About six months ago things came to a head between Big A and I when I got sick of the disrespectful way she would always order me around and ignore me completely when I asked her to stop doing something (dangerous, inappropriate, annoying, etc). I was fuming on a regular basis because of her yelling at me, "Hungry!", or "I want something to eat." I finally had to resort to taking a toy away from her for a day each time she asked me to do something without saying please and thank you and being polite. Eventually it worked and she started saying her please and thank yous without having to be reminded every time and would start her sentences with, "May I please have...". Unfortunately, we are back to square one with this. Once again she is rudely ordering me around, rarely saying please or thank you and completely ignoring me when I ask her to do something or stop doing something.
I have realized that I am not more motivated to be patient with her because she basically makes me so bloody angry. This isn't an excuse, rather an explanation for why I don't feel more charitable towards her a lot of the time. You know those dreams you have where you are trying to get somewhere but you can't? Well, that's how I feel most mornings because of all her antics. And when you put that together with her rudeness, lack of respect and refusal to listen or cooperate with me, it makes it difficult for me to remain patient and smiling.
I fellow classmate from school suggested that when Big A starts having a tantrum, that I ask her to take some deep breaths and even get down on the floor with her and do them together. She said it works with her kids. I tried this a few times and she refused to do it so it was not successful. Last week I was reading an article in the paper about a study showing that kids who are cuddled by their caregivers the most when they are small, grow up to be better adjusted adults with higher self-esteem. I used to cuddle Big A all the time when she was little and I cuddle Little A a lot, but as Big A gets bigger, I seem to cuddle her less. This got me thinking...I wondered what her reaction would be if when she starts acting up, I smother her with hugs and kisses and tell her I love her? While this is the opposite of what I FEEL like doing when she is acting up, I tried it this morning and twice, it diffused tantrums she was about to start. Wow! I'm sure it won't work everytime, nothing does. But even if it works sometimes, I'll take that!