Monday, March 15, 2010

The Funny Farm

"They're coming to take me away hehe, they're coming to take me away hoho...."

Seriously, I feel like someone should just come, put me in a straight jackets and throw me in a padded room because I don't see myself getting out of this stage sane.

Friends, it's started. Seriously...the tantrum throwing, no listening, mom-defying, stage has started and I am going to go CRAZY.

I knew it was coming - I knew my perfect little angel would soon become this testy, fussy, pushing-moms-buttons little boy, but not yet. But sadly there is no turning back. I guess I have to go forward to work through yet another challenge with my Park-Man. Oh and I am so not looking forward to it.

Gone are the days of cuddles and snuggles and sitting on the floor staying in one spot. Nope now it's all, throwing and hitting when not getting his way. The silliest fake tantrums I have ever ever seen. Time outs (though at this point these are few and far between!)

So what do I do, how do I love him with patience and understanding and not let him turn into a total brat? I don't have the slightest clue how to do this, he's my first kid, and while I had younger siblings, it's not like I got to discipline them. I ran and hid and I think that's generally frowned upon with your own child, right?

I need tips here people. Has anyone read The Happiest Toddler on the Block? Would you recommend it? Any other books or suggestions or rules or anything you would recommend. And how do I know if I should just let him have his fake tantrum or if I should discipline.

Sadly, once again, I am stuck with no Parker owner's manual. (All I am saying is God and I need to have a discussion about this!) So I am coming to you, you who have had toddlers or know someone who has. Because well, if we aren't careful, mommy might end up in the Funny Farm!

So I scream it from the mountain tops (or in central ohio - the corn fields!)

lolcats funny cat pictures

Please help me before I sink in this quick sand of toddler-ness!


Carrie said...

Oh, Denise, I am SO there. Every single day. I completely get what you're feeling - and even in toddlerhood, some stages are harder than others- your cuddly guy will be back, on his own terms, and in his own time. :)

I have read the happiest baby on the block, and liked it, very practical - it's helping me to be a lot more relaxed with Natalie. But I haven't read the toddler one, I'd be interested in your take on it if you read it! I am about to start the toddler section of Lisa Whelchel's Creative Correction, I will let you know how I like that- the parts of the book I've read so far have been good. :)

One thing I've noticed with Z is that he totally feeds off me and my attitudes. Today, for example, I am tired & very selfish & grouchy, and he has been TERRIBLE. Plus everything's driving me nuts so I'm harder on him. So if you can manage to stay patient and respond calmly to his outburats, that seems to always help a lot. Sometimes I put both of us in time out, and then I sit and talk with him afterwards, especially if he's having a tantrum.

Also, if his personality changed all of a sudden, drastically, could there be a physical cause, like teething or a cold?

We all feel like this, and none of us have it all figured out! Praying for you!!!!!

Ali said...

We have consistently used time-out. So far, so good. But there are days when Henry is in it A LOT. I know that some recommend picking ONE thing to enforce solidly for one week. For instance, food throwing. Every time - EVERY TIME - he throws food, he goes in time-out. Once Parker gets the hang of it, go to the next thing.

I know that a lot of Henry's tantrums are out of frustration. They are still learning to communicate, and because they don't have words for everything they want/need, they easily break down.

And I agree with Carrie. Your mood, tone of voice, etc. can be a factor. It never means it's your fault, but like in any situation, you can de-escalate it often by a calm and cool voice. When I get fired up, I often notice that Henry's tantrum only gets worse. It's so hard, though.

Heatherlyn said...

Love the cat picture!

Not all kids go through this phase, and many kids don't go through it for long. Hopefully this will be the case with you!

Christy said...

Consistency is huge. Time outs are often one of the best things to use, especially in early toddlerhood. Also if you see a tantrum is on the way (but has not started) distract him.
Lisa Whelchel's book Creative Correction is a good RESOURCE, but here's the thing with books, they're only a resource, ultimately you are the one who has to decide on how you're going to discipline him and you're the one that's going to have to be consistent with him.

One thing I've learned parenting for the last almost 12 years and soon to be 5 children is that you need to be down on their level when talking to them. Get down so you're eye level, yes even if he's laying on the floor screaming and throwing the temper tantrum. In a firm voice tell him what you expect from him (for example...."You will stop hitting and kicking your feet now or you will be placed in your bed until you have finished because you are NOT allowed to behave like this".

Another thing that some go through is a child throwing a tantrum in public. I've NEVER left a store because of my child throwing a tantrum. I will find the bathroom and will be firm in my talk and have placed my children in timeouts in bathrooms and have swatted their behinds if that's what it takes. When going out to the store I would sometimes take a couple suckers and place them in my purse or pocket, and when we entered the store I'd allow them to have the sucker through the store, which is a nice distraction.

No matter what you decide on, one give it time to takes aprox 2 to 3 weeks for a new method to fully work. Going from one method to another after a couple days will only cause confusion and frustration and bigger tantrums.