Note: I found this draft and saw it was dated from 10/4/11. As I reread what I had written two years ago, I realized that not much has changed, so I added to the original few paragraphs.
There is a saying, “Save the drama for your mama.” As a “mama” myself, I would like to ban any use of that saying for my own sanity (and the sanity of other mama’s who I imagine have the same issue.)
Why do my children only breakdown at home or with me and Jeremy? Why do they throw hysterics only with me? Why do they think I’m better apt to deal with the drama? Because in reality, I hate the drama! Take your drama somewhere else, kiddos!
Now I know that my kids just feel comfortable around me so they can show their true feelings. And I should be thankful that they are wonderful with others, especially other caregivers and family members. But the drama is driving me crazy.
When I first started this post 2 years ago, I imagine I was mostly thinking of my then almost 6-year-old daughter and her drama. And I’m sure I was thinking my then 3-year-old son was fine. Oh wait, he was three, so probably not. I really was going crazy. And now I have an almost 8-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son, and the drama is still here. Sorry other parents with younger kids thinking you will get through this “phase.” It’s just meant to be. Kids = Drama.
The main drama we see these days is homework drama, time-out drama, getting hurt drama and woe-is-me drama.
Mason hates doing homework. Actually she doesn’t totally mind the math and spelling. But she hates having to read. My mom says I was the same way. It’s like pulling teeth to get her to sit still for 15 minutes to read. I know I shouldn’t compare her to other kids, but I know other 2nd graders already reading long chapter books and going through them one a week. We’re lucky if we finish a basic chapter book (like Ramona or Ivy & Bean) in the 3-week time we have before the library books are due. I keep thinking that if Mason finds something that is intriguing to her, she’ll get into it. So we’ve tried many different book series. Still nothing is keeping her attention enough for her to WANT to come home and read a book. While I may have been the same when I was her age, I don’t remember it. Now, I get into my books (chic lit) so much that I am eager to get to bed early each night so I can read some more. It’s hard for me to understand her not wanting to see how the book continues each day. Cooper doesn’t have homework right now, but even if I just try to get him to show me the letters he was working on at school or to find sight words in books, he usually is pretty vocal about it.
As for time-out drama, I’m sure this is the same for every parent (or at least I hope so!) We still try to do the 1,2,3 Magic system where they get warnings of 1 and 2 before a cool down period at 3. Even with the warnings, they are completely upset and shocked when we get to a 3 and tell them to go to their room for a cool down period. Drama ensues and then not only have they been put in time out, but they also lose certain things like screen time or a bit of their allowance. No matter how calm we stay through it, their drama fills the house!
The getting hurt drama is hard to deal with too. Obviously if they are hurt really bad, I help them out and make sure we get a bandaid or an ice pack. But my kids are pretty clumsy. (A chip off of my block!) So there are a lot of minor injuries that happen throughout the day. And they way they react to these very minor things is to scream bloody murder like they have just broken a bone or have gashed open skin. It’s never serious, and Jeremy and I have gotten to the point of mostly ignoring it. I keep telling them the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, but it just doesn’t seem to stick. I want to acknowledge their pain but it’s so hard to keep my cool when they are shrieking in my ear. (Then I just want to cry and create my own drama!)
Finally is the woe-is-me drama. We really thought this was a girl thing. When Mason did it when she was 5, we assumed it was part of her over-the-top, trying to get attention with anything self. We got through it with a lot of conversations and calming. But now Cooper is doing it. It must be a 5-year-old thing. If we ask him not to do something or if he gets in trouble, he’ll start on it. “Everybody hates me.” “I’m the worst person ever.” “You hate me and don’t love me.” Obviously we never say anything like that to him, so I have no idea where he is getting it from (or where Mason got it when she was his age.) It breaks our hearts to hear it, and we actually make a big deal out of it and try to have serious conversations about it. Self-esteem is so important for young kids, and I never want them to feel bad about themselves. We keep telling them that everyone makes mistakes but that never makes us not love them or that they are a bad person. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
So there you have it. The drama in our house. Not the most fun read, but just a glimpse into our lives. Perhaps other parents out there are having the same issues and think they are the only ones suffering. Especially when most kids act completely normal around other kids and families and only save the drama for home, it’s hard to believe others are going through the same until you hear their stories.
My dad used to have a sign posted in our basement with the red slash through the word “whining.” I definitely need that for the word “drama.” I just don’t want it!!!