By Katie Bugbee
About the Writer:
Katie Bugbee is a writer, editor and Managing Editor at Care.com. She also has two tykes at home. She blogs about the drama of being a working mama.
It's my daughter.
She's strong, confident, self-assured and doesn't take 'no' for an answer. And I need to squelch it all. The problem is that I keep associating her current behavior with the strong woman I hope she becomes. So this power play we are currently facing, is brutal.
Have I mentoned that she's 1 1/2?
Everything is a fight. She throws her breakfast on the floor, refuses to wear a shirt, insists that she push her stroller around the house -- all by herself. She runs away from me and her nanny. She throws herself on the floor when she's mad. She hits and screams at the top of her lungs.
She is being a total B-word. And I don't know what to do.
She's my second child, and my son didn't go through this. He could be distracted by a cookie -- or a truck. Have you read about my son? He's a peaceful, cuddly Mama's Boy who thinks Time Outs are the worst thing that can happen to a human. He walks around the house saying "She is a bad girl," except girl is more like gurrrrl.
I want to punish my daughter for this behavior, but there's part of me that is afraid I'll mess up her psychological mindset. I'm afriad of harming our mother-daughter relationship. I worry that as the "second child" she's acting out because she doesn't feel the love. So instead, I hug her, in a "you can't escape this until you calm down"-type of way. But I'm wondering if this isn't enough. Am I creating a brat?
Any suggestions on what to do? How do I continue to develop a strong, independent confident girl -- while letting her know that I'm the boss?