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Being a parent.....

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LifeDestroyer posted 2/11/2020 21:02 PM

Being a parent is effing HARD!!!!!!!

I know pretty much every parent can relate, and to those who can't, well what's your secret?? You would become a bajillionaire if you could teach the rest of us.

Sweet baby Jesus, this is not what I expected being a mom would be like. Granted, I had a skewed vision as a child, but I always pictured motherhood being a walk in the park for me.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE

I also know that what is going on right now is just adding fuel to the fire, but there are so many times when I just want to go stick my head in the sand and post a sign that says "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

It doesn't help that I get the brunt of her disrespect, anger, frustration. She has actually admitted that she acts like that more with me than with her daddy. I know, I have been told it's because she feels more comfortable and relaxed with me which allows her to be more vulnerable.

Leaving school each day with her is a fight on her end. I'm the worst mommy and ruined her day because we had to leave which meant she had to stop playing. Oh well, we have to go home sometime. Then once in the car, it's like she wasn't just throwing a tantrum. Once home she's all lovey dovey and bring silly, to then bite my head off because she can't have anything sugary right before bed. Then back to being silly as we get ready for bed, to yelling because of something random, to then falling asleep with my hair between her fingers. Since a baby, she has always played with my hair. She would twirl it around and touch the ends all over her face. She always fallen asleep to playing with my hair.

How can such a sweet child go from an angel to a (insert any crazy word) back to an angel again each day?

This is our day together each and every day. As frustrating, as much as I want to rip my hair out, as much as I wonder "what the fuck are you talking about", as many times I want to say "holy shit stop with the nonstop questions", I still miss her when I can't put her to sleep and see her all day.

Being a parent is effing HARD!!!!!!!

secondtime posted 2/11/2020 22:23 PM

Do you set expectations up ahead of time?
How do you prep transitions?

My high maintenance kid is almost 8 and still needs help with the above.

But, she's getting better about it. We also enrolled her in martial arts. It has helped a good amount.

Are you bringing sugary things into the house? Stop. That's an easy one. "Oh, I guess fruit snacks didn't make it on my grocery list this week. Let's pick out our book now."

If you need 15 minutes of quiet time, why not ask for it or plan for it into the routine? We usually let the kids have a set amount of chill time after they get home from school as part of the routine.

Sometimes, I need to get work done when I'm at home with my two year old. I set the microwave timer for a set amount of time. "Mommy needs to work now. When the microwave goes ding ding, mommy will close her computer and we'll play." This will buy me 10 minutes when I need it.

Also, make sure you do enough to fill up your well on the days you don't have your kiddo.

ibonnie posted 2/11/2020 23:07 PM

Are you bringing sugary things into the house? Stop. That's an easy one. "Oh, I guess fruit snacks didn't make it on my grocery list this week. Let's pick out our book now."

Alternatively, if you're not anti-sugary treats, just not right before bedtime, what if you offered her one on the car ride home? That's also incentive to leave school/playtime voluntarily, because tantrum = no lollipop/gummy fruit snacks/whatever.

I'm not an anti-sugar mom, but I'd rather my kids have it right after school than after dinner/close to bedtime.

Neanderthal posted 2/12/2020 04:21 AM

I am going to respond here for a couple reasons. In the past you viewed my suggestions or help as me being overly critical. Since you posted on SI in the wayward section, lets let them be our sounding board. It may also be a vent or dose of reality too. IDK

Why did you post this in the Wayward section? Should your statement be:

Being a wayward parent is effing HARD!!!!!!!
Nope it shouldn't have. Do you know who also has a hard time being a parent? Betrayed Spouses!
there are so many times when I just want to go stick my head in the sand and post a sign that says "LEAVE ME ALONE!"
For almost six months you already had your head in the sand. While your father was babysitting and spoiling our daughter, you weren't having any problem leaving school right away to take your AP and his kids home. So why now are you at school late? Is it mainly to placate our daughter? If so, leave as soon as possible everyday. Set the standard, after school playtime is a luxury not an expectation.
It doesn't help that I get the brunt of her disrespect, anger, frustration. She has actually admitted that she acts like that more with me than with her daddy.
But she does act that way with me. Accept I don't tolerate it. Like someone else suggested, I set expectations. "Ok daughter, we are going into walmart now for groceries. You will not be getting a toy, a cookie from the bakery, and a sticker on the way out. Do you understand?" This sucked at first, she threw a couple fits. She got none of those things for a bunch of visits to walmart. After a while she stopped being a childzilla, and after being good, id let her get a sticker on the way out.

