With all the different parenting styles, it can be no joke figuring out how to discipline a toddler.
Jessica is here today with our parenting section, newly re-named Parenting Styles, with some great insight on what to do when your toddler starts acting like a teenager.
I read this great article the other day that was wildly reassuring to my future self, the one who’s a mom of a teenage girl.
It covered the many purposes that the ol’ eye roll serves in the life of an adolescent. And they aren’t all bad.
Basically, the eye roll is a wildly effective way of displaying resistance and broadcasting objection. It’s also a defensive tactic when a girl is close to tears or thinking her parents have crossed a line. And, yeah, it can be a total act of aggression – the eye roll is a classic sign of dismissal.
So I’m prepared, as the author asks in the last line of the piece, to see the eye roll for what it is some seven years from now, and to try to consider the situation from my daughter’s perspective instead of leaping to the conclusion that she’s rolling her eyes like that because she’s acting like a raging, entitled brat.
But see, my daughter is already quite the little eye roller.
So now, armed with my new knowledge about the many meanings of the eye roll, I’m trying to be open-minded. I’m not asking myself where she learned it – thanks a lot, Disney and Nickelodeon, that’s why you’re banned in my house – but I do wonder how she was able to so quickly learn to expertly dish them out in the handful of times she watched Teen Beach 2 or Bunked or some other soap opera disguised as a kid show.
Take this typical scenario from an average school morning.
Scene: Me, stuffing the littlest kids into their shoes and coats while navigating the leaping dogs who think the jangle of my car keys is their cue to start howling in excitement and staying underfoot at all costs.
Me: [a little harassed but keeping it together] “G, we’re leaving in two minutes, is all your stuff packed?”
G: [huuuuge eye roll] “Yes, mom, I’ve been ready for hours.”
Obviously, no, there’s no way she’s been ready for hours. But it’s the eye roll as she says those first two words combined with this total level of absolute conviction and exasperation in the rest of the delivery that slays me. Really, you can’t argue the efficacy.
She’s clearly telling me that she’s totally in control of her own life, thank you very much, and by the way, she’s not impressed with me and this morning circus.
My typical knee-jerk to attitude like that is swiftly pointing out that gestures and tone say as much as words themselves. And that she better watch it.
But while I think that’s still true, I’m also considering her position here – instead of understanding that I’m just double checking she has her lunch and her homework, maybe she’s feeling like I have no faith in her ability to get organized for school. Cue: eye roll.
I may be slow on the uptake, but with this new realization that there is more than meets the eye (roll), taking those three seconds to consider the meaning behind it makes me feel balanced and reasonable and like a rockstar parent. So I’ll just look at the next seven years as my warm up to the real deal – and hope practice makes perfect.
So what do you think guys? How does Jessica’s experience and response match up with your parenting styles?