Posts Tagged ‘temper’

Mom to Mom

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Over the weekend, my husband and I attended a friend’s wedding. I knew the groom, but not another soul present. I met a few people my husband knew from the Navy and mutual friends of the groom. The two couples joined us at our table and the wives hit it off like we were long time friends.

One of the girls mentioned she had two boys ages three and five. She loved them dearly, but admitted their youngest was a challenge. I had to confess to her that my youngest sounded very similar to her child. She was in the throes of toddler-hood and felt like she couldn’t get a step ahead. She was seeking advice from me about how to take control of stressful situations, what disciplinary actions I took, and whether the meltdowns ever fade away. I gave her the best advice I could, regarding what worked (and didn’t work) for me, as the parent of a strong willed child. But I assured her, that I was still learning.

The next day on the long drive home, I thought about the conversation. I specifically remember hard and emotional days when I felt like the world was closing in around me. I remember my little toddler whom I couldn’t control. I didn’t think I would go a day without Tate having a crying fit over the wrong colored cup, screaming and wiggling when buckling the car seat, the picky eater, or the destruction the little guy could unfold. But, lo and behold, I feel the meltdowns are fading and there are more smiles than tears.

Tate has come a long way over the last couple of years. He is showing maturity at home and at school. He still has his moments, and times of OCD, but his emotions are manageable for both him and me. Tomorrow he could swing back to his old ways, but I know he has it in him to control his feelings, and do/say the right thing.

Crime Wave

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Be careful out there! On the loose is a 21-month-old toddler with violent ambitions and nothing to lose. I speak of course of my own flesh and blood, my toddler son, Hudson. And he was off to such a promising start.

Hudson is starting to internalize the effectiveness of using brute force to get what he wants. Hitting, punching, kicking—he’s ruthless. If you’re in his path, I urge you to comply. A toy, a cookie, passage to a forbidden room—whatever it is, for your own safety, give it up!

Sources say that they expect Hudson-related to crime to subside at some point within the calendar year. In the meantime, use caution, especially when in the vicinity of Hudson’s unusually large head, his most dangerous weapon.

GrowUpLearning will release updates as they become available. Stay safe.

A Good Report

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:

Yesterday was the day for parent/teacher conferences. I’ve been on the edge of my seat all school year waiting to hear what Tate’s teacher had to report about him. I know he understands his academics, but I question his behavior. One minute he can be the sweetest, kindest, caring soul, and the next minute he can be downright rude.

Over the last five weeks of school, I’ve noticed Tate is having fewer and fewer fits. He is using words to relieve frustration instead of cries or screams. He is understanding of consequences and learning to make better choices. I’ve been praising him on his good behavior, because it is making him a better person and making me a calmer mom. I can only hope it continues.

I briefly chatted with Tate’s teacher about how he is doing so far this school year. She informed me he is doing wonderfully. I mentioned some concerns I had about him, and she hasn’t noticed anything of that nature in the classroom. He still needs to learn how to wait his turn before speaking, but I’m not at all surprised about that. Our little chatterbox loves to let everyone know what he thinks. Tate’s teacher also mentioned that for being one of the youngest in his class he is moving right along with the older students in his grade. This was something else I was concerned about, and am happy to know he is meshing well.

Overall, I’m extremely satisfied with Tate’s teacher’s report. I obviously was not expecting to hear anything terrible, but I had a few concerns that turned out to be unwarranted. I breathed a sigh of relief. I don’t have to worry (as much) about whether or not he is showing good behavior at school. Sending Tate to kindergarten was the right choice. I don’t know if it’s our bedtime chats, peer influence, or just growing up, but I’m elated to see Tate is maturing and becoming a great student. It’s been a long five years, and I think we’re both ready for a new phase of life.

Independence

Friday, August 15th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin
Rory has been showing a very strong “I can do it myself” attitude lately.  Whether it is trying to climb into his highchair (which is far too tall for him to do on his own), turning the pages of his books, or stealing the sunscreen stick away from me as I try to put it on his face each morning before daycare, Rory much prefers doing it on his own (or at least trying too).

I am somewhat fearful that this new-found independence is early onset “terrible twos,” though, at a mere nineteen months, I know it is probably a little early to be too worried.  That being said, we are certainly starting to see more obstinance emerge, especially when he is tired or when he is intensely focused on a toy/book/safety hazard that he picked up off of the floor and insists upon playing with.