Do you know how many times she's thrown a fit about not getting candy before bed with me? Not once, why? because she knows better than to even ask for that at bed time. In fact she rarely asks for candy at all. She'd prefer an apple or banana most days.

Or is this all because she's less comfortable with me to throw a tantrum? I don't understand that logic.

I know, I have been told it's because she feels more comfortable and relaxed with me which allows her to be more vulnerable
When you were originally told this I was immediately angry. Not because I don't believe it to be true, but because of what I knew you would do with that information. "Oh well she is comfortable and open with me, so I guess i'll just allow it. It's just part of being the closer parent......" Bullshit. It means she needs you to be more responsible, more consistent, more MOM than friend. She trusts you to do right by her, so don't let her down.
How can such a sweet child go from an angel to a (insert any crazy word) back to an angel again each day?
Because she is six.

Edit:
I shouldn't have commented. LD I am sorry. SI is your outlet too.

[This message edited by Neanderthal at 9:43 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

leavingorbit posted 2/12/2020 07:09 AM

I used to struggle with being present with my sons a lot. I had expectations of how they would act, how I would be. My husband likes to remind me that expectations are future resentments, and I really feel itís true. Putting those down (a process, not something that happens only once) and really focusing on being present has given me such a better foundation as a parent. I have ENERGY. I can find the positive. ibonnieís approach is what I try for and I agree with secondtime- are you trying to rewrire? Focus on the positive? Are you doing things for yourself to cultivate joy?

Before, I was a workaholic, stressed out, preoccupied with myself, etc etc. Mindfulness has been incredibly important to cultivate in general but I would say this is the most impactful area. My sons deserve positivity and love from me, not preoccupation and stress. Iím not perfect and I get stressed too, still, but itís much easier to identify and redirect now. Mindfulness helps.

T/J, not as an attack or a 2x4 - Neanderthal, your wife is also a betrayed spouse.

Iamtrash posted 2/12/2020 07:25 AM

My kids donít get away with anything, really. (Yeah, sometimes I give more warnings than I should. That has recently changed ) Ultimately, I know Iím a consistent parent. We both are.

Our oldest is 7. Affair or not, he tests every single limit. He did this pre-affair and still does. He will purposely do things he knows he canít or shouldnít do, then frantically begs for a ďwarningĒ when he knows heís in trouble. He knows better and chooses to make poor choices anyway. Itís for sure the age and him testing what he can get away with. I know we need to stay firm and consistent and I am thankful that my BH and I have both managed to be consistent with our expectations for him. We were pre-affair, and it has been super important that we still parent on the same page.

Obviously your child has extra factors playing into account. Any child impacted by an affair does. Thatís all the more reason to be firm and consistent.

fooled13years posted 2/12/2020 07:33 AM

I sort of remember how life was at that age for me.

I have heard people say they wish they were a kid again but I wouldn't want to through those ages, especially puberty, again.

There are so many books written about parenting but, in our case, it comes down to trying each day and then get up to do it again tomorrow.

MrCleanSlate posted 2/12/2020 07:37 AM

I'm not sure if this is a rant about being a parent or perhaps more about mourning loss of your 'life' as you knew it.

I still miss her when I can't put her to sleep and see her all day.

It is hard accepting the new normal. you can't stick your head in the sand though.

Darkness Falls posted 2/12/2020 07:40 AM

My children are horrible lately. All I ever wanted was to be a mom and now Iím starting to hate it.

We had our children several years after my affair so my being a WS has nothing to do with it. My H and I just canít figure out how to parent effectively. He is more lenient and it sets the expectation in their minds that they can get away with whatever, with either of us, even if I try to stand my ground.

There are also two sets of expectations, unfortunately, which I think plays a roleómy older child has a developmental disability which forces us to, on occasion, have different standards for her in a few ways, which my younger child is too young to understand.

Itís a living nightmare and Iím at my wits end. I would never just walk out of my childrenís lives but damned if I donít want to half the time. I just canít believe this is my life.

