Since Sunshine has been born, I've bought more parenting books than one should ever own. I'm pretty sure we went through every sleep theory out there when she was a baby. Nothing worked. One day, she just slept and that was that. She has always been so happy and full of life. She has also always been very strong willed. Her emotions lead her, which is difficult for me to deal with. Monster is very emotional, but doesn't let emotion interfere with his logic. Here's a great example. In the car, when Monster was Sunshine's age, he asks for water. I let him know we are in the car and I can't get him water. Crying starts. I would calmly say, "[Monster], you would like water. We are in the car right now, so I can not get you water. When we get home, you can have some water.' He was sad he didn't have water immediately, but instantly calmed down and knew when we got home, he would get water. Same situation with Sunshine. Repeat same phrase. More hysterical crying takes place. "I want it now!". Calmly repeat myself. Screams from the backseat. Monster covering his ears, while trying to explain we're in a car and there is no possible way to get water while in the car. Several things then happen. First, I will try to ignore her and instruct Monster to ignore her as well. She will then scream the whole way home, literally. Another scenario is I get mad and yell back. Then Monster starts yelling. Then the car is full of three screaming people. By the time I get home, there is no way I'm giving that kid water because it will seem as though she won, even though it's what I've been saying the whole time. The cycle is mentally draining.
The other night, I decided to take a parenting webinar through Positive Parenting Solutions. It was good. The biggest problem was that the things they discussed are things I already do and don't have success with. Ignore the tantrums. I do this, but then she hangs on my leg, literally. I move her and she comes right back. One thing that made me feel good about taking this webinar is to know I'm not alone. There are people out there with much bigger issues than me. That's always good to know. I tend to surround myself with "perfect" parents. I say that knowing there is no such thing, but I feel that way. These are the people whose kids listen the first time they say something. People who can take their children places like the zoo alone and have no fighting. People who don't have to say, "Please sit down and eat your food", at least ten times during a meal. I'm pretty sure I surround myself with these people because I strive to be them. However, it also makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. Seeing the struggles others are having was a huge help. I wanted to take the class, but I missed the sign up deadline for the discount and it's just too expensive to do without it.
So, until I hit the lottery and can take the class, or until my kids are out of the house and married, I'll stick to my reading many, many, many parenting books in hopes of finding my inner calm and a good balance of discipline and fun.