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My Children are the Bully and the Terrorist

It’s conflicting to be a parent. They are of me but not mine. I need to be open and honest for them to trust me. But I need to keep a safe distance when they have to work out who they are because sometimes, that work is at my expense. Frankly, my children will bully me to get their needs met. They’ll be disrespectful but only to me. It’s business, not personal. They’re working themselves out and I’ve got the bruises to prove it.

My son’s a bully when he wants more screen time or when he needs food because he’s suddenly starving. And my daughter is a terrorist. It may be emotional terrorism but its exhausting just the same. I wrote about suffering from post traumatic toddler disorder here. She actually cries at me when she has a need. It can be manipulative and it’s part of her survival arsenal.

For me, there’s such a fine balance between being available for them constantly and being vulnerable to burn out. Unless my children are physically not in the house with me, I am never off duty. And they are very entitled to have their needs met. I do draw a line when their needs are encroaching on my needs. But even Miss Sassafras still busts in the bathroom while I’m on the potty despite my protests.

Last week I made a new “chores, expectations, and rewards” chart for my son. The holidays had him spoiled with the amount of screen time he was getting. And without boundaries, he had begun to come at me, pestering me and continually asking me for more time like a true junkie until he hoped I relented.

These new boundaries are now on paper and not up to me. He has an allotted amount of time and if he runs over, it eats into the next play time. He can earn more time by additional chores. But currently the only option for more screen time is raking and he hates that.My Children are the bully and the terrorist on Shalavee.com

Dinner prep in the kitchen is often the worst time for me to be bullied and terrorized. My son, after unplugging, suddenly found himself excruciatingly hungry and badgered me so badly that he was banned from the kitchen. And the rest of the night, my husband had to do negotiations to get my son to apologize to me. Fiona has been known to come at me while my hands are covered with dinner prep badgering me for fruit roll-ups and then crying at me when I deny her. Hunger can make people do crazy mean things.

I understand our collective humanity and how our inner toddlers have needs that they need fulfilled right freaking now. It is survival in process. But I also know that I am the last boundary standing between them and those needs sometimes. I try very hard to not take their disrespect personally but I would do myself and them an injustice if I didn’t stand my ground on what methods are acceptable to get your needs met. The battle will continue I fear but hopefully, in the end, I’ll win the war of raising nice children.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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The Gift of Empowerment

The sound of my whining children is like a mosquito circling my head. But instead of swatting the bug/child, I realize that they always think that they are never going to get their way, get their needs met, or be able to negotiate for themselves. Just as you have to tell them that all movies are make-believe and any movie I allow them to see will always end well, you have to tell them they are allowed to ask for their needs to be met. They don’t know they’re entitled yet to positively ask for what they need. They don’t know their entitlement to empowerment. I have to stop and say,”If you don’t think you want to do that chore now or you’d prefer juice over milk, how about if you say, ‘Hey Mom , can I do that after dinner? or Mom I’d like juice with my dinner instead of milk, is that OK?’ ” And I have them repeat it back to me in that mental voice. Fiona on Shalavee.com

Somehow I am running a dictatorship that I didn’t realize I was running. And I’d rather have them try to reason for what they want than bully me or whine at me yet they just don’t know that’s allowed. Hard to believe that our liberal egalitarian selves have yet to raise insta-empowered children but there you have it.They need to be taught their entitlement to choices and boundaries.

There are no givens in life and it certainly ain’t fair but there is plenty of reasoning if we allow for it. I’d rather raise a child who would stand up for themselves in a reasonable fashion I could respect then a back-talker who’s resentful all the time. It’s just seems I’m on an upward hill to climb to show them empowerment without whining or sass. But the one guarantee I can make is that I will model this behavior of standing up by not allowing them to be disrespectful to me. Lead by that example as I’d wished I’d learned sooner.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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Trust Fund Addition Mission

I went on a goodwill mission today and took my son to the movies. He’s moving into that tween zone of growing up. He’s pushing his boundaries out, sometimes even bullying me to get what he wants, much like his little toddler sister. And funds are pretty much depleted in our trust fund.

It was four years ago I made mention of this concept in a post called Trust Deposits. Remember the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People? One of the concepts I culled from that book was about the trust accounts you build between you and the people you are in relationships with. Your children and your spouses as well as your coworkers or your neighbors. You pay into the account with kindness and good will so that when your relationship takes a bump, you can draw from the surplus between you without effecting the relationship. Trust Fund Deposit on Shalavee.com

Seems my son and I are going through another phase where I’m trying to be kind but am feeling agitated. My son isn’t recognizing these deposits are necessary. And I’m beginning to not feel great about us. It happens. So today I took him to the movies trying to fatten up the trust fund. We ate at Subway and then saw Zootopia at the movies. It was nice and more of that kinda thing will need to happen in upcoming years to keep plugging the holes where my trust has leaked out with his ignoring me moments. But I’d rather try to continue to build good will than keep feeling mad and frustrated, wouldn’t you?

