When Google University Makes You A Better Mother
You’re holding that sweet baby all wrapped up in their softer than a babies ass blanket + gazing into their sleeping eyes (ummm, eyelids) thinking, “This actually came out of me!”
And I guess in that moment it didn’t occur to me that this serene little cherub had the potential, in particular toddler and pre-K years, to be ruder than Donald Trump and give more attitude than Naomi Campbell on the runway.
I don’t know what I thought, but a tiny 4-year old mouth spewing stuff at me like I’m in the ring with her and all I want to do is chime the bell, throw her arms up in the air and state, “You ARE the winner of this round!” isn’t really something I conjured up in my mind when I was rocking her to sleep as a baby (but then again her lungs gave Steven Tyler a run for his money, so I guess I should’ve had a clue).
My babe is almost five now and sometimes when her words and/or actions gut-punch me (they range anywhere from full-on meltdowns to the 1-2 punch that’s thankfully rare, but stings like a mother, “I hate you”), I try to stay calm or I lose my shit – not much in between.
With a bit of road travelled vacillating between being calm and then high decibel pitches of crazy madness in these situations, and after countless convos with other rockin’ moms that also nodded and said, “yep, that’s definitely a stage they go through” (like that should make me feel better?) and then of course, trying to whip out the mala beads and go all Ghandi…
I still didn’t feel much peace with the situation.
Would there ever be peace with this stage of their life?
Did I need a major dose of Acceptance?
Recently, one afternoon she felt super inclined to up her I’m Getting My Way Game and put on a full-out Joan Crawford performance of trying to persuade me to do what she wants.
I sat on the recliner, looked at her and literally NOTHING came out of me. It felt like I was chewing on air + her tussling of, “Did you hear me mama?!” rattled not one of my cages. I couldn’t even pull out any of my tricks – I was exhausted.
When Google University Makes You A Better Mother –
I knew I needed something fresh to work with + I had this inspiration to Google “how to handle a rude 4-year old” – yes, you read that correctly – I was turning to Google University for parenting advice (don’t act like you haven’t turned to GU for advice, yo).
As I read through answer after answer – I was finding gems along the way and the consistent one was this: the power of the question, baby.
Basically, some articles were talking about how kids need a little depth added to their tantrums, meltdowns and sharp tongues.
People were recommending to add more questions to the inferno than reprimanding or being overly controlling (which I really want to do when it feels like she’s pretty much waving her middle finger up in the air at me. Dude!).
I thought, shit – I’m giving this a go! And I did…
Whenever her world began to unravel, I gently asked her a question, or two:
ME – “Hey babe, how do you think it makes me feel when I’ve asked you a couple times to put your shoes on so we can go and you don’t do it?”
AVA – Stops what she’s doing + actually thinks about it, “Not good. Not very nice. I guess I’ll go get my shoes on…”
Even my husband bared witness to these interactions + he was like, “I’ve got to try that!”
Now, I’m not saying that she will never have a tantrum again or I am now cured of never losing it, but I can say this feels way better to me in my soul than anything else I’ve tried.
I’m using this Question Gizmo right now + adding it to the parenting toolbox – which is super interchangeable at ALL times.
Google University was a tool when I exhausted other avenues. The information I found there shifted my paradigm and who knows what else it did for my sanity + Ava’s as well.
When in doubt + you feel stuck – take a left instead of your usual right, pivot, go the opposite direction, do something different – and see what unfolds because insanity truly is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
And now I must Google other quandaries. 😉
Love + Getting Your Google On,