Jekyll and Hyde

Bug is a good kid.  Really.  She is pleasant to be around, she obeys and listens and picks up her toys.  She is funny and smart and active and compliant.  She is somewhat nervous which makes her not take risks that other moms worry about.  If you tell her the danger of something, she pays attention.  She sleeps well, goes to bed when she is told, and is content.  She is at her best in the mornings when she wakes up, playing for hours by herself.  She responds well to discipline, especially the elimination of her favorite activities when she isn’t doing what she is told.  She weighs her choices carefully, and more often than not, the elimination of a particular activity is not worth the disobedient thing that she wants to do.  Even if it is just talking back to me.

Is this nature of nurture?  Is she a compliant child by nature or have I worked really hard?  Is it a combination?

Apparently the ex is having a tough time.  Right down to the point where he doesn’t want her to stay with him anymore.  She won’t sleep for him.  She won’t stay in her bedroom at night and stays up very late.  He gets no peace when she is there.  He has to either let her fall asleep with a movie running or he has to lay in bed with her until she falls asleep.  I have never ever had to do any of these things.  She has asked me to on occasion, usually upon return from her dads house, but I do not allow it.  It isn’t even a question.  But the behavior has gotten so out of hand at his house that he doesn’t even want her around!

Nature or nurture?  We have a real life Jekyll and Hyde on our hands.  I’ve worked extraordinarily hard to make sure I have as easy a time as possible with her most times.  Her dad takes the easy route and doesn’t even want her to be around right now.

I’ve done all the suggesting I can with him and I choose no longer to be involved with his decisions as long as they are not directly hurting her.  I don’t like that he cannot be consistent, but I cannot create a good parent out of him any more than I was able to create a good husband out of him.  Instead, I will spend more time with her and she will continue to be more pleasant around me.  I guess in the end, I feel like the winner.

2 thoughts on “Jekyll and Hyde

  1. Shells, I’ve always believed that children look to adults for cues as to how they should act, and that it’s the job of the parent to give them cues for good behavior. When you expect the best from children and require them to give it to you, they give it to you. When you’re inconsistant, indecisive, lackadaisical, they walk all over you. Poor Bug isn’t Jekyll/Hyde. She’s just responding to the cues she gets. She’s pushing boundaries. She does what she thinks she can get away with.

    You’re right — your ex doesn’t know how to be a good parent, and you can’t make him be one.

    Have you talked to the Bug about her behavior at her dad’s house?

    At any rate — big *HUGS* to you. I think you’re a wonderful parent.

  2. Behind every bratty kid is a parent. And the inverse is true. Behind every well adjusted kid is a parent. Congratulations on your consistency. That’s what she wants and needs! I can’t even imagine being a single parent. You’ve done an exceptional job.

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