Monday, March 10, 2008

My mother asked me for advice....

Before I go into that, let me first reluctantly announce: I'm sorry to say I had to add word verification and comment moderation to my blog as it seems the spammers have found my little corner of the online community. Blech!

Anyway.....So my Mom came over on Saturday morning to watch DD while I went to T. I'm only gone for about an hour but when I came home, DD was kindof worked up, cranky at my mother. She was hiding, clinging to me and whining/screaming at my mother. I don't know how to describe what she does, actually. Neither word really accurately describes it. It's sort of a short outburst of "Eehhh!" with a whiney undertone.

DD enjoys playing hide & seek and I don't indulge her in it too much. Call me a bad gets tiresome!! My mother is always willing to play whatever game DD requests. Mom says somewhere in the middle of the hour I'm gone, it changes from real hide & seek to more like DD telling Gramma to hide and not come out. ie: DD doesn't want to see her anymore. My mother called me the next day and asked what that means. Was DD just tired? She asked me to give it some thought and give her (Mom) some advice on how better to handle that. Okay.

I didn't really think about it til we hung up the phone and then I thought....what would she do if she were the parent?? I want to tell her to take control of the situation and quit being dominated by a 3 year old. So, in fact, I *AM* going to tell her that in as productive a way as possible. I just need to write/think it out here before I tell her. So the problem, in my amateur opinion, is that my mother "over-pursues" my DD. And I think it gets to the point that DD wants to get away from my mother (Boy do I know THAT feeling, lol!!) My mother doesn't know how to either read or respect DD's boundaries and seems to think that by going after DD with more "gusto" it will draw her back out when in fact it has the exact opposite effect. For anyone who has read Men are from Mars....this is like the rubber band theory. The more one chases, the more the other pulls away. I think the concept of respecting "space" is very foreign to my mother. She is a pursuer to the um-teenth degree. She becomes HIGHLY uncomfortable with space, with silence, with distance.

Hmmm, this makes me understand something else now. I used to complain that I would go out for an hour and come home to find every toy in the house scattered on the floor. Now I see why. My mother is trying too hard to entertain DD. When in fact, DD is a very content child. She's happy to play one thing for a long time. And she definitely does not need or want constant involvement from other people. In fact, as anyone who has had a child can tell you, the minute you can't give your child your attention is the minute they want it the most! So I am going to tell Mom that she needs to learn to read DD's signs but do so in a manner that still means my mother maintains control of the situation. ie: I don't want to play hide & seek anymore. When you're ready, come over to the couch with me and we'll read a book." Puts an end to the hiding game, is authoritative by decreeing that game is done, still grants DD the opportunity to have some alone time if she needs it and sets the stage for a new activity. Does that sound good???

1 comment:

Enola said...

I think that sounds great. I know my sister has trouble understanding that my Daughter needs "alone" time. Maybe because her kids don't - they are so close in age, that it's not feasible. Whereas my daughter is an only (for another 6 months anyway) and enjoys her space and time alone. Maybe your mom doesn't realize that. If you explain to her that your daughter is with kids and people ALL day at daycare, and that she enjoys having her time and space alone, maybe your mom will understand without feeling threatened.

I admire you for bringing it up. You're such a great, wonderful, protective mother!