My youngest daughter, McMonkey, is driving me nuts lately. I never thought I'd want a mindful child (i.e. having her do as I say, not as she pleases) but it sure would be nice if she were that way. It seems that the more I push her to do things, the more that she finds other ways to do as she pleases that follow the letter, rather than the spirit of what I've asked. Either that, or she makes excuses for acting against my wishes.
Case in point: going to bed when I've asked her. She makes a game of staying up late (bragging the next morning that she "tried" to stay up to midnight, or 11:30, or some other time) even though I've tried to discourage her from staying up late. I explain that I don't want her to stay up, siting reasons like her being tired will make her grumpy, even threatening to not let her have friends over, etc., but it doesn't seem to stick with her. We have a bedtime routine of putting on pajamas, brushing teeth, reading a story, lights out and then going to sleep, but she will often come out and "visit" me or Jennifer several times after lights out time. Even if I am dead tired and zonk out as soon as the kids are in bed, she will come and visit. This and all the other little things - not wanting to help with household chores, keeping the TV off (we have limited TV time every day) - are all combining to make me feel like I am losing my ability to raise and discipline this child. Barbara Coloroso, where are you when I need you?