Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What I learned Wednesday: Lessons from my 5 1/2 year old

My son turned two a bit ago. It has been as expected... fun, energetic, more opinions, etc. But its not the two year old who I have been battling with lately. Its my 5 1/2 year old daughter. (sigh)
I am not concerned over the battles. I know its normal and its part of her age but let me tell you, it has been rough at times over in our house. 

Today she decided to kick me because I wouldn't pay $3 for a photo booth. 
Yesterday she spit at me and screamed for a really really long time
A few days ago, she decided to scratch her brother because she was pretending to be a cat 
Two weeks ago she made all the other kids get off the playground because she was the queen and it was her castle. I had lots of crying kids on my hands and a few unhappy moms. 

Oh, and I have exhausted most of my discipline methods over the course of her lifetime. That doesn't stop me from doing it though. But i felt that I had come to a bit of a cross -roads. 


note: I love her. I love her so so so much. I want her to be strong and a leader and fun. I don't want to force her into a mold. And when I am completely honest, I prefer she have a strong willed personality over the alternative.

So I did what any momma would do, I stopped by Swig for a vanilla-strawberry sprite and then began to pray, I prayed for forgiveness for losing my cool. I asked for the ability to understand how to be a good mom to her. I told my Heavenly Father I was thankful she is my daughter and I want to raise her to love Him and follow Him and be like our Savior. And that I want to be like our Savior too. And then I listened. 

Now, I have never been one to receive answered through the scriptures. Mine seem to come through prayer or other sources. And this is what happened again in this case.

I got my answer. It was simply to love her more. Don't stifle her spirit. Yes, I need to guide her. But I need to take it a bit easier on her and give her extra love. She needs to make amends to those she hurt. Saying sorry is not enough nor are time-outs going to make a difference. But showing her that I love her and taking time to talk and play with her each day will make the difference.

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Its been a few days since I have focused more on loving her. I give her extra time with me when I can. I play games and color and bake with her. I cuddle and nap with her. I have always been a big believer in the concept of "just love them" and this revelation reinforced my initial determination. 

Will every day be happy and easy around here? Nope. Even as a 31 year old my days are not always happy or easy and many times I want to kick and spit and scream and act like I am 5.  But I know that love is the key. And in this family, we do love each other

I think that every person has triggers. Things that make someone extra happy, extra sad or extra mean.  Science can even back me up on this. 
For me, when I get less than 5 hours sleep, I am a very grumpy woman. 
For my girl, she needs to be active. Actually, both my kids do. And not just the "normal" active you are thinking about. I am talking about the "scary" kind. The kind where they want to climb up very very  high, run everywhere, and basically always be engaged.
So we ride bikes, play outside, paint, bake, read, write stories, take classes at the rec center, dance, sing, and clean ... every day. 
She is my oldest. She is the one who tends to be the leader of any group she is a part of. She is full of life and love and energy and she just wants to be loved in return. 
And that is what she gets. 
More love. 
More understanding for actions. 
More responsibility. 
And she has been so much better behaved because of it.

4 comments:

MyPremierDesigns said...

I really struggled with this with Kalea, and after praying about it too I received the SAME answer, to just love more-I can see how this totally diffuses her and can contain an out of control little girl...the craziness has been happening less and less. Thank you for posting!

Angelica Nelson said...

I love this! I went to our Stake Women's Conference this weekend, and attended two parenting conferences. They both talked about how when a child misbehaves that one of the best things to do is to show them an increase in love. The other thing is to look at a weakness and see how it could be a strength, and just channel it that way. You're an amazing, Mom!!

Cassidy and Daniel Stephens said...

I loved hearing your thoughts Makana. It seems we all need more love in our lives especially or little ones. Thank you for the reminder to love more and to pray about it and then to listen. Your amazing. Love you

Marcia Hansen said...

I agree it all boils down to love. Wonderful thoughts. Beautifully written. Love the picture of the two of them. That's exactly how I picture them. Keo jumping Jaed making her giggle uncontrollably.

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