Today was one of those days that I felt like wringing Ricki's neck. She has a test tomorrow (Geography), and she simply did avoidance-tricks all afternoon to avoid reviewing the material. Now its not that I think that knowing the name of the type of climate in each area of Europe is that important (as a long-term goal) for her. Nor to know the meaning of "Berlin Wall". But since she basically DOES know the information, and a brief touch-up of the material would greatly enhance her getting a passing grade, it was quite frustrating that she refused to study. (She didn't refuse by words, only by action....)
Now add to that the method she choose to avoid studying: eating. (and eating and eating.) It quickly degenerated to a battle of wills between the two of us, and at half-time, she was ahead. Eventually, I was able to induce her to study by point-blank refusing to turn the computer on for her, until she would finish her tasks. So she grudgingly obliged, but it was a bittersweet moment for me.
So what's the "nighttime magic"? I suspect every parent has experienced it. After a really tough day with your child, step into his room when he is sleeping. Suddenly, all the stubbornness, contrariness, and anger has been erased from their features, the false facade has crumbled away, and you see the pure child he can be at times. It's a reminder of all that potential within, if you can only reign in your own temperament and ego, and approach the child with sensitivity and calm firmness. Magic!
Now if someone can develop some magic to obtain "sensitivity and calm firmness", let me know!