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"Murphy was an optimist!"

This is not the family I wanted! February 1, 2008 7:58 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Daily Life, Family, Of Being Dad
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My five year old has decided she’s had it with this place. Last night she emptied her chest of drawers into a crate and packed many of her toys in bags. All her clean, folded clothes are in one big pile. The room is wrecked. And as livid as Mom has become running away is probably not a bad idea for all of us! This is her second threat of running away. The first was before Christmas and was abated when I asked, "who should get your Christmas presents?"

I don’t understand this behavior. One, I thought threats of running away did not come around until age eight or nine. Two, she does not have a terrible life here. We believe hands are not for hitting so corporal punishment is avoided in this house. I will admit that Amy has received a couple of spankings but it makes Cathy very angry with me. I grew up under the threat of the belt so it is ingrained in my head as a means of behavior modification. No, I do not agree with it and regret the times I have employed corporal punishment.

Her reason for wanting to run away was because she was not allowed to go play with her friends today. It pains me to hear her yell out, "This is not the family I wanted." and talk of no longer liking anyone in the family. I believe strongly she is modeling this behavior from someone but I don’t know if it is a neighbor friend, school friend, or television.

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1. Cathy - February 1, 2008

You’re not leaving me alone to clean up this disaster.

2. LissaKay - February 1, 2008

That kind of behavior is very common in kids this age. The “I don’t like you/I hate you” thing comes from their awareness of what things they can say that *really* hurt and have a shock value. She’s realizing that she is no longer a helpless baby and has this new sense of autonomy and ability to decide where she is and where she is going (to a degree). She uses this to try to exert some sense of control over and environment that she cannot control, and may not particularly care for at the moment. Welcome to the rebellion.

I’m sure you will find an effective way to deal with her and all this drama.

Now if Cathy starts in with this kind of behavior … yer screwed.

3. Stormare Mackee - February 2, 2008

I agree with LissaKay that it’s a control thing. One word: reverse psychology. We get running-away threats from our kids every now and then, and our response is “okay, I’ll come help you pack”. Once we set their suitcase next to the door, eyes start to grow wide. And when we say “we sure will miss you a lot, are you sure you want to run away?”, at that point they tend to prefer their crappy family to life on road.


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