Sheryl and I have been working a lot with Kinsey recently on her behavior. She is at a stage right now (it seems permanent sometimes) where she will throw this little attitude around and disobey, or pretend she doesn't hear us, or even lie directly to us when we ask her what it was we asked her to do.
And it makes me so angry.
I'm not sure why. I know that she's only 6. That she's feeling out her little areas of defiance and such things. And that for the next 14 years or so, she's going to be testing me and Sheryl to see what we'll let her get away with. Sometimes I wonder if I get so angry because I have a lot of my second dad in me. I have two dads: my bio-dad and my mom's current husband, also confusingly known as "Dad'. I doubt that I've ever talked about them here on the blog. I don't presume to that much because whether it seems like it or not, I don't talk about every aspect of my life here on the blog. I rarely talk about work as well.
At any rate, Dad was a pretty stern disciplinarian. It was his way or the highway, almost literally. My mom had a say in that too, but I always looked at her as the safety net. Dad had very high expectations for how we were supposed to act and behave and complete the tasks he set out for us. And if we didn't, there were consequences for that. It wasn't that he didn't love us. He did, there's no question of that. He simply had high expectations about our behavior.
Where I wonder if I have a lot of my Dad in my parenting. I wonder if I have too high of expectations for Kinsey and when she doesn't meet them, I get angry and frustrated. I try to control that, but Sheryl has said that I can look furious when Kinsey does the things that she can do.
I don't want Kinsey to be scared of me. I don't want to frighten her, so I'm trying to work on my anger. I want her to respect and love me, and from those, to decide to behave as Sheryl and I expect her to. Kinsey is a sweet and beautiful little girl, who is also 6 years old. Which means that she can be snotty and a drama queen. She also has a little brother, which means that she's not the only child she was for five years.
It's a complex time and it's only sure to get more complex, but I love that little girl so much and I tell her that a lot of the time. Mostly it's for her, but sometimes I wonder if I'm telling it to myself as well, so that I don't forget it too.
Addendum: I just want to be clear that I understand that the majority of this is my issue. Kids are kids and every kid is different. I realize that I have to get over myself, and while still having great expectations for Kinsey, understanding behavior is one of those "baby steps" things, and rarely the lightbulb going off-epiphany things.