Justsomelady posted 2/12/2020 07:44 AM

Your post is totally relatable. Itís hard when they test. And Iím sure limit setting is hard when you are worn out from the workday, emotional turmoil, and miss her and your H and all the old home stuff. Just keep on keeping on. Sometimes it can help to read or reread a parenting book to just remind yourself of what you likely already know - and learn new stuff

T/J, not as an attack or a 2x4 - Neanderthal, your wife is also a betrayed spouse.

Yup. I am wondering if you two might not be at the stage for MC. These threads are interweaving and not sure how helpful that actually is.

HellFire posted 2/12/2020 08:33 AM

Ah, yes. I remember this. My son was like this.

Now he is 17. I ask how his day was. "Meh."

He goes to his room,closes his door, and rarely wants to interact with me. He will come out when friends come over,or when he needs something, but never just to hang out with me.

The little boy who couldn't fall asleep without twirling my hair in his fingers, won't even slow me to hug him goodnight.

We were once so close, that when he was learning to write his name, he wrote "Chrismom."( His name is not Chris,but for anonymity, it is in this post)

I ask him,every evening, of he wants to come watch tv with me, knowing he will tell me no. But I still try.

If it's his day to listen to music in my car(I allow both kids to alternate days), and I make the mistake of singing along to one of his songs, he changes to a different song. The song I liked in instantly deleted, because mom's not cool.

Anything I know about his day at school, is because I pulled it out of him, or overhear him on the phone.

I love my son. But I desperately miss my little boy.


I know this doesn't help you. But, one day, you will long for your little girl. Right now she is testing your patience. Some of this is due to being 6. Some is because her entire world has been disrupted. Right now it's hard. In ten years, it will be painful. Cherish these days.

hikingout posted 2/12/2020 09:21 AM

Okay, breathe...

I definitely used to joke about how having kids meant I never had time to have the nervous breakdown that I deserved. So, I get it. You are having a hard time coping with your life and you need for her to cooperate.

How about reframing it as she is teaching you some new skills that you will benefit from learning?

I see that you have been a people pleaser your whole life. ME TOO. Guess what? That people pleasing thing, the kids eat that up and will see you as a door mat. So, it's a good time for you to explore your boundaries.

We put our kid down to bed at 8 or 830. So we had time together in the evening, or so we could unwind and relax. They need the sleep it's good for them. That was a boundary, and while there was a learning curve she had to go through to get there, after a few weeks she did it. Kids will test your boundaries like no other. If they think they can get past it, they will keep trying. You have to defeat that by being consistent with the rule.

The second thing I think she can teach you is to have empathy. Your daughter is still adjusting. Both of her parents are struggling in some ways, and she is feeling that whether she is directly exposed to it or not. It definitely has sounded like in other posts (from both sides) that she hasn't been completely shielded. Her world has changed drastically, and she is not feeling secure. By putting yourself in her shoes, you can meet her where she is. This doesn't mean soothe her with candy or getting her way. It means soothing her by providing the consistency and stability she is actually needing. Kids don't know what they need, their requests are typically exactly the opposite of what will make them feel better.

Lastly, this is a great opportunity to strengthen your coparenting skills. To create consistency for both houses, and to come together as parents and agree how your daughter can best be served. It sounds like that's a point of contention between the two of you, and by resolving it would allow you both to exercises patience, communication, compromise, and understanding.

I know that as WS we don't always have the coping skills to manage all this stuff at once. But,this is an excellent opportunity to practice. You got this, you just need to believe you do and take the steps. You are overwhelmed and that is understandable, but when you get overwhelmed it's a great time for you to take a breath, make a list, and discuss some important things with N. Good luck!

I echo the comments made by Hellfire....you really are going to miss this, so make sure you are there for it now.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:30 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

Lalagirl posted 2/12/2020 09:44 AM

T/J

@Hellfire, you post brought tears to my eyes. I can relate. My girls were possessed by Satan between 14-18 and were the sweetest little girls prior to that time. They wanted zero to do with me during their possessed years. I wanted to share the positive with you - your DS will be back and will be that sweet boy again, but as a man. He will likely be fiercely protective of you as well. My girls are the most awesome young women and mothers...truly. In other words, it's another lovely phase...it'll be over soon ((((Hellfire)))) end T/J

LD - I echo everything HikingOut stated. Six-year-olds are quite the challenge and she'll take whatever she can get. When my youngest DD was 6 (it actually started around age 4), we had a rule when we went into a store... "NO BEGGING" - which we would go over prior to entering the store. However, she normally found a way to throw an epic conniption. Last straw was when she had one of her epic conniptions in the grocery store at age 6. I gently lifted her out of the grocery cart and left - groceries sat in the aisle. She was mortified. "What about our FOOD?" I told her there would be no food until next trip (no I did not starve her but there were no treats for a week). Needless to say she never begged in a store again and at age 31, she remembers that day.

