Where is my backbone?? Well not literally…I mean it’s behind me somewhere, I’m guessing. Rather I’m talking about my ability, or lack thereof, to be more firm with O when I need to be.
If you’ve been following me for sometime then you know that it took The Boss and me 4 years to have O (and then only 16 more months to have Jake). Both of our children are truly miracles so I don’t know if this plays into how I’m feeling. Up until recently O has just been a perfect angel. Well, at least in her Daddy’s eyes. Yes, I did say, “recently”. You see, it seems she’s hit what some call the, Terrible Two’s. I don’t think anywhere near as bad as some 2 year olds but there’s still hope, she’s only 2 ½. She is such a sweet, loving, and caring little girl. She will literally walk up to strange children at the mall and try and hold their hand. She’ll sit next to you and rub your arm as she sucks her thumb. She’s just terribly sweet!
Except when she’s not.
Lately, she’s been pretty aggressive and physical with Jake and not in a sweet way either. She’s pushed him down, thrown things at him, bit him, and hit him with toys. It’s not cool. Jake is just 15 months old and while he is a big boy she’s still much bigger than him right now. Of course that will change in a short while but for now I need to figure something out.
The Boss seems to be able to be more firm when it comes to reprimanding her. I have more of the “well she’s only 2 years old” attitude. However, I can appreciate how being firm with her is a necessity in many instances. I do realize that going easy on her now will only make it easier for her to walk all over me in the future. Don’t get me wrong. I have raised my voice quite a few times and been very stern with her. For the most part though I just have trouble following through on punishment. When we’re talking punishment I mean timeouts, taking things away, or closing her bedroom door at night when she’s too loud (she likes sleeping with the door open).
So why am I a big wuss? I don’t know! Is it that she’s my little girl? My first born? That it took us 4 years to have her? I just don’t like to see her upset. It’s like I’m rooting for her not to screw up so she won’t get in trouble.
The Boss: Olivia if you do that one more time!
Me: Come on Olivia, please listen to Mommy, you don’t want to go in timeout!
O: Does it again
The Boss: Puts her in timeout
I know that being more firm and following through on cause and effect with her will go a long way. I also know that at her age she’s testing her boundaries with us. Now’s the time I need to buckle down and suck it up. I know I’ll only be benefiting her by doing so, even if it doesn’t feel right at the time. I know she’ll grow up to respect me more if I am more firm. Plus, it’s important that The Boss and I are on the same page when it comes to parenting.
I’m realizing as a Dad, and as a Dad to O and Jake that I need to be aware of my actions and responses to these types of situations. I’m also realizing that sometimes I have to do things I don’t like to do to get the outcome I need to have as a responsible parent. Maybe tomorrow O will wake up and realize that she’s never going to do anything wrong ever again. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and realize I need to mentor her even in times when it’s not comfortable. I’m guessing the latter of those two will happen. As her Dad it’s my responsibility to mentor her. Mentoring comes in different forms and applied the right way will yield a beautiful, mature adult who has respect. To not follow through on my part as a Dad and a parent would ultimately rob her of any ability to respect others. Sometimes what doesn’t feel right today is exactly what’s needed to feel right tomorrow.