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Belief

Belief is the word of the week, of the season. Wrapping up the year, this concept means the most to me now. And so I will start and end on what the word belief has meant to me recently in hopes that I can both make sense and find closure in the way I see things to be now.

I believe in the wonder and joy of the spirit of Christmas. That the generosity and kindness of man and womankind can rise us above our basic tendencies of smallness to bring about great moments of small humanity. That is what Christmas is to me. But to a child, the season is Santa. And the wonder and miraculousness of his visits is a gift every child should be able to enjoy until it’s time to move upwards. Eamon and Santa from 2007 on Shalavee.com

I had the tragic privilege of robbing my eldest of his belief in this magic a couple of weeks ago. He kept asking me and asking me, was Santa real? And finally, when he said he was going to make an addendum to his Santa list when I’d already shopped, I told him…

He cried the biggest crocodile tears for the longest time. And as I watched the big beautiful bubble of belief disappear after several boughts of tears and no no nos, I doubted my decision to have done this but alas, I could never take it back, could I ? He declared he’d prove me wrong. I certainly hope he does. And then I told him to talk to his Dad about the tooth fairy.Fiona on the green on Shalavee.com

We believe what suits us don’t we? If our beliefs perpetuate a certain end or means to that end we can’t comprehend being without, we’re tethered then to our beliefs. We’re invested. We’re living in our belief suit. Until someone rips it off of us.

I found my esteem feeling quite naked after a recent incident robbed me of my self-belief. I was left wondering if I was in fact a talented designer. If I was worthy of the accolades I’ve ever received. If the inkling I keep having that maybe I don’t suck was true. Comes down to what I really believe is the truth.  love yourself on Shalavee.com

I believe that I have a light that shines brightly. That that light is different. And that it’s meant to keep shining so that others can benefit from the hope that it brings. Because when they’re ready, anyone can join with me in the belief that their creativity and voice can make a difference. I believe my belief affects other people’s beliefs. And that is nonnegotiable.

I make happen what I believe possible. So that is what I am going to focus on. Shifting my possibilities to believabilities. And relying a little less on what I think might be the awful truth and more on what I know to be true. I’ve got talent in spades. I just need to figure out where I’ll be appreciated and believed in and mirrored back safely. Christmas tree on Shalavee.com

Merry Christmas to you all. May the magic of Christmas renew your belief in yourself and in humanity. I’m taking a holiday hiatus and will return in a week. Love to each and every one of you my dear dear readers.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

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The Value and Truth About Choices

I got to thinking about our human tendency to not want to be told what to do. Those who trust in their lives and make choices easily were lucky enough to have their caregivers make the right choices for them. So that they were then able to make the right choices for themselves.

The two year-old refuses to do what I ask. She has no self-control and she’s frightened of that. She needs my control, wants me to prove she’s worth it. Even if she doesn’t seem to be scared, she is still a wild beast in need of help taming herself. She needs my commands to be unquestionable. Some are sometimes negotiable but in the end, the adults are always driving. She is always a little better when she comes out of the Thinking Chair.

Fiona's ink on the value and truth about choices on shalavee.com

The ten year-old doesn’t want to eat his breakfast. Or his lunch. Or his dinner. Wants to show he has power over his choices and his body. He pretends he doesn’t hear you. He seems lazy, making bad choices. He still wants/needs me to make it clear that there are no other choices. Because once he just accepts life’s necessities, he can get on to the more important choices he needs to make about his happiness and success and love. He is still hoping he means enough to me for me to reprimand him.

Fiona looking it up on the value and truth about choices on shalavee.com

The teen, the one who doesn’t have a parent in his face continuing to create boundaries for him? He’s now sure he’s not worth it. He makes his contrary choices just to see what authorities will do. To see if they can disprove what he already knows. That he sucks and is still not worth being cared for, taught self-restraint and self-care, being made to believe he matters. He has now become the world’s problem. His dance with questioning authority may eventually be everyone’s problem.

Me and my kids on the vlue and truth about choices on shalavee.com

Now as parents to ourselves, we do have a choice. To take it easy or to go work on it. Refusing to do what we need to do, what we know is right for us, isn’t really a choice though. Our inner child is watching how we treat them. For instance, going to the grocery store lets our inner child know their basic needs are worth caring for.  Ignoring our mental and physical needs to be healthy says we are not worth loving. Sometimes we have to do stuff we don’t like. Like limiting our calorie intake. But we are also smart enough parents to reward ourselves for a job well done. A reward means so much more when it’s earned. We get to choose that too.

Every choice is really easier when we think of a bigger picture of love and care. One that takes care of us, those we love, and then the greater world. When our true choices appear to us, we are happier and clearer people who raise happy clear little people.

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