Friday, September 9, 2011

Advocate vs. Enabling

A week ago I had a very dear friend that gently let me know I was enabling Thomas. I tried not to get defensive because after all I had ask her if I was enabling. I felt very strongly I was his biggest advocate and just making the world just a little more user friendly for him. But in fact I was only teaching him that the rules didn't always apply to him and mommy would always take care of it. I took a week to let this sink in and plan a course of action.
This morning I got up and put my stubborn panties on and T apparently donned his stubborn diaper unbeknownst to me! About 9:30 it was time to leave for the grocery store, not my favorite chore, but it had to be done. I told T he couldn't take his cars or his backpack and needed to put them in his room. Well he quickly informed me he was taking them with him and this is where the fun begins! After about 10 minutes of following me around the house, throwing himself on the floor and screaming he decided he wasn't going to win and decided to put his backpack in his room. I left for the store with a sense of accomplishment, Mommy-1, Thomas-0! Yay, my common sense told me from here on out the fits would get shorter and I can handle a 10 minute fit here and there! So I cockily posted on FB I had won this battle, yay me! Off to the grocery store we go. All the way there I am preparing T that he will have to ride in the front of the buggy, he prefers the back, but I had so much to get that he wouldn't fit. He tells me "ok mommy". Well apparently between the car and the front door he had a complete change of heart! I try to put him in the buggy and he starts screaming. So remind him we are riding in the front, and he loudly squeals like a pig! SO I sit down in the lobby of walmart and tell him I will wait. He screams and cries and I point out every child that passes that is riding in the front of the buggy (and pretend not to see the ones in the back of the buggy!), we talk about all the people looking at him because he is screaming like I'm pulling his nails out and the occasional old man tries to talk to him only to have his volume increased. After 50 minutes of this, yes 5-0 he tells me he is ready to get in the front of the buggy. Once I lift him up he changes his mind and starts kicking, at this point I decide he is going in the buggy. So in he goes and buckled and we pass a little old lady who scowls at him and shakes her finger, I couldn't help but laugh! Mommy-2, Thomas-0 Yay me! So I'm exhausted, but so excited that I have held out. Finally as we are finishing up we get our cookie and he decides 1 is not enough, he wants 3. And back comes the squealing pig! He screamed the rest of the time we are in the store and checking out. Mommy-3, Thomas-0.
So what have I learned from today, he is one stubborn little boy and it is going to be a long road. But there is a fine line between Thomas problems and being a brat. I never want him to use this as a crutch so I have to stop making life easier for him. We will continue play therapy and working with him, but I am adopting a no tolerance policy in my house. All rules that apply to Lily also apply to him. We are not going to work our family around his problems/attitude any longer; we are going to work on his problems so he can be a contributing member of our family. I am sure this is not going to be convenient or easy, but this is what is best for all of us in the long run.
Please pray for us: me-patience, Thomas-obedience

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