Saturday, April 30, 2011

Big Little Voice

My daughter has a big voice.  I don’t mean that her voice is loud.  Or screechy.  
Just BIG.
Being the mother of a daughter means instilling in her a solid sense of strength.  Of not giving up or giving in because people expect less of you.
It means giving her a voice.

Girrrrl Power!

Thing is, sometimes she is under the impression that hers is the only voice that matters.
Peyton has been described as a “dynamic” child.  At age 9, she is intense in every emotion - from happiness to anger to sadness - she feels them all with the same fervor.
She huff and puffs and stomps and sulks over the smallest slight.  Is the universe playing some kind of cosmic joke on me?  Testing my patience?  My resolve?  Is there a hidden camera somewhere? (and if so, maybe I'd better think twice about throttling her.)
Other moms have told me that this is quite ‘normal’ and are experiencing the same things with their daughters.  Kind of a macabre “preview of the teen years” attitude.  I just don’t buy that.
When does a big little voice become too big?
When it starts to overtake the entire family.

This always happens when I tell her to clean her room.

Peyton feels entitled to express her opinion about everything and all topics are open to debate.  There is one problem with that:
One’s sense of entitlement does not make one entitled.
So, how do you foster good self-esteem and strong character while at the same time asserting parental authority?  Good question.  My plan is to make sure that she knows she is loved, but not letting her operate under the delusion that she is any more important than any other member of our family.  
I think that’s where Dina went all wrong with Lindsay.

My girl has her own opinions and her own sense of self.  I think the thing that's missing for me is that her strong personality leaves little room for me to be the "mommy" I want to be.  
What she needs is firm guidance and loving approval;  what I need is to be "needed" by her a little more.

But for now, I think I can settle for just a little more civility...


  1. If you locate the formula for civility, would you please forward it? I need a good dose of that for my 14-year-old son. Thanks in advance.

  2. I like what you said about 'one's sense of entitlment does not mean one is entitled.' And Sharyn- my sister teaches in high school and has a theory that all 14 year old boys should be sent to boot camp for a year and not be allowed to say anything to their mothers :)

  3. I think it's going to involve Benadryl and duct tape. I'll keep you informed.

  4. Her newest 'entitlement' campaign is for a cell phone - some of her friends have them, so she's hot to get one herself. She doesn't understand that in order to get, you have to give - I can't even get her to put her dirty clothes in the hamper! Was I that bad?

  5. And what happens when you have TWO strong, big voices? You have the insane relationship between my mother and me, which involves lots of yelling, screaming, stomping and slamming, cursing and hanging of the phone.. Until tomorrow, when I call her and ask, "How do I get this stain out of my dress?" My husband is completely mystified by it. And my daughter and I are destined to repeat it.

    LOVE your writing.

  6. I don't have girls, but part of me says to let her freak flag fly...

  7. I'm glad you liked it!

    Actually {she says bashfully,} that's kind of the situation we're in here.
    If I were being honest with myself, I'd say we're a lot more alike than I
    care to think about. God help us all if she turns out like me!

  8. But alas, if I do that, she'll be riding in cars with boys at age fifteen
    (like I did!)

  9. That will serve her well in her later years. Now if you can just get her through the middle ones. :)

  10. This is GREAT. And really, what an amazing picture of Lindsey. But I hear you loud and clear - I would like a little room to be the mommy that I want to be too. Why do they make it so damn hard??

  11. I'm going through this with my 21 YO daughter now. For some reason she missed this rebellion when she was still young enough for me to tell her what to do. Now it's just unsolicited advice. You know, they "you shouldn't get married right now" and the "are you sure a divorce is next, it hasn't even been a year?" Grrr. Either way, I've always tried to live by the notion that, if your kids don't hate you every now and then, you're doing it wrong. For the most part, I have a 'can't ask for better' relationship with my girls, almost 17 and 21, but sometimes I have to jerk back the reins and let them know, who birthed who, leaving them to walk away with that "man, I hate that b****" running though their backsass talkin' mouths.

  12. Awesome post! I agree with you 100%. We definitely need to have a voice...but we should also let others have one too.

  13. I was loud and sensitive and what was my mom always on my butt about? My being too loud and overly sensitive. I now have a loud and sensitive 9-year-old boy. I give him a little more leeway than others are comfortable with because he is me, right? But there should always be limits. That's what the parents are for, Dina Lohan, setting limits.

  14. Well, no one will ever accuse her of being a doormat, that's for sure!

  15. My thanks to Ms. Lohan for illustrating my point beautifully. I think it's
    pre-programmed for daughters to act like that - kind of a karmic payback for
    what we did to our moms (only our moms didn't blog about it, so there's no
    REAL record!)

  16. I completely agree! Although the "you'll thank me later" speech rarely
    sinks in until they thank you later...

  17. Puh-leeze! If I keep hearing "but it's not fair!" when I tell her to: a.)
    finish her homework, b.) pick up after herself, or c.) get some shoes on
    when it's 20 degrees out, I swear, I'm going to ship her off the the Peace
    Corps (where they will return her immediately for being a pain in the ass.)

  18. I have a fifteen year old who is the same type. I let her speak her mind for a certain amount of time and then I tell her she is done now and deliver my verdict. She tries to keep it going but I remain firm. And then I hide in the bathroom.

  19. Thanks for stopping by! At our house, we all have our voices, it's just that hers is the loudest by far (contemplating muzzle shopping over the weekend...)

  20. That sound fair. Hmm, maybe a little TOO fair. Bring a hatchet to the
    bathroom with you.

    On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 11:18 AM

  21. Ha! Well, if Godzilla can be tamed, I have full faith in you! :)

  22. Sounds we need to do everything in our power to keep our 9-year-olds from marrying each other. Which means they will magically discover love online in 20 years. They can live with you.

  23. almost 3yo sounds a lot like your daughter. in her mind only HER voice matters in all aspects. If she ain't happy, no one is!

    If I can't handle that NOW, I really dread the years to come...

  24. I think I was just like your daughter. No wonder my Mother was vexed. I turned out pretty well :-)

  25. I dunno Liz. Godzilla is like a walk in the park compared to a "pre-tween"
    girl... ::-)

  26. Thanks for stopping by, Alison! I turned out pretty well too, but I think I
    aged my mother prematurely!

    On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 8:52 PM

  27. I say you take 'Motpg's advice to hide in the bathroom. And my advice to
    bring a hatchet. Godspeed, girl. Godspeed...

  28. Great post! My middle child has a voice like your Peyton...unfortunately, we never found a way to convince her that other voices are just as important...and she's now 21...LOL

  29. Yikes! You might want to start monitoring any new "Girls' Gone Wild"
    videos. (Do they even still make those?)

  30. Thankfully she has a husband and a son who keep her very busy...can't wait to see if HE has a big voice like her...he's showing signs of it at 18 months....hehehe


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