I am not a mommy blogger, but I have children. Hell, I have a grandchild and another on the way. So, occasionally, I might write about that.
During our holiday break I found that I was unhappy with the pattern of battling with my child for control. I, the shouting, arm-waving mother, wanted off that ride. I have no chance of directly changing how my child feels about things, but I can change how I react. I told him, “I have resolved not to get mad anymore. Instead, I’m just going to do what I need to do to solve my problem. I’ll not argue with you or negotiate anymore.”
Certain scenarios have therefore changed. If, when it’s time to turn off the XBox, or the TV, or what have you, he refuses, I walk over and turn it off. I have found it does not destroy anything meaningful if he loses his progress in a game or misses the end of some noxious Disney sitcom because he refused the first (and only, hopefully) request to do so.
If he refuses to help with household chores because he is surfing the internet on his laptop, I go online and block his IP address from our router.
If he doesn’t fold and put away his laundry and instead hides it all mashed in a basket, then I take the laundry away.
If he tracks in stickers after being specifically asked not to, they will be redeposited on his bath mat.
Have I created an angelic child? Not yet. But I am amazed at how much less stress I am feeling now that I am preventing my own engagement in the argument. I feel like I can be more loving and present when I am not saturated in my anger and resentment over the constant battle. I can remember why I like him, and I can take back the power that should have been mine all along.
Of course, it’s only January.