Kids don't know what they need, their requests are typically exactly the opposite of what will make them feel better.

This is SO true!

Parenting at all ages and stages has its challenges, for BSs, WSs, and parents who have never experienced infidelity. There is nothing wrong with expressing your frustration and asking for advice. Goodness knows I wish I had that resource when my girls were growing up!

[This message edited by Lalagirl at 9:45 AM, February 12th (Wednesday)]

hikingout posted 2/12/2020 09:55 AM

Oh and I wanted to reiterate...self care, self care, self care...

We sometimes just don't have it to give to others, and often when we look at why that is it's really because we aren't giving ourselves. Always start back to basics. Good sleep (I pop melatonin as needed), exercise (sounds like you have been doing that and it's been helping!), eating right. Take a long bath on the night N has her. Treat yourself to your favorite chocolate (extra points if it's dark, yeah anti-oxidants!) Yoga, mediation, being mindful and present, those all can help increase the natural joy. We can feel joy in any circumstances if we learn to cultivate it. Easier said than done! But, keep it in your mind.

LifeDestroyer posted 2/12/2020 11:38 AM

Do you set expectations up ahead of time?
How do you prep transitions?

Yes, I tell her how I expect her to behave, how I want her to behave, etc. She gets multiple time warnings of when we are about to leave school. She's a 6 year old, so she has no true concept of time, but she does get multiple warnings (10 minutes left, 5 minutes left, when the clock saysÖ)

Are you bringing sugary things into the house?
She has some pieces of candy that she can only have earlier in the day if she asks for a piece. She really can only have them on days off from school.

If you need 15 minutes of quiet time, why not ask for it or plan for it into the routine?

We usually sit and watch her favorite show Bluey for a little bit before bed. We cuddle on the couch watching it, not moving around so she can start to relax.


Why did you post this in the Wayward section?

Because when I've posted in General before, it was moved to this section. I was then messaged by a mod saying that waywards can only post in this section.

Do you know who also has a hard time being a parent? Betrayed Spouses!

Which is why I didn't say "being a wayward parentÖ" because it's hard for all parents.

For almost six months you already had your head in the sand. While your father was babysitting and spoiling our daughter, you weren't having any problem leaving school right away to take your AP and his kids home. So why now are you at school late? Is it mainly to placate our daughter? If so, leave as soon as possible everyday. Set the standard, after school playtime is a luxury not an expectation.

You are right, I did leave her with my dad. I made that awful decision each time. We stay for about 30 minutes so I can get things done for the next day and talk with the other teachers. She gets angry because I don't stay later.

But she does act that way with me. Accept I don't tolerate it.

I don't sit there and tolerate it either. I tell her that she is being disrespectful. I tell her how she should be behaving. I tell her exactly how it makes me feel when she does those things.


When you were originally told this I was immediately angry. Not because I don't believe it to be true, but because of what I knew you would do with that information. "Oh well she is comfortable and open with me, so I guess i'll just allow it. It's just part of being the closer parent......" Bullshit. It means she needs you to be more responsible, more consistent, more MOM than friend. She trusts you to do right be her, so don't let her down.

That statement they told me, helped me see that I need to be calmer with my reactions to her because of the possible reason she is like that. If she actually does feel more comfortable to let her insecurities out with me, then I need to take that into effect when I'm about to explode out of frustration. I put her in this situation. That doesn't mean that I allow her to act like this though. I am constantly putting a stop to her behavior, it just starts again in a few minutes. You or any other grown-up tells her to stop and she stops because she's afraid to disappoint you. I have even asked her why she listens to you and other adults more than me. She has said "because I don't want them to be mad at me." I then tell her that I would be mad and disappointed too. She then says she doesn't know why she acts differently with me.

I don't feel like much of a friend to her anymore, maybe that's adding to her acting out. She was used to that before, now I actually tell her to stop and say the word "No" to her.

I'm not sure if this is a rant about being a parent or perhaps more about mourning loss of your 'life' as you knew it.

