I always thought that when the kids were old enough to do things for themselves that I could relax for a while, just sit back and enjoy them until they hit the awkward tween years. Boy, was I wrong. Taking care of preschoolers, toddlers and babies seems so easy, so clear cut compared to older kids.
Corrina is 7 (I'm not sure if she's a typical 7 year old) and our relationship seems to be deteriorating very quickly. We have reached this point where everything I say is wrong. I only have to ask a simple question about her day and it usually turns into a big deal. She spends most of her time in her room listening to music. She lies to me. She is always playing her dad against me. She does her best to avoid spending time alone with me and when we are alone, she spends our time arguing with everything I say.
I can't help but have the feeling that we are failing miserably as her parents. I'm not sure where to begin with her. These are issues I didn't think I'd have to deal with for at least another 4 years. I don't know if I am making something bigger out of the situation or if Steve downplays the problem too much. For example, she spends an enormous amount of time in her room staring at herself in the mirror. I told Steve that I think we should probably do something about it. I don't see anyway that it can be a positive thing. He said he thought it was probably normal and didn't know what we could do about it anyway. That's when I told him that this is how eating disorders are developed...and bitches are made.
This brings us to our bigger problem-weight. She has put on quite a bit of weight lately. It has gotten to the point where clothes that she just got 2 or 3 months ago will not fit at all. I've also realized how much food she eats. I've caught her sneaking to the kitchen while Steve and I are putting the other girls in bed and eating. She comes downstairs after we've gone to sleep and eats. I've tried to talk to her about it, but of course, it ends in a fight. I'm just mean mom who doesn't want her to have any enjoyment in life. I'm trying not to harp on her about it because I don't want her to feel self conscious about weight at the age of 7. I don't want her obsessing over it. I want her to feel good about herself and love everything about herself. But sneaking food? I can't really ignore that, can I?
I know that I haven't always been a great role model when it comes to making wise choices about food. I've been trying to change this. I make 3 meals a day, we avoid convenience food and usually only eat out maybe once every 2 weeks. I don't buy sweets or chips. We limit the amount of sugar we have. I have even joined the gym and exercise on a daily basis. I realize that the choices I make and my actions have a huge impact on the way my children view things. What else can I change? What is the best way to address the changes in my daughter? Is this behavior typical of a 7 year old? Right now, I just don't know, but I will find the answers to my questions.