Ever feel like you are in some not fun game that involves tail chasing and head banging?
At our house, we are currently there as we have a child who is not getting enough sleep, is keeping the other child up at night, and then is a complete wreck the next day. I think a lot of it stems from this child's reaction to change ie she does not process change well. (And we have had nothing in our lives be normal since the begining of May.) For her, it especially seems to interrupt her normal sleep patterns. thankfully, we are not back to the multiple nighttime wakings. We are instead on to staying up until crazy hours. So we stay up late, get up at our regular time, and then are a disaster the next day. An over tired girl means a crazy disobedient girl. And for her, part of the problem is that she is not easily motivated by external stimuli. She will only change her behavior once she decides that the behavior is worth changing. Whether we are talking about staying in bed and going to sleep or obeying during the daytime hours, once she gets in a behavior rut, it can be difficult to get her out of that rut. You often feel like whatever consequence you give is insignificant and that it wouldn't matter how harsh the consequence was, no matter how much you heap on the consequences, there is little change in the behavior. Positive reinforcement works well with her but when she is in the funk, it can be challenging to find positive things to praise her for.
Ohhh, how she can push my buttons!
And I would be the first to admit, I have not been dealing well with it. Too much Angry Mama. It is so easy to feel justified in your anger as a mom. Too easy to think "If she would just do x, then I wouldn't be angry." Too easy to think "I try so hard to be calm and patient but after three or four times, an angry response is okay." I don't expect perfection from myself. I just don't want to choose the easy way to love. I was reminded of that when I read this blog post from A Holy Experience. In a conversation with her father, the writer hears her father share about a friend and that conversation reminds her of just how important it is to do the hard things, to love in a way that is not necessarily easy.