My only-child, my bff

Paula - posted on 06/24/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I absolutely adore my daughter. She is 5, very smart, creative, funny and controlling. She is my husband in newer, cuter form. She is driving me insane because I'm not good at being in charge & telling people to do things. I do with her only to feel guilt and unease at whether I'm the mom she needs me to be. I love her, but I am constantly second-guessing myself and how I handle her issues as they present themselves to me. My husband works like 24/7 and I am completely alone.

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Snow - posted on 06/28/2016

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I agree with Michelle; you shouldn't feel guilty about disciplining; it is an important part of being a parent. I know there is a strong urge to be your child's friend, but it is important to keep in mind that you are always a mother first, and a friend second. This is not to say that you need to control every aspect of your child's day-to-day life and overwhelm them, but it is important to have rules, enforce them, and expect compliance. Despite how your child may rebel at the outset, children actually like having rules as it provides them with a sense of what is expected of them and a framework within which to act. My mother used to say that if your child isn't mad at you at least once a week, you're probably doing it wrong. There will be a time when you can be primarily friends with your child, and that is once they are grown. Until then, they will have many friends, but only one mother. The best thing you can do for your child is to fill that role, even if sometimes you feel like the bad guy. Even when they do get upset at you, it won't last long; they will still love you just as much and respect you even more. The best way I have found to handle it is to have a set list of prohibited behaviour and a set consequence for them so that you are certain that you are being fair and consistent. You can choose whether to give warnings and how many, then stick to it. You will probably have a rough week or so where things appear to get worse, but then the child will get it and understand that this is always what happens when the rules are violated. You will then see a big shift in their behaviour, at which point there will be less incidences that require discipline. There is nothing wrong with discipline as long as the purpose is behaviour correction and it is done in a manner that is fair and respectful. Think of it as teaching your child how to behave appropriately; it is a very important life skill that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives and appreciate once they are older. Remember that throughout your child's life there will be boundaries, rules, and limits to behaviour and actions and that discipline is nessessary in order to show them there are consequences for unacceptable behaviours.

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Michelle - posted on 06/25/2016

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The main part of being a parent is discipline. Our job is to raise our children to be responsible and respected young adults.
Feeling guilty over disciplining your child isn't doing her any favours. All you are teaching her is to be expect to get her own way all the time. The big red flag in your post is you said she is very controlling. All children at that age are, it's your job to teach them how to compromise and follow rules. If you don't do it at this age you are going to have a hell of a time during her teenage years.
Do you want your daughter doing what she wants at 15? Having sex, falling pregnant? If not get yourself some books on different discipline techniques. You need to trust yourself and keep strong. Yes they are cute and your heart melts at "that look" but it won't help any of you in 10 years time.

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