What I did when my daughter said “You’re the boringest and I HATE YOU!” on our first day of summer.

My husband texted me “Just rode our first coaster – Colossus! [Crazy face emoji.]”

Little does he know I’ve been riding one at home and it’s not nearly as thrilling.

He’s taken E and two friends off to Magic Mountain to celebrate E’s 14th birthday.

I’m home with our newly hatched 1st grader and experiencing the breezy joys of the first day of summer!

Not…IMG_2449 - Version 2

After two late nights her eyes are at half mast and simply put, nothing is right.

She demands to go to the pool. I say, that’s not going to work today.

And the tirade begins – I’m sparing you many of the gruesome details but these quotes will give you the flavor.

I want daddy!

I wish I were dead!

(she repeats this last one several times I think because she’s startled that I’m not reacting)

I’m not as composed as I want to be. Being a parent educator can really inflame feelings of parental inadequacy. My self talk that thankfully doesn’t come out my mouth is, S you’re acting like a spoiled brat and

what have I done to create this monster? How can I possibly say I have any answers for parents when my kid is acting like this!

I successfully take it down a few notches, not perfect but better, when I say to her, you’re tired. Maybe you’re even sick because this is how you act when you’re sick. There’s not much sympathy in my voice as I say some other not so choice words that infuriate her.

On the upside, I bear lots of her rage and both of our discomfort. Bearing it is good. Breathing through it is great. I give breathing a try and it helps.

As far as I can tell, along with deep breathing, the following are key elements that finally shift the energy.

There’s no substitute for time. It feels like a good hour of our back and forth. She pleads, I ignore, she rages, I stop and give her some kind and firm attention, she storms off, I fold laundry, ignore and finally I ask for her help.

One my favorite Positive Discipline sayings is children do better when they feel betterWhen I ask her for help, I tap into her desire for significance and belonging. While we’re not always aware of it, all of us are looking for significance and belonging.

Notice how imperfectly I handle this yet how important it is that I persist.

First, I suggest she pick up her room – she says NO – (admittedly a knee jerk bound to fail request on my part).

Second, I suggest she help clear the living room of her toys –  NO!  That’s two strikes….

Third, I ASK how she’d like to help and I LISTEN when she says she wants to help in the kitchen. She gets a stool and I fill a basin with warm soapy water.  Singing quietly, she scrubs dishes for a solid 15 minutes. (I’m in another room).

Like roller coasters inevitably do, it feels like this one is coming to a surprisingly smooth and sudden stop.

Now she’s done scrubbing and she’s disappeared.

I hear a harmonica in the distance.

CONSIDERSHAREACT

Here’s your chance to support another parent! Share in the comment section below.

We ALL lose it as parents. On those days when you’re able to remain calm when your child presses your button, what’s different?

How will you make space for these calming features of life?

24 Responses to What I did when my daughter said “You’re the boringest and I HATE YOU!” on our first day of summer.

  1. shawn August 6, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    its heartening to hear this story. its a series of events that has played out regularly at my house this summer. lots of “NO” and “you’re boring!”. its helpful to hear I’m not alone and get the reminder to keep cool and not lose it.

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Shawn – it’s good to hear you’re boring too 🙂 Your girls are lucky to have such a boring dad. It’s great to hear from you.

  2. Anna Edmondson August 6, 2013 at 9:03 am #

    Lisa,
    What a great blog post about summer parenting! What a relief to know I’m no alone. I appreciate how you shared a real-life, not-so-pretty scenario with your daughter including the ‘muddling through’ on your part, to a positive end. The points about acknowledging the value of time and ‘breathing’ through the difficult emotions, plus giving your child an opportunity to feel useful/belonging, are precious. Thanks for being honest and showing how we can adjust, in-the-moment, to our kids’ needs and our own feelings; that it’s not about ‘getting it right’ the first time for good parenting to work.

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      You are not alone!! The muddling through is so important because being that imperfect parent is were it’s at. Thanks for contributing Anna!

