Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Little Adam & Eve, Anyone?

Maybe it's because it's summer. Or maybe it's just because we've hit some type of new stage with my kids. We've got a serious case of AES, Adam and Eve Syndrome, around our house. Heard of it?

You know, where someone always has someone else to blame for their behavior. Because we all know that my children were not endowed with brains and free will like all of the rest of us. Yes, my children must be exceptional and their behavior totally depends on what is done or said to them and they act accordingly. Well, at least that's what my children seem to think.

It seems to come up quite often in scenarios such as this:

Mom: "Why did you just pinch your sister on the lip and make it bleed?"
Boy: "She MADE me do it. She wouldn't play with me."
Mom: "But that's not the point. I'm not asking you what your sister did. I'm asking why you think pinching (hitting, scratching, biting, spitting, pulling, etc.) is acceptable behavior for our household?"
Boy: "MOOOMMM...."

And from there it leads into the extended tale of woe. The one where all of the world's wrongs have clearly only been done to little tender heart. Oh boy. Cue the violin while you're at it.

Not that Sister has been without her treasure trove of ways to inflict injury to her sibling either. But really, where does this stuff come from?

So I try as much as I can to draw attention, especially to my dear boy that there is this amazing thing called anger and when we use it in wrong ways and hurt others that it's not acceptable. Several reminders that God gave us a free will and the decision to choose wisely are thrown in for good measure. I'm trying to figure out how to steer him in a better and more proper way of redirecting this emotion and realizing why he's really upset. Tough though. All he knows is that he's mad and somebody's gotta pay for it. Why not blame it on someone else?

After all, it all started with an apple, a man, a woman...and we all know where that got us. Yes, human nature and all it's flaws are alive and well in our house this summer. Just keeping it real here, people.

What about you? What kind of idiosyncrasies/syndromes/phases are hitting your household lately? Please tell me something is off kilter, just so I know that we are 'normal' around here.


  1. Well, my 4 children are perfect angels, so I have no advice.

    Yeah, right.

    When Maggie has been hitting lately, I just say "Do you want Mommy to hit you?" and she says no, and then I tell her not to hit anyone else. I might be inducing more fear than respect though.

    With the boys, we literally seperate them. Different rooms until they are ready to play nicely together.

    My mom swears we were all going to kill each other (there were 6 of us), but we somehow made it through, so that helps me see the bigger picture when my littles start fighting.

    Just persevere!!!

  2. Totally normal! Boys and girls are so different from one another. After three girls, then bringing home Stan...I bought my first book on parenting. I felt like a had absolutely no clue!

    One awesome piece of advice that my pediatrician told me, boys do not have remorse like girls. Not sure if that is true with you all, but it is true in our house.

    They do feed off of one another. Stan seems to be harder to get under control. He just has the impulse without thinking of the outcome. After almost five years, I've finally accepted that he isn't doing the reaction on purpose. It is impulse.

    The books by Dr. Meg Meekler are awesome: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, and Boys Should Be Boys. She has 30 years experience as a Catholic pediatrician.

    Hang in there. This, too, shall pass!

  3. What I've been getting is, "Mom, I ACCIDENTALLY slapped himon the face!"

    Yes, totally normal! Hang in there!

  4. How about the "I didn't know she was going to get hurt" which follows with "I didn't do it on purpose"

    Uh, huh, sure.

    It just shows our sinful nature, we are born with it. It's the free will that we are training in our children.

    It got so bad yesterday, I kicked all of them outside (except Bridget) closed the blinds, so they couldn't see me folding clothes in the kitchen and locked the doors.

    It was only 40 minutes and they had water.

  5. Thanks Mom's for keeping it real and your honesty! It's so nice to know that we are not alone. Wonderful and helpful advice, as always.

    Thanks Patti for the book suggestions. I'll have to check these out.

  6. Oh, my kids are going through that, too. In fact, when I heard that reading at Mass--the Genesis reading about God reprimanding Adam and Eve in the garden--I had to fight back laughter. My husband shot me a couple of dirty looks because my shoulders were shaking and I was turning red. But it's true! God must have just wanted to smack their rear ends and put them in time out!

    There were 9 of us (Ha! We beat Colleen!) and we fought all the time. Now we all get along great; I'm the oldest at 32 and the youngest two are 17.

    Our 8 year old antagonizes the younger kids; she'll take their toys when they've set them down for 21 seconds. Our 7 year old is God's noisy gift from Heaven; she doesn't act out much. My 5.75 year old boy is NAUGHTY NAUGHTY NAUGHTY when he wants to be. Or, I should say, when he's good, he's really good and when he's naughty, he's really naughty. For example, he'll sit and entertain 6 month old Maria for a half hour, make her smile, laugh, and coo, and then all of a sudden, he's sticking his finger in her throat and gagging her on purpose! WHAT!? The 3 year old is ALL 3 and ALL boy. He is the one who starts crying when he gets in trouble for hitting, kicking, or throwing toys at the other kids. He does it to get attention.

    I think it's maybe end of summer restlessness? I hope it's a phase. Whatever it is, I'm sure your kids are perfectly normal!

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  8. Sarah,
    Sorry to weigh in so late....

    Yes, the Dr. Meg Meeker books are GREAT - I highly recommend them.

    Also - a tried and true discipline tip that REALLY WORKS for our family: When two kiddos are aiming for the jugular, make them sit on their knees, facing each other, on the sofa/floor/whatever. Have them TOUCH NOSES but no other body part can touch. Set the timer, and walk away til the time is up. (I usually went 3 minutes for littles, and up to 7 minutes for the big 'uns.) Noses must touch or the timer begins all over again. They start off fuming, but once that timer rings, they have been transformed into friends again. Really.

    Try it with your perfectly normal kiddos the next time they get going. :-) It works!

  9. It always amazes me how it just doesn't seem to occur to our kids that they could hurt each other or that it is to their advantage to actually listen to us the first time we ask them to stop doing something. It seems like it should be so easy, but apparently it's not! Even now, I'm having a hard time writing this so that it makes any sense because I am so tired from getting after the kids and sending them to their rooms all day!

    I finally published my post on the Catholic Devotion meme. Thank you again for including me on that! :)


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