It's both

I am wondering if you two might not be at the stage for MC. These threads are interweaving and not sure how helpful that actually is.

MC will only possibly happen if R is going to happen. I told him that he can comment on any of my threads, and he told me that I could comment on that one thread of his.

But, one day, you will long for your little girl. Right now she is testing your patience. Some of this is due to being 6. Some is because her entire world has been disrupted. Right now it's hard. In ten years, it will be painful. Cherish these days.

I know this will be the case, and I know that I will look back and be so angry with myself for how I felt and dealt with things.

Her world has changed drastically, and she is not feeling secure. By putting yourself in her shoes, you can meet her where she is. This doesn't mean soothe her with candy or getting her way. It means soothing her by providing the consistency and stability she is actually needing.

I have been trying to meet her. As "easy" as it would be for a short time to soothe her with candy, I don't. I sit her down with me and talk. I hug her and try to get both of us to laugh or be silly. I have gotten a hell of a lot better with not letting her get her way, which is causing more struggles with her since that is what she was used to.

HellFire posted 2/12/2020 11:47 AM

I am constantly putting a stop to her behavior, it just starts again in a few minutes

What consequences does she have, when she is acting out? If she stops for a few minutes, then it starts again a few minutes later, the consequences aren't working. You need to make the consequences bad enough, that she won't do it again. At least,not right away.

Justsomelady posted 2/12/2020 11:47 AM

MC will only possibly happen if R is going to happen. I told him that he can comment on any of my threads, and he told me that I could comment on that one thread of his.

Fair enough. Just seems like there is a lot of triggering and it doesnít lead to something constructive when you are in and out of each otherís threads. That is where I was coming from w the MC comment, like a referee to help when so much gets misconstrued and tempers flare at the slightest provocation.

DoinBettr posted 2/12/2020 12:15 PM

I find that any dog training manual can be applied to an early child. Then you go from there as they gain more awareness.
I am told I am an awesome parent. Usually because people will leave their kids at my house and after a few days they seem more grown up, but have fun.
I don't know why it is different.
I find the easiest way to get kids who can talk on your page is to get them to focus on you first. Get down on their level and look them in the eye. Then try to figure out their motivation for how they are acting before initiating the conversation. Little kids are simple and will have point A to B conversations.
She throws a fit. Smile calmly, get down on a knee and ask her what her plan is? She knows we have to go home. If she still insists on throwing a tantrum, then mention that at a set time she loses sugary snack A and then at set time she loses snack B. Then set alarms. When it comes to time, she will complain about not getting the snacks, but you have to say, "Well, I told you what was going to happen. This was your decision." It gives her power over her decisions and consequences for her actions. You have to stick to either side she decides. If she wants to hang out 15 more minutes, that will save you $.50 worth of fruit snacks. If you are in a rush, explain that and offer extra if she speeds up. It becomes a monetary system for your daughter. My son did this, but then he just stopped caring about candy. So now it is time I will play with him in a video game. Linear thinking for them, but you put in a monetary(sugar) reward for compliance to your rules. If she gets angry trying to eat snacks before bed, ask her where her snack from earlier was? If she had held onto it, she could have eaten it now. Mention you can't keep buying all the fruit snacks she wants. You can even bargain for cuddles or talk about those as things you both like. At 8, she probably has some of those emotional blow ups, but adults do those same stupid things every day too.
My griping:
If you want tough. I have 12-15 year old girls on my daughter's sports team who are talking to me about being bi-sexual but not wanting to tell their parents. FYI - I am friends with their parents. Or some of the older girls talking about trying to date guys way older than them(15g 20b). Then giving you the whole "You just don't understand." Teenagers are worse because they know the right answer and how to hide things. Plus their problems are way bigger. Sugar and a tantrum will be like those old days of being upset you had baby pee on you. See things from the future vantage point. When she is older, these tantrums will be a funny story you tell her. Be sure you record at least one of them.
My oldest hates a video I have of her at 7 telling me the world is going to end because the rain means we can't ride a certain ride. I offer her an ice cream cone and she throws it on the ground, stomps on it and cries. You can hear me laughing and she gets madder. She laughs about the video now, but used to try to explain it.

Lalagirl posted 2/12/2020 13:10 PM

Then set alarms

This seriously works.

