Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spoiled but easy

I was always the first one to roll my eyes (internally, of course) when at the mall, seeing a child start to kick off and watch as his/her parent would scramble to quiet them (eye rolling would be far less internal if the parent in question actually did nothing to shut their kid up).

Often that scramble involved capitulating to the demands of some type of toy, candy, whatever. And I would shake my head and just think, well, that's why they're screaming, genius. You giving them what they want is only teaching them to scream for what they want next time.

Oh, it is so easy to be pious and judgemental when you don't have a screaming, whiny kid of your own...

Fast forward a few years - and here I am. On the brink of the "terrible two's" and capitulating to Miss M's demands far more than I'd like to admit.

Although, here I am, admitting it to my own little self-help group of the blogosphere...

In actual fact, I'm the "bad cop" in our family. Seth - well, he gives her pretty much anything she wants the minute she starts to ask for it. Me? I'm only about 50/50.

Regardless - I fully blame us, not her, for the little demanding monster she is becoming. Instead of asking for a drink like a normal human being (which, at the age of 22 months, she is more than capable of doing), she SCREAMS and starts CRYING as she asks for it. We're like, dude? Relax. We'll get you effing juice.

Sidebar - I know I talked about us going cold turkey on the juice offering at home - and well, this is a post about spineless parenting, okay? I know I (we) need some work.

So yeah - the full one tantrum before she's even asked for something. Before we've even had a CHANCE to say no?

Lame. And unacceptable. And no way in hell am I living the next 18 years like this.

And I get that she's still young. That she's in a very egocentric stage, because that is where her brain is. I get it.

However I also think that we take the easy road much more often that perhaps we should. That we aren't teaching her that sometimes it's okay to be disappointed, and that people are going to say no, and that them's the rules.

Other bad habits (besides the evil juice habit) that I fully blame us for?
  • Watching tv while eating dinner. Like a zombie. Oh I hate this so much.
  • Screaming 99% of the time we go to leave the park. Like on the ground, full-on tantrum, screaming. Carrying her fireman-style out of the park while other parents try not to stare (but you know they totally are and being thankful that they are not you at that moment in time).
  • Demanding tv shows that she wants to watch (a lot). So yes, the amount of tv we let her watch bothers me. And the fact that we've taught her (through the technology of PVR) that she can get Dora or Elmo or Loonette just by asking (read: demanding) it, is beyond irritating. Instant gratification and 2 years old are a bad combo to introduce.
  • Refusing to drink milk. At all. Ever.
So yeah - the road to a spoiled kid is an easy one. Without much headaches. Makes life a lot more enjoyable than a screaming toddler.

But I recognize it's getting out of control and we need to take steps to reign it in a bit.

Poor Maddie - her life is about to change a bit...


PS - this wasn't meant to be a post about how whiny my kid is. Or how shitty of a mother I am. I know I'm a good parent. And she's an awesome, sweet, lovely, little girl. It was more of an observation of what I know I can do better.


Vone said...

Sounds like you have a normal kid. Lilo still whines when she asks for almost everything - so annoying, she totally knows better. She also watches too much tv, I'm working on it, like she has to ask before she turns it on.
The park thing we got over - I give them a 5 min warning that we're leaving and it usually works, but that might take time.
Have fun and don't worry your kid isn't any more of a brat then any other, expect those weird perfect quiet kids (not sure how those are made)

Carly said...

Meh -- you've got time.

Time to mess her up a bit, and fix things. ;)

Also, kids' memories don't start until they're 3+. So you have a whole year to break these and she'll never remember!