My Strong Willed One

It should come as no surprise to anyone that my child is strong-willed. I mean, I an independent woman who has always had her own mind and own will. I am quite sure I was strong-willed as a child. But being one and raising one are two different animals.

She will be 3 in April and has already tested me.  Sure she has kicked and screamed and thrown fits as any normal toddler would do. But then they progressed. I could see the anger in her eyes and the frustration at how to deal with it.  It began with tearing paper and stickers. It progressed to ripping whatever upset her.  Then came the head butting.  And then yesterday at school she hit, screamed and knocked over chairs.

When I saw it on her report I was mortified. Then I was angry that no one said a word to me.  I called the school and got the her teacher was already gone for the day and she would talk to me tomorrow.  Well too bad I rarely see her actual teacher since she an early drop off and later pick up kid.  (Bring on the mom guilt).

I talked to my child about it.  From what I can tell it started with a toy.  Doesn't it always?  And then someone saying she couldn't play with them.  (At 2).  And then came the anger.

I texted my husband as I watched E at dance and told him we were calling in help. I have scheduled a session with a play therapist.  I know she just does not know how to handle anger, sadness or frustration. But its hurts.

I have failed her.  I have not shown her how to do it.  She has seen me lose my cool, watched her father get too upset. We have yelled, used unkind words.  Sure, we always apologize, but it has stuck.

I know I do not spend enough quality time with her.  Its hard with two working parents.  We get about 1 1/2 hours after school and I have to cram in dinner and a bath.  Throw is any other after work activities and its practically tomorrow.

Weekends are worse. I am tired. I want to sleep in, I need to. But there we are again up at 6:30 and ready to go.  I should play more, get on the floor and play but sometimes I just need to unwind.

Yes we limit her screen time.  She gets TV in the morning when  I get ready and maybe one episode at night if she is good. But maybe its to much.  Maybe I give in too much.  Maybe I say yes too much.  Perhaps its the opposite. I say no too much. I am too harsh too strict.

The only thing I do know is that I love her.  I will do whatever I can to make sure she grows up healthy and as well-adjusted as can be.