My DGD (age 3.5) is currently in OT (she has SPD) - setting alarms for her (length of her bath, time watching videos on phone, bedtime ritual, etc.) has been an absolute godsend! It helps her with setting limits and boundaries. Her temper tantrums have lessened and she's being more verbal.

Flawed posted 2/12/2020 13:49 PM

Hi LD - I agree with what HikingOut wrote and wanted to add a few thoughts. Bear in mind I may be projecting a lot because I relate to you.

I relate to you because I grew up in a family where we learned from a very young age not to show or talk about our feelings, especially the "negative" ones of anger, shame, guilt, sadness. My parents tried to "fix" our feelings by talking us out of them, which resulted in me hiding my feelings from them...and led to a life of hiding the unsavory parts of myself from my loved ones to avoid rejection, to control how other perceived me. I guess this is how I developed some codependency/people pleasing tendencies - feeling like my worth and value was tied up in making other people happy...including my kids!

I realized at some point in my journey that I was doing the same thing to my kids - I was trying to please them to keep them happy - to keep them from experiencing these kinds of "negative" emotions that I was taught to avoid. And when they were upset, I would try to make them feel better instead of just validate their feelings. I guess what I realized is that so much of the stress I was feeling as a parent was about me - and not about them. Somewhere along the line I formed the belief that if my kids weren't happy, then I was failing as a parent. That's just wrong on so many levels! They are just being kids, doing what they're supposed to be doing. Why was I trying to avoid upsetting them at my own expense, and at theirs?

I love what HikingOut said about your daughter coaching you because it's so true. Whenever you feel yourself reacting to other people, it's usually a sign of some unfinished business within yourself. So, what is it that makes you want to run and hide in a hole when your daughter is challenging you? What are you telling yourself when your daughter is testing the limits? What is the narrative you have about yourself that is keeping you from re-framing your perspective about your daughter's behavior (i.e., seeing it as a cry for help rather than just trying to get under your skin)? What fears make it difficult to set and maintain boundaries with her?

I love what Janet Lansbury offers on this topic - she says that some parents waffle on setting limits because they are afraid of their kids' reaction to the limits they set (anger, disappointment, etc.). We don't need to fear these reactions - they are healthy! When you reframe your perspective around your kids behavior and feelings, it makes it easier to let go of trying to control their behavior or feelings (which is usually a way to protect ourselves from whatever feelings these interactions stir up within us).

You said -

I don't sit there and tolerate it either. I tell her that she is being disrespectful. I tell her how she should be behaving. I tell her exactly how it makes me feel when she does those things.

I know you are doing your very best to handle what is an extraordinarily tough situation, and I feel for you. I will offer a suggestion that you can take or leave. If I was your daughter in this situation, I would perhaps feel very unseen and invalidated if you told me what I should be doing. At 6, I can almost guarantee that she knows how she "should" behave, and acting out is a cry for your help. She is challenging you to see beneath her actions, to acknowledge her point of view/validate her feelings, and to know that you love and accept her just as she is. If you focus on how her behavior makes you feel, she may start to form the belief that it's her job to manage your feelings (I can't share this with mom because it will upset her and she doesn't like that).

So for example, if she starts throwing a tantrum over no candy at bedtime, you could say something like, "I know you really want a piece of candy right now, and I can't blame you. Candy is delicious! I can't let you have candy right now. It's ok to be disappointed when you don't get your way. I want you hear how it makes you feel, but I can't let you hit or kick me." See her, validate her, reassure her that you're there for her, and hold the line on inappropriate behavior. Easier said than done! I am still working on the best way to do this while holding onto whatever boundary I've decided to set with my kids.

Eventually, once she knows you are seeing her, accepting her feelings, and staying firm on not allowing any unsafe behaviors, I think you may see her relax and come towards you after these intense outbursts. She needs you to be her confident leader, and that means not crawling into a hole - even figuratively - as she will sense your withdrawal and start to believe you can't handle whatever she throws at you. And as others have said, she'll keep throwing things at you until she gets the response she wants - to be seen, accepted, to know that you will hold the line for her and help keep her and others safe when she can't control her impulses.

I also like the idea of offering choices to give her more power, and using natural consequences as often as possible. Great suggestions that have also worked really well for us.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share some things that have honestly been life changing for me in case any of this is helpful for you. Hang in there. Parenting is just like you said...it's effing HARD! But I know you can rise to whatever challenges she brings to you. All the best.

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