I Need Help Being the Parent


HELP!! The power struggle amongst Madalyn and I has been getting intense lately. I continually pray for wisdom and patience but the situations just seem to be getting worse. I ask Madalyn to use her words and talk to me about what she needs or what is wrong but she just “grunts” at me. She doesn’t want to listen until she gets in trouble and then she tells me, “I am ready to listen, daddy.” Then the cycle continues all over again.

I don’t know what to do, the timeouts are not that effective and I feel like much of our time together is spent arguing, and “no” I am not talking about my exwife. :-) I just hate feeling like my kid is always mad at me or that I am a drag but I tell her I am just trying to help her to get what she wants. We have things we need to do before we can have a treat, like eat dinner. Going any place turns out to be a nightmare. I am incapable of controlling her and I don’t know what to do. My words are empty to her and my actions have no real effect. I have even tried to find a parenting class but unfortunately all I can find is one for kids that are 6 years old and up. Any suggestions would be great!


Anonymous said...

Talk to her on her level. Don't try to explain complex life issues of any kind. Discipline WITHOUT anger. Take her toys away for a day each time she misbehaves. And always make her feel like she can come to you without being afraid. Ask her how her day was, make sure she is taken care of properly while your at work. Is she being cared for in a Day care center or some one you know at home? Ask her is something wrong and if anybody hurt her. Talk to her. Make sure she knows you love her. Hold her and spend some play time with her. Take her to Mcdonalds and let her play in the tunnels. Read her stories while she sits next to you. She needs to interact with children her own age. And don't YELL ! Have peace and love in your home with a routine. Same time to get up, eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and bed time. Parenting is the hardest job in the world. Make sure she has a motherly influence in her life. Maybe your mother (grandma) or your girlfriend can spend time with you both doing things together. Don't forget the hugs and kisses just before bed time and always tell her you love her.
I hope some of this helps you. I have a son who's a single dad and I've been there for them both and it hasn't been easy, but the child gives back a hundred fold, it's worth every tear. Hang in there and good luck!
motherly friend

Amber said...

I thought I'd offer my two cents worth and maybe it would be of some help. Someone once told me to choose my battles. I still have to remind myself of this. I think that's somewhere along the line of not being legalistic. But you also have to stand your ground. Tonight my 4 year old demanded a drink. I told her to ask nicely so she throws herself in the floor crying and screaming "I'm thirsty!" I just ignored her, except for every few minutes told her I would get her some juice when she could ask correctly. (Fun times!) Eventually she said "Mommy, can I please have some juice?" Next time she'll know I won't give in and what is expected of her. She might try that again but if I'm consistent it should get fewer and farther between. I guess my point is it will get better.
Ever heard of the terrible two's? Actually for me it was always the terrible three's. You may also want to look into some books on "strong-willed" children, which is basically the opposite of naturally compliant children. They would have alot to teach on power struggles. I hope this helps a little. I'm sure the prayers you send up help the most.

Jason said...

Motherly Friend,

I guess it has just been the past couple weeks I have noticed just how hard being a parent can be. I have been getting so burned out on having to say "no" all the time. She wants, wants, and wants and not for things that I can give her at that particular time.

The days are sure longer and tiresome when I have to try and make her understand even when she doesn't want to listen. I know with God's help we will make it through but sometimes it just seems so hard.

Thanks for taking the time to share your words of wisdom.

Jason said...


Thanks for the story about your 4 year old. Yes, they do have a wonderful way of asking for things. I often wonder where they get the idea that throwing themselves on the ground will work when so many times before all they have done is asked nicely for something and gotten it.

Right now Madalyn is on this chocolate kick, yes it is my fault becuase I have been rewarding her with candy if she uses her potty. She wakes up and wants it, all day she asks for it. She wants to hold it in her pocket. I mean she is a chocolate junky. And another thing that kid will suck on her vitamins because she thinks they are candy. I mean "YUCK" they don't taste that good, I have tried them, yet she can't stand to eat some of my cooking.

Pick my battles, yes I am at that point because spending all day going back and forth is really not the way I want to spend my time but then again who does.

Thanks Amber, oh and thanks for the book idea.