I've known for a while that my kids are not the least bit scared of me. Sure, Little A cries if I yell, but she cries if Big A yells or anyone else for that matter too. Big A, in particular, has no fear of me nor, as I've complained before, does she have any respect for me. And I take full responsibility for that. I simply suck at discipline. Adam is much better than I am, which is probably why Big A prefers him. I end up negotiating and then usually being manipulated, which means that I am also not consistent with my threats and repercussions. I try...really hard, but what I've recently realized is that I'm scared of my kids. I end up doing whatever it takes to avoid tantrums and defiance from Big A and screaming fits from Little A. In my defense, this is partially because I am alone with them in the mornings and there is a limited amount of time that I have to wait out or ignore bad behaviour. Sometimes I simply have to get the ball rolling somehow...anyhow possible!
But it's really getting out-of-hand. Little A screams until she gets what she wants ALL THE TIME and Big A, although she is having fewer tantrums now, talks back and constantly defies me. When I ask her to stop doing something she completely ignores me, and usually just laughs in my face. She also is disrespectful and rude. For example, this morning she wanted cereal, an omelet AND toast for breakfast. So I started making everything and I asked her if she wanted to eat her cereal first while the toast and omelet were cooking. She said she did, so I brought a bowl of cereal and milk to her in the living room while she was watching her Angelina Ballerina DVD. "I want lots of cereal, give me more cereal mommy", she yelled. I explained that I was making her a big breakfast and if she finished everything, she could have more cereal. She replied with, "No, I'm not eating anything until you bring me more cereal, bring me more cereal NOW." I did stand my ground and refused, and sure enough, she did not want more cereal once she had finished her whole breakfast. But her rudeness left me frustrated and upset and this is how she talks to me all the time now. She constantly tells me that I'm not the boss and when I ask her to do something, for example, "Please clean up the mess," she will shout, "No, YOU clean up the mess!"
Little A has also started biting and pinching kids at daycare, after being well behaved for the first few weeks. I feel terrible about this and don't know what to do. The teachers said they think she will get bored of it after a while but, again, I don't understand where this behaviour comes from. We certainly didn't teach it to her!
I'm feeling so ineffective and desperate that I am, once again, considering getting outside help to assist me in improving my parenting skills. Why do I suck at this? I just want to run into the street most mornings and yell, "Somebody help me please, tell me what to do!!!" I went to the Supernanny website again to see if I could get Jo Frost to come and do an intervention, but the show is still not in Canada, only in the U.S. and Britain. Hmm, maybe we can move in with some of my American relatives for a few weeks and pretend that's where we live...