Benjamin and I had a tough morning yesterday. He woke up and although he was very helpful (doing his chores from the revived job list) he was in a 'challenging' mood. Instead of doing what I asked of him right away, he would give me twelve reasons why he couldn't. He argued with me at every turn. He was flat out disrespectful.
I am generally pretty firm. I will stand my ground and explain that he needs to do as I ask, etc., etc. But yesterday morning as I stood firm and held my ground, things were falling apart. He wouldn't cave. Arguing. More arguing. I spoke to him in a calm but firm voice. When he was explosive or disrespectful (arguing) I told him to remove himself and go to his room. But it was a mess. In spite of all of my best efforts, I failed. In the end, he flipped out and had a meltdown like he was five. Finally, we were able to talk. But it was like talking in front of a horrific car accident on the side of the road.
I love my boy. He is so talented. He has so many things to offer. He is intense. Bright-eyed. Fun. And hard to parent. What is a mother to do? Should I have backed off? Disrespectful behavior (raising your voice and sarcastic facial expressions) towards your mother seems like a dangerous thing to 'let slide' with a strong willed child on the cusp of teenagerhood. How do you guide such a child? How do you show them what won't be tolerated without allowing things to escalate?
How do you make certain you don't squash his vibrancy, but also insist that he obey and respect and take responsibility for his actions (the bad-behavior actions)?
Just look at him. He is so expressive and vivacious.
And I love him so.