His high-pitched shout echoed down the hall.
“Buddy, please just go put on your shoes. I don’t want to ask you again.”
“I don’t want to!”
I sighed loudly as I braced myself for yet another showdown.
My five-year-old had been pushing all my buttons for weeks. He was cranky and would balk at the simplest requests. The sass had reached an all-time high.
On top of that, he was incredibly needy even though we were spending almost every day together.
I was at my wits end, and I felt like our relationship was really struggling. It was one of those seasons in parenting when I was at a complete loss for what to do next, even though I knew something had to change.
Ever been there?
If you have, you know it’s not a fun place to be.
It was during this time of desperately searching for some solution, when a parenting webinar led me to the work of Dr. Laura Markham and her book, Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting.
The title immediately caught my eye. I longed for a peace-filled home, and of course I wanted happy kids. What parent doesn’t?
Sheer frustration had me yelling way more than I ever imagined I would, and I knew the connection with my son was suffering greatly as a result. This book couldn’t arrive fast enough!
I dove right in, and when I read the section about spending special time with kids, a light bulb went off.
I realized although my son was around me for a significant part of each day, we often weren’t spending quality one-on-one time together. With his little brother to care for, along with the general busyness of life, I just wasn’t paying enough attention to him. (It pains me to say that aloud.)
His neediness that, at times, was downright exhausting was a clue. His defiance and cranky attitude? Also clues. I was not giving him the connection time that he needed.
I didn’t know if having special time with my son was going to bring harmony back to our relationship, but I was eager to give it a shot.