Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Fits

Babygirl has launched a new career. Well, maybe it's just a hobby, but she could make it into a career. She is perfecting the art of throwing a tantrum.

This morning, she was happy to see DaycareKid arrive. She invited him upstairs to play in her room. Soon after, they came traipsing downstairs. She put on her yellow rainboots and DaycareKid put on his sneakers and I helped them with jackets and they went into our fenced-in backyard to play.

The mornings have been chilly, though, so they were quickly ready to come back inside. Babygirl came through the patio door and decreed that DaycareKid must stay outside.

I overruled her decision and she revved up her engines. By the time I had her jacket off, she was screaming and stomping. I gave her a choice (stop or go upstairs to bed) and she screamed more. So I carried her, still wearing the rubber boots, up to her crib where I deposited her without ceremony.

I closed the door.

Eventually, she quit screaming and I retrieved her.

Fit number two came when we layed down for a nap. I was so tired--5:20 a.m. comes so early for this nightowl. She began to cry and worked herself into a frenzy, complete with kicking her feet and banging her head into the pillow. I ignored her first, then mimicked her, but that had no effect, so I went back to ignoring her. She must have carried on for a good thirty minutes before she settled down. It took her another thirty minutes to actually fall asleep.

She woke up and launched right into fit number three. When I heard her wake up, I hurried to the room, but she was already in the throes of irrational crying. I gave her a few choices, which she completely rejected. Then I carried her to her own room and plopped her into her crib. This time I turned on a Winnie-the-Pooh video, so when she stopped, she could watch.

The fit lasted long enough for me to wash all the lunch dishes.

When my older children were her age, I used to reason, threaten, even spank them for tantrums like this. Now, I just ignore fits.

The moral of the story: As they say, if you can't change the behavior, change the location of the behavior.

8 Comments:

Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Sounds like you are dealing with this appropriately and consistently.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Tantrums in our house result in being sent to your room, too. It usually takes about 2 minutes before she comes out and announces that she's done crying.

6:44 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

When my son had days like that I would ignore him, but when I did talk to him I wasn't so very pleasant. I would leave him in his room to cry it out just as you did. Inevitably it would turn out that he was ill and had some sort of terribly painful ear infection or sore throat....something to that effect, and I would spend the next three days feeling guilty. -sigh- Motherhood is hard.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

There's nothing quite like a two year old!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

When I took a parent/child class devoted to toddlers, they told us to offer choices (just like you do) because toddlers are trying to exert their independence and test their boundaries. Giving them choices allows THEM to feel they are in control while you really are.

I don't typically watch those TV shows where a nanny comes into a chaotic household and tries to help the parents learn how to control their children but one evening I was flipping through the channels and stopped on one nanny show. The parents had absolutely NO control - their children HIT them, threw fits and generally got their way while the parents simpered and gave in and politely asked their children to stop their bad behavior. You don't ASK misbehaving kids to stop - you give them options so they CHOOSE to stop.

I feel for you! But it sounds like you're doing great - maybe you should even get an iPod or something similar and just strap it on when she's having a fit - that would be an obvious demonstration to her that you're not going to listen to her fits so why should she bother. And then you'll get to listen to soothing tunes to help you relax.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Lizanne said...

My daughter used to hold her breath until she would pass out. How fun is that?! I would blow in her face to make her breathe because I couldn't stand that she would do it. A friend who was a child development specialist said just to let her pass out then she would start breathing on her own. I did and she did...talk about scary! She did it about 3 more times before she realized it didn't accomplish what she wanted and then she moved on to biting. Hooray for children with creativity!

Keep up the ignoring, eventually she will stop or move on to something equally as annoying. :-)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Oh my! What a day!!!!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Christi said...

Yeah, so what's up with that? How old is your daughter exactly? I remember the other day I was telling someone that my son's terrible twos were actually the worst before he was two. Boy, was I wrong! He's usually very laid back, and he knows what the rules are (at least when he's w/me) and follows them well. In the last few days, however, he's started having little fits when things don't go his way. I don't know if he gets quite as involved as your little one, but he, again, is going from nothing to a lot for me! He used to just move on if I said no or to hold on. Now he pushes the issue, and if I still say no, he just breaks out crying! Plus, he's very emotional now, too. His dad said he was stuck today (we were playing), and he broke into tears like he was afraid his dad was stuck forever! So is this the terrible twos for real? It's starting to annoy me. I miss my easy-going son!

8:48 PM  

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