Transparency Tuesday: The Camel’s Broken Back

Yup, “tomorrow” apparently means “next week” in my world, but the weather has changed and my joints and body, in general, do not approve. All progress has been slow, but I do hope to have a post for tomorrow… For today though, onward with Transparency Tuesday!

15942473_1823202294587629_1223588917_n At this point, my oldest is 8 years old. She is an endless attention seeker, but she is competent in the usual ways. The problem becomes that she’ll seek attention any way that she can get it. I was recently reading an article about kids who do this and the article gave to different examples: a child that sought negative attention and a child that sought attention via acting “helpless.” Both of these examples had their example parents stressed and at the end of their ropes. The article did not address what to do if your child does both of these…and then some.

Helpless: “Can eat this?”
“Yes.”
10 seconds later: “Can I eat this?”
“OMG! Is it food? Is it in our house? Then yes! Eat it! That’s what it’s there for!!”

Negative attention seeking: See photo on right. After it’s been made well known that both she needs to clean up after herself and that the common areas are not her dumping grounds. To the point where I no longer warn her; when she leaves stuff laying around and I go through and clean? It goes in the trash. I’m too tired, life is too short, and she has too much stuff anyway! This picture was taken about 30 minutes after I cleaned the table (and threw things away) though, which adds a new level of annoyance to it.

I left it sit for hours because…what do you do? Pull her out of her room and make her clean it up, giving her that negative attention? Or clean it up myself and let her dodge the responsibility…again? Wait for her to decide to clean it up? It could be days. She isn’t bothered by messes in the least. It makes me rashy and I don’t understand it. Her dad called and told her she needed to clean it up or there would be consequences from him tomorrow. She cleaned it up and apologized then. Hopefully, it means something if the negative attention isn’t coming from me…?

It has reached the point in the last year or so that we’ve all started to wonder if maybe something wouldn’t fit better if she were living with her dad. It…comes with its own set of challenges and I guess nothing is ever written in stone, but it’s on the table right now. I’m just…at a point where it feels like there’s no “winning” and no “right” answer. Just different versions of losing and different “punishments” for each choice made along the way. Straw by straw, it beats you down after a while.

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