Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I believe that children thrive off boundaries. However, I also realize that sometimes they are going to test their boundaries. Jackie has been testing boundaries quite a bit right now. In the past two weeks, she has given herself a haircut, (with the adult scissors that she knows she's not supposed to have) dumped yogurt onto the floor, tried to climb over the banister, gone downstairs anytime she can without permission, (not usually a problem for most families, but I do live with my inlaws) and generally just trying to do whatever she can that she knows is against the rules to see if I'll notice if she does it when I'm not directly watching. She's also been doing the same types of things at school.

We had a very frank discussion at bedtime last night. I told her that if she can't follow the rules when I'm not watching her, then I'm just going to have to watch her all the time. I don't really believe in putting a leash on a child, but I'm at the end of my rope. If I can't trust her to follow the rules when I'm not around her, then I am just going to have to keep her by me all the time for a little while. I figure one day on a leash, and we'll be able to start communicating and listening better to each other. Today, she has done really well, and she didn't get in trouble at school either. I'm hoping that just our talk did it, and I won't have to resort to backing myself up. Please cross your fingers for me.


Melissa said...

Welcome to my world. I don't want to say it's a constant struggle, but as soon as one area is straightened out, another one pops up.

You probably will have to back yourself up on this. Which is absolutely no fun whatsoever, but the second part of testing boundaries is to check to see if the parents are serious.

Good luck!

Crisanja said...

Agreed. Stick to it. Kids need to know where they stand and this is how they find out. Kids will always test boundaries, some just test harder than others. Just imagine, in about ten years, her as a teenager. She maybe testing her "new" boundaries in this "new" situation she's found herself in.

Enjoy your "time-in".

Robert said...

Interesting way of putting it: at the end of your rope, you'll put her on the end of her own.

I'm glad she's managed to avoid needing one so far. We'll see if that holds.

Katie said...

Good luck! I hope that you won't have to actually do it. That was one of the lessons I had to learn early on is to think of a consequence that the kid wouldn't like, but that I could live with. It's not helpful when the consequence is just as painful for the parent as it is for the child. I'll pray for you, I know exactly how you feel. We have had a rough couple of weeks ourselves. Oh, the life of a mom...