  3. Sierra August 6, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    This is really what I needed to hear this morning after a colossal parenting fail last night with two hungry kids who refused to eat pepperoni pizza (who doesn’t like pizza? my kids). This post reminds me that there’s no magic solution that I just haven’t figured out yet; that breathing is the best thing to do; and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes and we can get through it with love and as much patience as we can muster.

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Sierra, you said it so beautifully. Everyone does make mistakes AND it’s not always a mistake, sometimes we are all just being human.

  4. Nikki Elledge Brown August 6, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Ahhh, summer 🙂 My little one’s not quite two, but I can totally see this roller coaster in our future. We’ve already got the kiddie version!

    Thanks for sharing tips on how to deal. Breathing is *always* good!

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      You’re doing it Nikki!! Thanks for chiming in 🙂

  5. Joni Loftin August 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow, Lisa, you are an AMAZING Mom! As I read your story, I felt like I was there with you. I felt everything. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, vulnerability, and wisdom as a Mom with me. I’m not a Mom yet, but I am an Aunt and Future Mom.

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

      Wow Joni! Thank you for the acknowledgment. You are an amazing woman!

  6. Gabe Clark August 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    I find when I remember to ask for help,and not just from the children – but from the spiritual world. Something always shifts! Its almost as though I let go of trying to control the situation and then it works out. Like stepping back and letting go.

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

      Thank you for adding to this conversation. Stepping back, asking for help, letting go and SHIFT HAPPENS! Powerful.

  7. Pardis August 6, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    I appreciate you sharing the story as most moms will go through it one way or another. I loose it time to time but I kinda tell her the same thing even though she’s only 3. I say you are tired and maybe you should take a little time to calm down because mommy needs to calm down too. Of course she protests but at least it gives me some time to calm down…,

    • Lisa Fuller August 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Yes! Thank you for sharing.

  8. Kelly Houston August 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this story. My almost-six year-old behaved in a very similar manner on our first two days of vacation, and I really started to think that maybe taking vacation was not such a good idea after all. You’re supposed to have fun on vacation! And she was miserable. You know, I tend to think my daughter is just difficult–rebellious and sensitive and argumentative, especially when overtired. It is heartening to hear that she is actually pretty normal. I don’t know why, but it makes it easier for me to just breathe and be patient when I see it that way. I don’t have to take her tantrums so personally. Thanks again.

    • Lisa Fuller August 7, 2013 at 7:02 am #

      Kelly, in the classes I teach parent express just what you are saying here and that is why I’m starting this blog and putting my voice and experience out into the world. You are in great company and I love what you write at the end about it just being easier, knowing that she’s normal and not having to take her behavior so personally. So beautifully said – I’m so glad you included your voice here!!

  9. Jill August 7, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    It makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one going through this parenting roller coaster! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Lisa Fuller August 7, 2013 at 7:04 am #

      You are not the only one Jill!! Thanks for chiming in.

  10. David Caven August 8, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    This what I think of when combining roller coasters with parenting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxsQ3QlAK00

    • Lisa Fuller August 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      Love the clip Dave! That’s another blog… let me know when you’ve written it 🙂

  11. Casey September 16, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    I can’t tell you how good it feels to read this post… Have you read my most recent post? When my parent educator self meets up with my parent self it can be really crazy – thank you for sharing your story, I relate.
    <3
    Casey

    • Lisa Fuller September 16, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Casey I will check it out! Please subscribe cause I have another blog coming out tomorrow 🙂 I’m announcing your joyful courage book club!

  12. Elena August 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Thank you very much for the article! It sounded so familiar to me, my 7 year old daughter also told me she didn’t want to be born after the quarrel with her younger brother (2,8). And it took all my mental strength and nerves to rule it out.

  13. Lisa Fuller August 23, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    Oh Elena they know where are buttons are!! Thank you for reading a commenting – we are in this together!

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