Nov 18, 2013

Trouble












He always wants to be first.  He wants to get the most or the biggest or the best.  He wants to do everything 'all by himself', no advice please.  "I CAN DO IT!"  He wants to be in charge.  He's getting to the point now where if the others won't follow his lead, he'd rather play alone.  He is confident and strong.  He is funny, charming, and forgiving.  He's a class clown.  He can be very sweet and loving, if he's in the mood.  He can also shoot death rays from his eyes.

I am consistently impressed by how bright he is and how quickly he seems to excel at the things he is interested in, but I'm concerned.

How do you raise your kid to be the self-confident motivated individual that they are- but not a jerk.  How do you teach your kid humility without crushing them?  How do I teach him to listen to others without teaching him his own opinions don't matter?  That's a tough balance for a 6-almost-7-year-old.  That's a tough balance for an adult.  Which idea takes precedent?

Right now Mister appears to believe that he is the center of the universe.  He knows what he wants and he does whatever it takes to get it.  

When one adult says no, he goes and asks another.  When extended family members are around, that's a lot of adults for him to ask.  If we're not watching him he's constantly doing something he's not supposed to do, (lately that's been a real issue when he's taking a shower or brushing his teeth.)  He's not above sneaking around and lying, (he's even lied to his teacher!)  When we won't buy him something he says, "I'll probably just get it from my grandma next time I see her anyway."  When he doesn't get his way he cries and glares and says things like "You're just being mean to me!"  

He has consequences, natural and otherwise, but I have to admit that sometimes in the moment it is hard for me to discern what is reasonable and what is not.  I'm tired and maybe I don't always make good choices.  Regardless, the consequences don't seem to be making much of a difference in his attitude.  Sometimes when we tell him to do something he says, "What's gonna happen if I don't do it?"

I'm hoping this is just a phase.  I tell myself he'll respond well if we model good behavior.  I tell myself it's not horribly mean to tell him that the world does not, in fact, revolve around HIM.  I tell myself he knows I love him and I'm not going to crush him, and that he's a sweet kid and he's not going to grow up to be a jerk.  But it's tough.  I'm simultaneously frustrated by how much work this is and worried I'm not doing enough, or I'm doing something wrong.

Tonight, after all the kids had gone to bed, I stood by his door and watched him sleep.  Sometimes, when I'm worried about one of the kids and I feel myself spinning out of control, I wait until they're asleep and I tell myself: well, they're ok right now.  It's not much, but it's the best I can do.

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