Our first try at a family meeting

Last night on the drive home from picking  up DC at my parent’s house, I turned into a screaming banshee.  I don’t even remember what she said but I do remember screaming “I’m so sick  of you treating me like crap!!”  Not the calm, centered, rational mom that I want to be. 

During dinner, after much calming down, I told her that we need to decide how we are going to work. We can either be friends and mom and daughter and I can ask her opinion on things and she can have a say in how things work around here. Or we can just be mom and daughter and I can tell her what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. 

After dinner, shower, and homework, she went to her room for talking to me in a disrespectful way. She could do whatever she wanted in there but she needed to decide which way we were going to be from now on. And if she wanted us to be friends and mom and daughter, she had to make a list of how she thought things should go around here.  As I sent her to her room I told her that I hoped she wanted us to be friends because that’s what I wanted.  Five minutes later she comes out and asks for more paper because her list was getting long.  Today I made my list.

It may be cheating but I went into her room and looked at the list that she made (hey, this is a lot harder for me. I need all the help I can get).  Her list is very mature and makes a lot of sense.  I’m really proud of her.

So, tonight will be the first of our weekly Family Meetings  (I want to come up with a cooler name for it though).  I got the idea from the book “Positive Discipline for Single Parents” (the link is over there on the right, see it?).  I’m also putting a pad of paper on the fridge for a list of grievances to be discussed at meetings. That way, when I feel myself getting in a rage, I can write it on the list and not have to react right at that moment.  I’m much more rational when I can think it through without her talking at me with her little attitude coming out (plus a little meditation will help me figure out why I am reacting the way I am).

I really  hope this works because we can’t live with all this fighting anymore. 

The world is full of women blindsided by
the unceasing demands of motherhood,
still flabbergasted by how a job can be
terrific and tortuous.

~ Anna Quindlen


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