Thinking Aloud – Do My Children Misbehave Because Of Me?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

These past couple of days have seen some very embarrassing displays of bad behaviour from the kids--and me. Trying to get them to behave well makes me feel like a pot calling the kettle black... It's awful.

Let me set the stage first by highlighting my state of being:

  • I've been sleeping at 1am most nights, trying to get some work done, and sometimes just idly sitting at my desk because that's the only quiet time I have with Han. He's always doing something in the study, so I make myself stay there for as long as I can, just to be around him. He doesn't really want to talk much, but that's okay. Still, it always feels like I'm waiting around for something.
  • Reuben has been waking at 4-5am for his feeds because he didn't have his cluster feeds done the night before.
  • Whenever I do get around to his cluster feeds, he sometimes gets uncomfortably full and ends up regurgitating some milk, and unable to sleep. An unconsolable, crying baby saps my energy like nothing else does.

Mornings are mostly smooth. Reuben's fed well, had his bath, and is down for a nap. The kids are being entertained and engaged at playschool. The apartment is quiet. I have a little space to do some work--but how to be productive when my brain is only half turned on? So I'm left frustrated that I didn't get much done in the mornings. Angsty level gets bumped up a notch.

Lunchtime rolls around. I pick up the kids, shepherd (or more specifically, cat-herd) them around the house to wash their hands and feet to get them ready for lunch.

And lunch is almost always a mess. Our servant has even cried after a session, because there was rice all over the floor in a 1-meter radius around the children's highchairs. I know exactly how she feels. Had to give the poor girl a hug. Andrea and Brandon were visibly affected when they saw her crying, and willingly hugged her too after I explained that she was upset at the amount of mess she had to clean up, because of their actions. Thankfully, the kids have been much better at keeping their tables tidy. Let's hope it continues.

Then comes their shower. Unfortunately Brandon gets really playful and tends to disregard instructions from our servant, meaning I sometimes have to intervene and look really stern. Both the kids have had little accidents in the shower because they slipped from running around. How do I get them to listen to her? Her language skills are improving, but definitely not to a point where she can reason with the children. Do they step all over her because she isn't empowered to discipline them? How can I make the kids want to behave well? Offering them incentives like fun activities that they like doesn't seem to work, because they seem to forget all about them the moment I'm out of sight.

Have I mentioned that Andrea screams when she doesn't like something? I must confess that I do scream at times too, so maybe she picked up on that. My fault. I'm trying hard to reign it in though.

Right, it's been about 3 hours since I left off from that last sentence. After clearing my thoughts of negativity and approaching the kids afresh, things have been very peaceful today.

I might pick up this thread again at a later time. For now, thanks for indulging me.

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