I am proud to say that we survived the “terrible twos” without incident – we were warned about it, and frankly, it wasn’t that bad. G made it through that milestone with ease. I really wasn’t sure what people were talking about – G was a wonderful toddler. Oft times I thought it should be called the "terrific twos," as she was such a delight. Three came and went as well without any notable behavior issues. My head swelled – I was sure I was the perfect mother to the best behaved child ever.
But then something happened: she turned four. And all hell broke loose.
Almost over night, my sweet, perfect angel has become a defiant, moody, jealous, back-talking little girl that barely resembles the sweetie I once knew. I miss my little girl – and I want her back.
Some days I feel like she’s always in trouble. I don’t like yelling, but lately, I yell. A lot. Really loud. And I don’t like myself for it, but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve tried reasoning with her, restricting privileges, offering positive reinforcement, and even sending her to the “dreaded naughty bench”. Nothing fazes her – the naughty behavior continues as she proclaims that I’m the worst mommy ever. And I certainly cannot love her.
I can handle when she says mean things to me, but it breaks my heart when she is mean to others. Lately, she has been horrible to her little sister – a sister who idolizes her, and offers hugs and kisses even as G is treating her badly. Last night, G asked for a bedtime story about a little girl named Bryn who fell into the ocean and died. Does she really want her sister to die? I almost cried.
I do love her, and I want her to feel loved. But I also need to teach her to behave and to be kind. Obviously I’m doing something wrong, because we’re having serious issues and I don’t know what to do. April is a long time to wait for the "fabulous fives".