One of Those Things

I mentioned in my last post that I’m having a problem with one of my children.

This is a dilemma of “mommy” blogging, if you will. Do I talk about this problem? How to do so in such a way that spares the feelings of the child in question? Is that possible? It is definitely desired.

There are stories that I haven’t told here, out of respect for my children. I don’t want them labeled as problem children, or think I am complaining about them, or that I don’t love them. Even as I am going out of my mind with frustration or worry, I steer away from this space to talk about it. Some of my lucky friends (who also read this blog) get alarmed emails from me, though.

How to ask for help without getting criticized for bad parenting, or exposing my child(ren) to outside criticism? Granted, this has proven to be a safe space (except for that one time I talked about the health care law). Then again, I certainly don’t want one of my kids stumbling on this space and thinking that she or he were ever a real problem child.

I also have the opportunity in this platform to *ask for help* though. People who know me and know my family know that I find one of my children to be a bit more challenging (most of the time; believe me, all my kids have their moments). She’s not a problem child, though, well-behaved in school, and well-loved by everyone she comes in contact with.

(I know, we all know who I’m talking about.)

It’s just that there are things that happen that I want to stop happening, now. Is there a book out there I should look at? A website? Something about stopping the negative attention feedback (“Even negative attention is good!”).

Or is this a phase that she is going through, and Dan and I just have to wait it out?

Or are middle/second children unique creatures that I need to study up on? (Dan and I are both oldest children.)

How can I become a better parent to this child, and relatedly to all my children? That’s the goal here: not to change her, or to change me, but to change the way we interact (when it’s bad, and it’s not always bad. She is a bright, funny, delightful, and loving child. And also GAH! STOP PUSHING EVERYONE’S BUTTONS!).

See where I’m going with this?

My husband said something that hit home with me recently: This is it. This is the only chance we get with our kids.

I’m not going to be a perfect parent. They aren’t going to be perfect kids. And I don’t want to helicopter — those are not the types of strategies I am looking for here.

I think I can do better with her, though. I just am not sure how.

So, my parent friends, my non-parent friends, my once-upon-a-time-I-was-a younger-sibling friends, my once-upon-a-time-I-was-a-challenging child friends: any suggestions for me?