Wednesday, March 17, 2010
And the Oscar goes to.....
Remember my "high" with Abi a couple of blogs ago?
Yeah. It vanished last night.
Abi had a drama episode in the shower because soap got in her eyes. And from there, her world fell apart. The water was too cold. Her towel wasn't long enough. I rinsed her hair too long. It was too dark in her room and she couldn't see her pajamas.
Of course, I disciplined her. Then, after she boo-hooed endlessly, I walk into the guest room to find her laying face down on the bed.
ME- What's going on, Abi?
ABI- I don't deserve ANYthing. Just take my sheets off my bed and let me sleep on the mattress!
Oh. My. GOODNESS. I had to walk away. I laughed until I hurt in another room.
Now, before you think I'm the meanest person alive (if you don't already), you have to understand. My daughter is without a doubt the MOST secure, confident, and loved child I have ever seen in all my years of ministry. She is doted on and praised continuously, and always has been... every day of her life.
So, of course, I didn't fall for it.
Her Dad, sweet thing, spent some time reassuring her of her worth and how just because she had a bad attitude doesn't mean she's a bad child, etc. (He's the best Dad for a little girl EVER.) Daddies love their little girls, and I am so thankful for that tenderness.
I, however, am a female, and I have played her game before. I just had to leave the room until the drama was over.
So, this morning, I was on my way to work, and my sister called me. She said, "I found out what Abi said about the mattress. She saw that on Full House the other day while I was watching her." Then she proceeded to recall the entire scene, verbatim to what Abi had performed for us last night.
I was ROLLING laughing.
The word MANIPULATE means "to play upon by artful means, especially to one's own advantage."
See, all kids do it. It may not be in the form of Full House episodes. It may come in the form of sullenness, hurtful words used to make you second guess yourself, pity parties, and it can even come in the form of buttering you up with sweetness. But, we have to be wise. And preemptive. It starts at infancy, and continues forever. People know how to manipulate at every age.
When Abi was a baby (probably around 9 months old), and the attention wouldn't be on her, she would fake cough or fake sneeze to get us to say, "God bless you" to her. Yep. She couldn't even walk, but she knew how to play the game.
So, what's a parent to do? Be wise. Be gentle. Ask God to show you what's really going on in the situation. By playing into their game, we are bringing long term problems to them down the road.
I'm gonna have a little talk with Miss Abi today, and let her know that her plot has been exposed. She's a smart one.
But I'm smarter. :)