Saturday, November 26, 2011

Arguing with Sabrina

Sabrina has always been verbal.  As a baby she cooed incessantly.  She graduated into words, then phrases, and eventually sentences.  Her clarity has improved over time, but she has always talked a lot.  I frequently joke that Sabrina doesn't always talk; at night she sleeps.

Lately her talkative nature has crossed paths with an emerging toddler defiance/boundary challenging attitude.  Yes, she has started to argue with me.  Catherine has challenged me every step of the way since birth, so I have become used to and even appreciate her strong willed nature.

But Sabrina has always been a compliant, cooperative child.  Until now.  Every day she takes serious exception to things I say.  She will scream or cry when I stand my ground, insisting that I am wrong.  These are some of the things we have argued about in the last week or so:

Whether it is Monday
If she has a brother
If she can draw on the wall
If the grass is green
Whether she has two arms
Whether Catherine's name is "Catherine"
Whether the house we have just arrive at is our house
Whether she lives in that house with us
Whether or not it is night time
Whether they sell food at Publix
If this is really my car
If she can stand up in the grocery cart
If my car really needs gas
Does she have to take a bath
Can she stay in the bath tub all night

You get the idea, these arguments occur all the time. I try not to enter into unnecessary arguments, but I do feel like I have to correct her.  There remains the eternal question: "Does she really believe the "position" she is arguing or is she just making conversation with me?"  I still want her to believe me when I tell her things, so I feel like I have to reiterate the truth. 

At times these arguments are cute; they can be so silly that I have to laugh.  But, when my day is a little stressful, I am sometimes impatient with her and react negatively.  I know she is pushing her boundaries and that is an essential part of her development.  I also know that I have to win these battles, or at least the majority of them.  I must remain an authority figure in her life. 

I pray that God will give me the patience to calmly, consistently parent Sabrina during this phase.

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