Over stimulation + excessive excess + constant sugar + festivities + distracted parents = MONSTER KIDS
While I admit that 99.99% of the time, my kids are sweet and 95% of the time they are well-behaved, they are certainly testing their boundaries lately!
Fortunately, I have a wealth of childhood development knowledge (well, I'm sure how much knowledge I have, but I sure put a lot of wealth into it) and know how appropriate it is for my kids to test the waters. I also know how crucial it is to give them clear boundaries.
So yesterday, when Hazel and I were spending time with my father-in-law, she attempted to give me a sassy attitude. She was right on, my first impulse was to put on a"ever-so-sweet-and-mild-natured" hat in front of my father-in-law. That impulse lasted .2 seconds and I immediately addressed her behavior. I seriously doubt my firm reaction surprised him ;)
Correcting her IN FRONT of her beloved PapPap embarrassed her which caused her to act out again (a classic "NO I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE!"), which led to a time-out, which led to a crying maniac standing on the steps to the basement (the light was on and the door to me was cracked...since basements are creepy...hey, she chose the location, I just had to use it while minimizing the basement-creepy factors).
Like most tantrums, this one quickly ended with hugs and "I love you even when you're mad at me".
The weekend also included some parent-free time where it sounds like my children BOTH decided to test the waters with their Grandparents at a restaurant (see above pic. Their Grammy is a child whisperer and though she will hate that I posted this cell phone pic, I LOVE what it is showing... my wild kids about to find out that Grammy can set limits too!).
Such important life lessons. While I don't like to upset my kids, I'd surely much rather take away a shopping trip with Daddy (their consequence from their parents in response to their behavior at the restaurant) then to see their civil rights revoked when the feel the need to test limits in adulthood.
Yes, I will raise responsible, polite citizens. Yes, sometimes they will yell "I HATE YOU" and I will simply smile at my husband knowing that we're doing something right (my canned response to that is "I will always love you"... I don't change my sentence or the sincerity behind it until their personal attack ends. And now we're back to the Love & Logic philosophies I shared previously.)
This parenthood thing is hard! Which part do you find most challenging (at this phase in your life)?