Saturday, June 11, 2011

One Week

It has been one hell of a week.

Liam finished kindergarten.
Summer vacation started and we're all trying to adjust to the new schedule.
Scot and I got to have a dinner out. (woohoo!)
Jamie is working on molars something fierce.
I had Hen Night with friends.
Liam tested for his green belt in Tae Kwon-Do. (A separate post on that is coming.)
Liam got grounded for the first time in his life.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Liam got grounded.

The sweet, loving little boy I once knew has turned into a cesspit of sass and attitude.  He fights me over absolutely everything, from getting dressed to brushing his teeth to what game we're going to play.  Nothing is easy.  Almost every word that comes out of his mouth is flavored with a large measure of sass.  He's rude for the sake of being rude.  I feel like a total failure; I feel like I'm raising a brat.

We've tried talking to him.  We've tried lecturing him.  We've tried cajoling him.  We've taken toys away.  All of these tactics have worked in the past with him.  They don't work anymore.  He listens to us, he says "Ok, Mommy and Daddy," and then he turns right around and repeats bad behavior.  It is maddening.

One day this week, he was over playing at the neighbor's house.  I went over to bring him home because I needed to go pick up Jamie at daycare.  Liam gave me the usual 'tude, I told him I didn't care what he wanted, it was time to come home.

And he tried to kick me.

Well, he got hauled home while I berated his behavior the whole way and then he got grounded for a week.

What a trying week it has been.  He has continued to be nasty and rude to me when I'm only trying to help him and when I haul him up short on his attitude he turns on the tears for sympathy.  I look at him and say "You won't gain my sympathy with your tears.  It was YOUR choice to act as you have been and if you don't want to feel what you're feeling right now, don't make those choices again."  I'm not proud of this, but I've been wielding guilt and disappointment like a club.  It seems to be the only thing that will get through to him.

We're nearing the end of his week of being grounded.  He beginning to improve but it is a constant battle with him.  I hesitate to say it for fear of jinxing it, but today has been a lot better than the last few.  I pray it continues.

I love him so much but I hate the way he's treating us these days.  I feel like these boundaries were set years ago and I don't understand why he's testing them again all of the sudden.  I'm assured by other parents that this is not unusual for the age, but man alive, it's hard!  I feel like every word out of my mouth is correction or criticism and what I really want is to be able to use words of love and praise.

I'm praying for a better week this week.

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