Chickie has always wanted to test boundaries. I think some kids are just born with that temperament. In a sense, I like it. I am glad she doesn't automatically accept everything she's told. In another sense...
She's in a particularly challenging phase right now, and one of the characteristics of this phase is that she's testing me. A lot. She seems determined to figure out if I really mean what I say.
I've realized that she needs a couple of things from me right now.
She needs positive attention. She needs to know how important she is to me. I see her negative cries for attention and realize she needs good, quality time with Mommy so that she feels more secure.
She also needs consistent, structured discipline. She needs proof that when Mommy and Daddy say something, they mean it. (Sometimes we have to reevaluate whether or not we're being reasonable, but in general, she really needs us to follow through.)
You know what's tough about this? It all takes time. Positive attention takes time. Discipline takes time. As much as I want to spend all day on the computer, or crocheting, or reading, the fact is that my daughter needs even more of my time than usual.
And I'll be honest with you--that can be hard for me! Sometimes I don't want to do things that six-year-olds find fun. Sometimes I don't want to follow-through on discipline. Sometimes I'd prefer to do something by myself instead of letting my eager six-year-old "help" me. Sometimes I don't want to be an unselfish parent.
And sometimes that selfish part of me wins. Sometimes it's okay (even necessary!) for Mommy to take time for herself! But I'm really trying to put in the hard work of being a parent during a hard phase.
Chickie's testing me. I really hope I pass!