In some cases, the independence is perfectly welcome.  For example, last evening he spent nearly fifteen minutes playing with his mini basketball hoop over-and-over-and-over-and-over.  He was perfectly content dunking ball after ball after ball.  The only time he actually got upset was when I tried to put an oversized ball through the hoop on my own instead of letting him do so himself.  Watching him entertain himself was a joy; and being able to sit back and watch was a welcome relief at the end of a long day.

In other cases, the independence can be quite the obstacle.  Heaven help us if we try to take away a book at bedtime that he is in the middle of reading, if we try to make him leave his toy of choice behind when we head out the door to daycare, or if we don’t have dinner ready exactly when he wants it with the precise utensil he’s looking for to eat it with.  We’ve been testing out our most creative redirection skills with some success.  Just last night we moved on from post-bath play time and toward toothbrushing by taking the book that we couldn’t pry away from him into the bathroom with us and reading it while he brushed.

Sometimes I feel a little bit as though we’re giving in to his demands a bit too easily.  Other times we simply endure the cries knowing that he’ll get over it eventually.  As with any phase, I am sure this one will pass and another will emerge, so rather than spend too much time searching for the perfect solution, we’ll just do our best to look for the positive aspects of this most recent developmental shift.

Pushing my Buttons

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

From Wednesday Mom: Janelle
This summer I have spent a lot of time with my two boys. Most days they are wonderful, but some days they can really test my patience. After a long day of parenting, my younger likes to test the limits. By late afternoon, he gets tired and his sweet personality can give way to a more demanding kid. He is smart, and he knows how to push my buttons to get the snack or movie he wants. I love him to death, but sometimes I can’t handle the incessant whining – especially when I am tired, too.

This weekend my husband and I went to a wedding and we left the boys with my parents. We spent some well-needed time alone and my kids got to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The wedding was wonderful, but I was also curious to hear how our kids behaved under the care of their extended family.

I was a little worried that Tate would show his dark side and overburden my already busy parents. When we got home I asked for an honest assessment of his behavior from my mom and sisters. They acknowledged that they disciplined Tate for his behavior a couple times, but nothing too severe. My mom assured me that all six of her grandsons had been particularly rowdy, but understood that six boys playing together is guaranteed to cause some raucous. Although Tate had a few behavior episodes, he managed to demonstrate some good manners and help around the house.  I’d say that is a good balance for his actions.

I’m glad my husband and I got some time to ourselves last weekend, but I am happier that our kids got to spend some quality time with their family, without pushing anyone else’s buttons.

Mr. Emotional

Friday, May 30th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We had Rory’s final parent-teacher conference of the year last week. He’s getting ready to transition into the younger toddler classroom at the end of July, and we signed up to meet with his current primary care giver to hear how he’s been doing since we last met back in November.

Rory has been doing very well from an overall development standpoint and is right on track in terms of his various fine motor, gross motor, social and other skills.  The one area his teacher pointed out as having room for improvement, however, is his tendency to have very intense emotional reactions. I wouldn’t call them temper tantrums, but periodically, Rory will go from zero to sixty on the emotional speedometer in a matter of mere moments. Our usual approach has been to let him work it out himself, but his teacher informed us that their approach is usually to try to talk through what is bothering Rory and get him to work through his problems more proactively, rather than retreating to the corner of the classroom in a tizzy.

We’ve been working on implementing this approach at home to try and calm Rory down more quickly when he looses his cool. The results have been mixed thus far. He’s still not very happy when we inform him that it’s time to come inside to play (even if we have given him fair warning that he only has five more minutes) nor when we tell him he can’t play inside the china cabinet. Generally speaking, however, the act of talking to him and helping him work through his emotions productively is at least training Rory to address his emotions in a more measured manner.

Expecting a toddler to have complete control of his emotions is asking far too much, but we hope this recent guidance will help us chart a course toward a more constructive way of dealing with such outbreaks in the future. And, even if it doesn’t, it at least gives us something to focus on during the next screaming, red-faced tantrum.

But I Want It NOW

Friday, April 4th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
As I mentioned last week, Rory has started to develop some very strong preferences and opinions. At the moment, this is manifesting itself with outright breakdowns when he does not get his own way. When we tell him it is time to come in from playing outside on the front porch: red face, tears, and screams. When we tell him he can’t climb up the stairs carrying a beach ball: red face, tears, and screams. When we stop him from pulling the entire roll of toilet paper off the roll and tearing it to pieces: red face, tears, and screams.

Are you beginning to get the picture?

It’s not easy to turn away or sit and watch while he flails about in his mini-tantrums. But I know that giving in and letting him get his way, just because the alternative can be difficult, is not the right approach. My typical approach is to tell him, calmly, why it is that I did the thing that has made him so upset. I know he doesn’t understand (or maybe he can’t even hear me over the screaming); but my hope is that, over time, he will start to hear and acknowledge the reasoning.

