I can't complain too much--She's smart, outgoing, curious and expressive. But recently, we have been butting heads. I have read plenty of parenting books who tell me it is the job of a 4 yr old to test her boundaries, but i guess i expected a break here and there. As soon as she sees me, she pushes and pushes and pushes. Just doing her job.
I had a 'parenting moment' (as the ecfe mom's group calls it), last week. It started with amelie telling me her hair wasn't pretty. I'm not sure what happened next, but amelie melted into a puddle of tears and frustration. She wouldn't eat. She wouldn't put her shoes on. She wouldn't do a thing. After a series of trying the parenting books' recommendations (I can tell you're frustrated by the way you're smacking my leg. It sounds like you're angry. I cry sometimes too when i don't get my way), i tried a new way including yelling (and swearing!) at her at the top of my lungs. After i yelled, i walked upstairs into my bedroom and closed and locked the door behind me and told amelie, "Mommy needs a time out." All the while, she is following me howling about how her feelings and ears are hurting.
It wasn't pretty.
Since then, i have read a few more parenting books looking for answers. Unfortunately, the majority of parenting books are aimed at people who beat their children and have no clue (Children seek attention from their caregivers--good or bad. Children respond to positive reinforcement better than negative reinforcement. A child may act out if they are hungry). The funny thing is, since then, she has turned a corner and is a complete angel. She keeps reassuring me, "I have good listening ears today, mommy," and "Aren't i doing good with using my words today?"
Steady she goes for now.