Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.



Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Oh my gosh! This is the exact conversation I've had so many times about my B. About her willful nature, her bold esteem. Lately, it's getting more and more obvious that I need to do just a little squashing. It has moved into the dreaded "I want to go first!" syndrome. So we are trying to help her start to see the beauty in caring for another's feelings. My dilemma has always been with the fact that my B is not a people pleaser (I am, sometimes to a fault). How to help her be empathetic, without making her become a doormat.

I'm no help at all. But I'll be back to see others' comments, maybe they'll have some good ideas!

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Well let's hope we get some good feedback here--it's tricky. T. is a people-pleaser in a way, but then she also is a "my way or the highway" kind of person as well.

beck's picture beck

Milk spilled all through the fridge? That's just suppertime at my house. We're a family of spillers.

I don't think that's naughtiness, so much - she wasn't being deliberately bad. I'd have just had her help clean up and then have a talk about the difference between things that can spill and things that can't.

I worry much more about my son than I do my daughters, actually, although I don't worry about squashing their spirits with normal amounts of discipline. There are rules and they have to follow them, the end, and any normal spirit shouldn't be crushed too badly by that. The Baby, so far, shows no signs of having any of her spunkiness even TEMPERED by her no-fun parents.

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I agree--she didn't get in trouble for the milk because she wasn't deliberately trying to be bad (although she'd been told not to go into the fridge at dinner). T.'s spirit is very strong-willed, so she often goes against what you tell her because she just must find out on her own what will happen, no matter what you tell her! I hope in time she'll learn to temper this and accept advice...

Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Thanks for your wonderful comment twinmama! First of all, we LOVE Avi around here...and yes, your daughter sounds a lot like my T. She will sometimes stubbornly insist on doing things her way even though she's clearly the one paying the price--and even though I know that deep down she realizes she's being unreasonable, but pure stubbornness is keeping her from backing down.

But you're right--I do think these characteristics could serve our daughters well--they just need to learn some flexibility along the way!