Monday, September 19, 2005

The Princess

I don't know what I'm going to do with my daughter. She's wearing me out in a way her brother never did (and that says a lot). I'm sure it is just hormones but hardly a day goes by without tears and every few days I'm treated to a full blown meltdown. And usually it is over nothing. Or rather it is over something but the reaction doesn't match the cause.

Take today for instance. The kids weren't even home for 15 minutes when the princess went into start her homework and the next thing I hear is her wail as she throws herself on her bed. I resolve to ignore and not address her thinking it will go away but of course she seeks me out to explain, while sobbing, that she forgot her book at school and she only had three weeks to finish it and she'll never remember it and she's so stupid and she doesn't know what she'll do and her teacher will be so angry with her .

So I tell her I'm sorry she forgot her book, I'm sure her teacher will understand and why doesn't she write it down in her planner so she'll remember it tomorrow.

No, of course I don't understand (see why I wantd to stay out of it in the first place). Her teacher will be angry (not) and she's such a failure and why is this school year so hard and she'll never get the reading done in time because she'll never remember to bring the book home .

So I tell her to go have a good cry about it in her room. I'm ready to kill her -- for some reason that just makes my blood boil over and I can't figure out why I react like that.

Naturally about 5 minutes later she is back, still sobbing, fairly hysterically, and repeating some of the above. Now I get angry with her -- and send her back into her room. Obviously any amount of rational response on my behalf isn't wanted. But what does she want? And why do I get so angry? Why can't I just separate the reaction from the situation.

After she calmed down a bit I went to talk to her and explained that her reaction wasn't even close to what it should be in this situation, that is was okay to be a bit angry, fuss for a minute and then resovle to remember. I tried to explain that if she continues to overreact in these situations that when there really is a time that needs that over the top reaction, I won't even believe it.

But I'm shot and physically worn out from the encounter and I hate that. I was fine before they got home -- I can't imagine why I let this get to me in such a way. And I wonder how long I'm going to be dealing with these meltdowns.


Mary said...

Looking back on my days of hysterical tears, I think leaving her alone is the best thing. I don't think she knows what she wants, and if it is hormones, they're sweeping her away. Can you offer her a choice, like taking her back to school or writing the teacher an email explaining? Would that help at all? I'm so sorry you're having such a hard time with this, I can just hardly wait until it starts up here.

Catie said...

1. Fourth grade is significantly more difficult than third grade, that's why kids tend to struggle with it.

2. You're allowed to be annoyed in annoying situations. Someone being extremely dramatic is annoying. I like what you said to her. I think it's really good to correct kids and then let them know what their options are for the next time they meet a similar situation.

3. Good luck!