Often, these days I am finding myself reaching out to Google for help. I am finding my self typing keywords like parenting tips, rebellious child, bored child, how to deal with 9 year old girls etc.
It makes me very sad and nervous at the same time. Because I feel that my little girl, whom I think is still a baby, a kindergartner, has already reached that dreadful phase of pre-teens.
She is only 9. Yet, I feel she is going through a phase of emotional upheavals. I find her getting upset, angry, sad, moody and disinterested in her usual activities.
A zillion questions rushes into my head. Is she having school troubles? Is she having friend troubles? Is she not eating enough? Did I say something mean to her? Is this a developmental change? Is this hormonal? And the worst thought is she depressed?
I don’t feel like heading to the library and grab all the parenting books for help because I still believe it is just a passing phase. She has found out a new video game, which she is obsessed with. So she is on the computer all the time. And for that reason we have been having tug of war, ego wars, power struggles between us. (BTW, I have newly discovered these words and phrases while searching for parenting tips)
I am trying to discipline her with many strategies that I can think of. I admit I have not been very nice to her lately. I want her to learn responsibilities, understand the concept of time (5 minutes is not equal to an hour) eat on time, sleep on time, be nice to her sister, be nice to her parents and the list is long. So as you can see my expectations from her are quite a lot. While I am in this phase of teaching her things I feel she is going through a completely different phase where she does not want to listen to anything I say or ask her to do. Much worse she is talking back to me and pointing out at my so-called mistakes. She has been the opposite of everything I expect of her! At this point a doctor might help? No, I believe things have not gone that out of control.
So here I am Googling about parenting tips. And thankfully I found some help. Words which I want to hang on to and be consistent with them. Of course I am learning too. I want to be sane and act sane in front of my daughter. I don’t want to have the ego wars, power struggles with a child. I have come to terms with the fact that she growing. She is not a baby anymore. She is developing her individual personality and this growth and development phase of hers is going to affect me.
I love my daughter and I want her to feel loved. And hence the three words which I Vow to stick with from now on. They are Kind, Firm and Authoritative.
I am going to exercise kindness, express love and affection through words and action.
I am going to be firm with my decisions in setting boundaries and expectations and learn to communicate that to her in a kind and effective way.
I am going to be authoritative and make her realize what to expect from the family and vice versa.
This is the first step, which I am willing to take in helping my daughter grow into a beautiful, strong and a confident woman.