Thursday, March 24, 2011

Master Manipulator

My darling little Violet is swiftly on her way to becoming a master manipulator. I don't know if that is the function of a second child, or what, but she is getting darn good about worming her way into getting exactly what she wants. most of the time.

First of all, she plays up the extra sweet card. If Milo is having a rough moment, she pours on the charm, asking us, "Am I listening, Mommy?" or "Look, Mommy, I washed my hands." Stinker. Poor Milo has no chance because she is remarkably adept at figuring out what he's doing and making a 180 on us, doing the exact opposite.

As in he says, "I don't LIKE this rice with my taco."

She says, "I just love it -- it's yummy!" and then she takes a big bite to prove it.

I don't like the idea of having to compare and contrast my children. I don't think it is an effective way to discipline, nor do I like the way it puts one sibling in the negative role. In this case, it always seems to be Milo who is getting chided and chastised.

If I praise him, she's right there with a "I did it, too, Mommy! See, I was good, too!" so trying to compensate and help him out isn't working too well, either. Sigh...

On the whole, Milo really is a good kid and he doesn't deserve to feel like we prefer his sister or get after him constantly. I just don't quite know what to do here... I try to carve out some time with him each day, but he's a busy kid with his own agenda of stuff to do. This is good, I prefer it when my kids can keep themselves entertained and aren't constantly whining about being bored, but he's needing me less and less each day, I swear. As his reading ability grows, his need for me will dwindle -- except for feeding, clothing, and cleaning up after him. He's not a baby any more and is a very confident and successful schoolchild now. His capabilities are limited only by his imagination, which is quite large.

And, I guess, by his little sister's one-upmanship. Maybe it's a good thing that he's thrilled to be "the only kid boy" in the family, 'cuz he's about to be awash in a sea of girl...


Mrs Redboots (Annabel Smyth) said...

I am sure that, sooner or later, Milo will realise what Violet's doing and deal with it himself! Perhaps you could set an example by teasing her a bit when she does - calling her "Little Miss Perfect" or something similar. Making it clear you don't really like her doing it, but it's not wrong or naughty. She sounds very like me, only in my case my brother was some years younger, and a serious nuisance as my parents thought he was perfect (at least, I thought they thought he was) and were always dropping on me as the elder. Only he was as bad as me, but my mother said he was quieter and didn't draw attention to what he was doing, he just got on with it!

Anyway, we survived and are good friends now.

Rhonda Schrock said...

Oh, he'll figure it out. And by the way - as a boy, he will learn exactly which buttons to push that will make all those girlies scream. Don't be too hard on him, though. It's called survival. :)

Hope all is well with you and the babies!