Tuesday, June 5, 2007

it's getting hairy around here

My dear sweet little miss Malia has a nasty side to her!! You know, when Malia was a little baby (man, that seems like FOREVER ago already, guys!) she was so quiet and happy and peaceful -- well, after the first month or so of her life anyway. I was sure that she was going to be my little princess. Joelle was a very busy, loud, rebellious girl who started her "terrible two's" at 18 months already (and at almost 4 is just barely starting to come out of it), and after having Malia around for several months, I was convinced that things would be different with her. Apparantly that was just wishful thinking, because Malia is anything but a quiet, peaceful little girl now. Don't get me wrong; she's still my little princess. She's such a sweetie...BUT -- she has a side to her that is just down-right crazy.

Before she was old enough to defend herself against her big sister, I always pitied her. Poor Malia...she needs to learn to stand up for herself. Well, that day has long since come. Now I feel for Joelle...Poor girl -- her little sister can be such a bully.

Here's the thing: Malia is in a bad phase of hair pulling. That's right. She grabs on to Joelle's beautiful blond hair and pulls as hard as she can. Joelle of course shrieks from shock and pain and I go running to her aid. Sometimes I'm clear across the room and I have to bolt over as quick as I can to pry Malia's hands off of her poor sister's head. She will often have a huge clump of her hair in her grasp. This happens at least once a day, sometimes several times; I'm surprised Joelle isn't bald by now!!

After Malia gets her punishment (which doesn't seem to be very affective -- any advice??), she always needs to go up to Joelle and say "sorry" and give her a kiss. And my wonderful Joelle is so forgiving...without fail, she says "That's okay Malia" and then gives her a big hug and tells her how much she loves her. And then just like that they're best friends again...until Malia gives her hair yet another pull and we do it all over again.

I guess Joelle is really taking the "forgive seventy times seven" thing seriously. Bless her heart!


Crowbard said...

If Malia gets hugged and kissed and lovingly forgiven each time she attacks her sister it is hardly surprising that she persists in the evil practice. What an easy way to get attention. Slow down your reaction, left to herself big sis will soon learn that a quick poke in the eye is much more effective than sweetness and light - and without such a dramatic response from you there won't be any point to Malia's hirsute aggression.
Nature knows best.

Anonymous said...

Andrea, I am not a parenting expert but have you tried timeouts?? Set her on 'the naughty step' or chair for 1 minute (how old she is) and then get her to apologize.
What ever you do though keep it consistent!
It is true what crowbard said too, getting the hugs and kisses after seems to be a reward almost and maybe in her mind that makes the hair pulling okay...

Ruth said...

never a dull moment, heh? :) My pray for you is wisdom as you walk through these parenting years. CREATIVE wisdom for each situation and circustance.

shalom toyou....

ValleyGirl said...

Um, I'm all for 'nature knows best,' but I also don't think that encouraging Jo to give Malia a 'quick poke in the eye' is the answer either. Abby went through a hair-pulling phase for a while too, and one time, after realizing that flitzes and running to the rescue were obviously failing, I finally gave her hair a good yank and told her that's what it felt like when she did it to someone else. She has very rarely done it since.

Andrea said...

First of all -- to the anonymous Pam...you'll have to be more specific which one you are!!

Anyway, yes she does get time-outs. She first gets a hand slap so she feels some physical discomfort, and then she needs to sit in her time-out chair for a minute and then go apologize.

While I appreciate the suggestion that sweetness & light won't deter her from pulling hair,I also think it is very important to teach my children forgiveness. I do not want to take away the apologies and the forgiveness -- complete with hugs and kisses. It's the same after we as parents discipline our children...with spankings or whatever we choose to do -- after the punishment is given out, we hug and kiss them and let them know how much we love them. It doesn't mean that now it's okay what they have done; but they still need the reinforcement that they are loved.

As for giving Malia her own hair-tug like ValleyGirl suggested -- I may just have to give that a whirl.

Thanks for all your input!

Louise said...

Take heart, with your love and discipline she will come through this on the other side....glimpses of hope are always around!!
This too shall pass!! My son started at 18 months and only now at 7 is getting to the self control part...just love on them, they always need their mom!!!

Pamela said...

That first Pam wasn't me, lol! I would agree with the hair pulling as suggested. She may just not realize how much it hurts to have her hair pulled!

Tara said...

I believe in what you said about wanting to teach your kids forgiveness. I also believe in time outs and a little taste of your own medicine as well. In time we will all look back at this stressfull parenting times in our life and say "its finaly over they have out grown it" and are now onto something else. Also thank you for keeping me in your prayers, you are a great friend and I love you!