Last week I had a Mommy Meltdown. It was Tuesday. I wrote about it briefly. But I definitely had Cryfest 2010 on the phone with my mom. Parker had some really bad mornings with the Nanny and some bad evenings with me. His lack of listening has been stressing me out and it was a breaking point last Tuesday. We started a sticker chart on the calender last Wednesday. He has the opportunity of 2 stickers everyday. One given by his Nanny in the morning, and the other by me in the evening. Although there is no am/pm divide on Saturday, he has the opportunity to get stickers too. Sunday is his free day. Great behavior means a bonus sticker that will make up for any days that were lacking stickers. I explained it to him on either Tuesday or Wednesday. He loved the idea and since then, I have my normal not overly whiny articulate little boy back. On his weekly report card he had all smiley faces for behavior, 2 S's (satisfactory work) on Monday and Tuesday and 3 E's (excellent work) for Wednesday through Friday. Something clicked back to normal. This happens, and it does with every child, but it is so frustrating. Suddenly you don't have your child anymore....they have been replaced with one that looks like yours but screeches in alien tones and speaks an unfamiliar language. You feel like you are going crazy wondering why they are acting so effing weird! And then, like that....in the blink of an eye....they are back. It is such a drastic change in such a small amount of time that it makes you wonder, was it you or me?
I know I talk about this almost every other post I write...wondering how much of Parker's misbehavior is him or a reaction to me and my emotions. While I know that I am separate from him and that he has his own mind and ability to make decisions, I am starting to understand that I can not take his behaviors personally. This is going to be a difficult concept to grasp, but according to veteran moms, necessary to survive the teenage years.....I may as well start practicing now. The next parenting challenge that I am forced to accept is knowing that his behavior is not a reflection on my parenting and mothering but a choice that he is making. Teach him to make good decisions and then hoping that he remembers what I have taught him. Luckily for now, stickers and a special treat after getting 12 stickers in 7 days is enough motivation for him to remember the lessons learned at home. We shall see how long the sticker remain shiny to him. (Wouldn't that be awesome if it lasted forever!!!!!! I know, I know....unrealistic fantastical thinking.....)