that he is four and does not have an understanding of his words like I do. That may sound obvious, but when you hear your four year old say "I don't care about you, I don't love you" it hurts. It made me feel like I was losing him. But in reality, he meant "I don't like this situation, I don't like how I feel."

So the second thing I did was say out loud, in a calm and loving voice, what I thought he was trying to tell me whenever he got upset. He might not know how to express himself, but he responded to me listing alternatives and trying to understand. He liked that I got down on his level instead of getting upset myself, sending him away, or ignoring him.

The last thing I did was kiss and hug him more. I set aside time to just be with him, to hold him, to snuggle him, and to steal kisses. And I really have to say that by the time the weekend rolled around, I had forgotten how difficult the first half of the week felt - and so did Parker. We were back to laughing, playing, and goofing around.

I am not an expert and I can't imagine ever feeling like parenting is a strength of mine, but I have always liked the quote from Albert Einstein that defines insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I am glad I made a change, and I am so glad I got different results, because I love Parker, he is such a good kid!

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