We are also trying to work on patience. Such as when he comes up to me or his father with a book in hand and pulls on our legs to get us to read it, but we’re in the middle of brushing our teeth/drying our hair/or getting dressed for work. Although I have become a pro at reading books one-handed while putting on knee-highs, there are times when I end up telling him that he needs to wait a moment until mommy is ready to read.

I know both of these endeavors will take some time, but as long as I remember my own patience, we’ll all get through it just fine.

Dark Moments

Monday, March 17th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
My husband Joe was just off from work for two weeks. It was so nice getting in some serious family time. Haley was thrilled that Daddy never left for work and played with her all day long. Each of us is in such a great mood when the circle is complete. I find myself wondering how I ever got by on my own. I know that’s ridiculous– I have been an exclusive stay-at-home-parent for three years now. But as Haley gets older and we face new challenges, the strategies I employ to keep her happy, healthy, and entertained change as well. It takes a lot of creativity, stamina and patience on my part. To be honest, some days I just don’t feel up to it.

There are days we do more TV than any kid should. There are days I practically give up on discipline because I’m just too tired to be consistent. There are days Haley eats less than fully balanced meals because I just don’t want to fight anymore. There are days I yell in a way I’m not proud of. There are days when I wish I could just crawl under the covers.
But I can’t! And that’s life. Everyone faces days that are hard– even parents. Even when you are doing the most rewarding job in the world, for the person you love more than any other, there are dark moments.  For most of us, ultimately the good will always outweigh the bad. Raising a child is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.
I feel blessed that I have so many good times as Haley’s mom. There are days we do fun art projects we can’t wait to hang up around the house. There are days Haley helps me cook and is so proud of her achievements. There are days Haley listens well and cooperates like a big girl, just when I need her to. There are days when I love her so much I can’t stand it– actually, that’s every day.

Terrible…Threes?!

Monday, February 17th, 2014

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
I thought the famously rough patch for preschoolers usually occurs when a child is two years old. Shows what I know! Apparently, most seasoned parents are perfectly aware that though two might not be easy, three can really throw you for a loop in terms of acting up.

Haley is nearly three now and lately she has shown a new level of defiance. I always appreciated the fact that she seemed like a very aware, savvy kid. Now, it’s working against me! I thought she was testing her limits a lot this past year, but that’s nothing compared to the stuff she pulls now. It’s harder to manipulate—excuse me—convince her of things. She can be unbelievably stubborn. Her emotions are all over the chart. As social media has taken note lately, the things that make a three-year-old cry are incredible. She wants a cheese stick, so she cries. You open it and give it to her, she cries. She didn’t want it opened! Silly mommy.

I am taking it all in stride, though. Haley has her moments, but she still makes me laugh. I love her interest in and enthusiasm for everything. I think her acting out is correlated with her taking in the world and understanding it at a new, deeper level. I can understand that. Sometimes I find life overwhelming, so I can only imagine how she feels. As for her occasional difficult disposition, I’m telling myself that this too, shall pass. It has to!

Traffic Jam

Monday, May 6th, 2013

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
As I type this, I am sitting in the car in terrible traffic (not driving, of course!). We are on our way from home after sleeping over at my parents’ house. I intended on getting home early, making a cup of tea, and spending a lovely afternoon writing. We should have reached there a long time ago. And judging by the way we are sitting at a standstill, we will not be getting there any time soon.

Whenever I am in a situation like this, I am usually quite patient and calm. I immediately think of all I have to be thankful for and remind myself not to sweat the small stuff. With Haley in the car, that peaceful mentality goes out the window. I feel so badly because she was such a trooper for over an hour, which should have been a sufficient amount of time to reach our destination. In New York City, however, you can’t count on anything in terms of transportation. As far as I know, some sort of bike race is causing all of this.

As Haley has become increasingly antsy, she has complained about being itchy, her diaper, sitting in the car seat, and not being allowed to eat the plastic baggie holding her snack. It’s passed her naptime now, and it shows. She’s rubbing her eyes and yawning. The slow pace of traffic means she won’t be able to fall asleep in the car.

These sorts of moments are terribly frustrating. Still, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Try telling that to Haley. She’s annoyed about the situation she’s in and she’s not afraid to show it. And I kind of admire that. Toddlers tell it how it is, and this stinks.

Hopefully by the time you are reading this we’ve made it home safely and have recovered from the rough ride. I hope you have a great week with wide-open roads ahead.