Oh… my… gawd! My daughter has been testing me lately. I wonder what went wrong with us. She’s 6 1/2 year old and not minding me so much. I noticed that she’s doing it more to me than to her dad. What happened to my sweet girl? My buddy, my silly goose, my Davi?
I hate yelling at her. Hate it… hate it… hate it! Makes me feel like the worsted mother on Earth. But she just won’t listen. Wait… I take that back. She chose not to. I know she can hear me. But for some reason, the words that coming out from my mouth was just not registering in her head. It’s like an empty bubbly air, like in a cartoon, you know. Bla bla bla come out from my mouth… entered her left ear… and come out from the right ear. I had to repeat what I said twice, three times, and finally the fourth time, it’d be like, “DAVI!!! DID YOU NOT HEAR WHAT I SAID?!”
Then she’d cry… and sad… and act like she’s sacred of me. Or maybe she was really scared. That hurt me. I don’t want my daughter to be afraid of me. I don’t want to be this monster mom whose mean to her kids. Later on, she confided to her dad, “Why’s mom so grumpy to melately?” Hubby explained to her that when she’s not minding us, that makes us upset (or ‘grumpy’, as she put it).
The next night, I talked to Davi heart-to-heart, mom-to-daughter-type of discussion. I apologized to her that I’ve been grumpy lately. I asked her if she’d know the reason why.
Davi (playing with her stuffed animal): “No.”
Me (holding her chin up so she’d look at me): “Please stop playing with Nala and listen to me, please.”
Me: “I am tired of yelling at you. Aren’t you?”
Me: “How does that make you feel?”
Me: “Me too. But do you know why I got mad at you?”
Davi (her big brown eyes lit up): “No.”
Me: “Because you didn’t do what I asked you to do, honey. That’s naughty. Maybe you didn’t hear me very well, but I asked you again and again. Instead of doing what you’ve told to, you chose to play with your toys instead.”
Intrigued, I went to the library when waiting for my son’s gymnastic class. I found Your Six-Year-Old: Loving and Defiant by Louise Bates Ames, PhD *the title is so… convinient* What I learned *surprisingly* is that it’s normal for her to behave like this and man… was I glad!
In summary, she’s at this period of age where she’s experiencing a lot of changes. It’s so overwhelming, it confuses her. This explains the ‘easily cried’ episodes. She’s frustrated and I’m not really helping by yelling at her. I feel bad…
The book closes with an epilogue: “Nobody, but nobody, will ever be as much fun or as much trouble to you as your lively, lovely, difficult six-year-old”. Very well put.