Thursday, April 7, 2016

Time Out

Last night Olivia had to be dragged from the kitchen and settled onto the couch for a lengthy timeout.

What was she doing that was so heinous that she needed a timeout? Well, let me tell you!

She was being openly defiant to both me and Tom. We’d both told her to stop pounding on the walls/floor (she does this when she’s excited or bored or whatever) and she kept doing it. When we’d tell her AGAIN to stop it, she’d shout, “Why?!?” at us.

Why was she being so defiant? Because I was sitting at the kitchen table helping Alyssa with her homework and because I was doing that, Olivia was not the center of my attention.


Our evening had started the way it always does. I got home from work, I helped Olivia with her homework, I considered starting dinner. Alyssa was already at the kitchen table, lamenting the fact that her science teacher had given homework the night before a test. Then she groaned and asked, “I don’t get this! Will you help me?!?”

And so I sat down with her to read over the questions she didn’t understand.

That’s when Olivia lost her mind.

During the twenty minutes that I sat at the table with Alyssa, Olivia called out, “Mom, watch this!” at least seventy nine times. She pounded on the wall, she danced around the room, she asked me why her feet wouldn’t lay flat on the floor (because she was flexing her toes). She asked me to ‘fix’ her feet so they’d no longer be flexed.

You would think that I focus on her non-stop most nights.

For the record, I do not. But I also don’t usually have to help Alyssa with her homework. When I do that, I focuse on Alyssa and O couldn’t take it.

If I’m not focused on either one of them, she’s fine but because I was working directly with Lyss, Liv needed to intervene. She needed to make sure I would still divide my attention between them if something important was happening with her. You know, like her flexing her feet.

Tom, who’d started heating up dinner while I helped with homework had finally had enough and told O to knock it off.

When she yelled the “Why?!” at him, he decided her sass was out of control.

She sat in the living room for about fifteen minutes before crawling to the kitchen door and asking why she was in timeout.

I explained to her that shouting at us was unacceptable and she rolled her eyes.

I told her to go back to the couch.

This kid…she probably sat on the couch for a half hour before finally settling down enough to even discuss why she’d been sent in there.

It’s so hard to know what she understands and what she doesn’t. Is she deliberately being a brat or can she really not help it?

How much is just nine year old sass that needs to be SHUT DOWN versus her truly being immature and not understanding why her behavior is unacceptable?

We’re trying over here. We’re trying so hard to be consistent, to enforce rules, to be fair to both our girls as we navigate this whole parenting thing.

1 comment:

Julie said...

All you can do is just keep on keeping on. If nothing else, it's good for Alyssa to know that you are treating both girls the same even if O needs a little more reminding. So it's a lesson for both girls. If you let O get away with everything because you worry she doesn't understand, how does that make A feel when she is punished.

And by the way, I would have lost my mind with the pounding. HAHA