Looking back now I don't know how bus drivers do it. I can barely concentrate with Josh talking to me.
Sorry she's learning all sorts of words I'm not looking forward to letting Josh go on the bus without my guidance, either!
Aw, that really makes me sad.
Names hurt a lot more than other things.
I was looking at this little blog about a calm-down basket for kids tonight and thought of some of you Moms. Not because you have angry kids, but because of your more meditative philosophies. I'm not of a particularly meditative bent, and I get antsy when I just sit, but something here resonates with me.
And here is the science blog for kids where I got the link originally and the recipe for creating the glittering mind jars:
Aw, Bridget. It's sad when a child learns to be self-conscious. Speaking from a find-the-silver-lining outlook, though, I think there are lessons to be learned from times we censor ourselves, even if for her it might be years from now, when she thinks back on the time that a little jingling was nothing to be ashamed of afterall. One speakerI went to see from an organization called Kidpower talked about how beneficial it is to actually rehearse what to do in various situations with your kids, as in cases of stranger danger or where other kids might start bullying or teasing. Perhaps you could have her act out what she could have said in response, like laughingly showing off her trap and shrugging off other people's snickers. There's something to be said about faking it before making it. Not everyone is born with confidence. I wasn't, and whatever pawltry amount I may have I could attribute to practice in some form or another.
Gwenn, hooray for a good day.!
I'm in bed w/ a sleeping child and am not feeling at my best as a mother right now. It was a serious battle to get B to fall asleep. DH is working late at a studio, and my parents had B all wound up. So I was doing the bedtime routine solo for an overstimulated kid, when B decided he had to hold his reading light (which never facilitates reading, btw). So after I said no, he grabbed and threw it against the wall. So I skipped the bedtime books as consequence for throwing his light, and without that wind-down tool, things descended to almost a 40 minute wrestling match to get him to stay down. He wanted to keep getting out of bed and it was very late already. There were a lot of tears. He flailed around and punched/kicked/pinched me. He seriously tried to beat me up. And when not actively doing that, he kept trying to crawl off the bed. I pinned him down a lot and eventually spanked him. He then sobbed for 'dah-dah'. Finally, in a moment of quasi-calm I paused and told him it was time to look at sea urchins on my iPhone. That made him snap out of it, and he eventually fell asleep looking at tropical fish. Before that, though, I told him I was sorry I spanked him, but it was all I could think to do in order to get him to stop hurting me repeatedly. He said he was sorry for hitting me too, but I needed to say sorry for pushing him back onto his pillow. So I did. Then I asked him if he wished he hadn't thrown his light and he said yeah, he shouldn't have.
He was so sweet those last few minutes before he conked out. I confess I had fleeting thoughts during tonight's episode that he's going to grow up to hate me. Spanking him doesn't feel right. I don't like to see myself as someone who uses hitting to show hitting isn't right. To be honest, though, I don't know what else I could have done, and I did think about it before I spanked. He was in violent hysterics. If I'd left the room, he would have definitely gotten out of bed which was the primary thing I wanted to prevent.
If you guys have any tips for how to handle it next time he's tantrumming his way to sleep, I will definitely rehearse them before the next episode.
Last edited by demigraf; 03-16-2012 at 03:33 AM.
Myles. That sounds like a very rough night for you both.
Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
Feel free to ignore me if you don't care for this comment, but I was just thinking of when I was in my training program and had a placement in a preschool. One of the 3 year olds absolutely refused to stay in his seat during a therapy session and it escalated to me down on the floor trying to get him out from underneath the table. One of my less pleasant moments, but probably not the worst. The following day, the preschool director put an article in everyone's box about power struggles with children and understanding that it isn't always necessary for us always to be right and get our way. I couldn't help but assume the two were connected, although she never said a word to me about it and neither did my supervisor. But I often remember that when I find myself locked in a battle of wills with a stubborn, out of control child. Sometimes it's better to remove yourself physically from an attack - even if you don't get what you want - and approach again when everyone is calm.
Hope you take that in the spirit it was meant. You're an amazing Mommy.
Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12
Thanks for the advice, Gwenn. And you don't have to say I'm amazing. I certainly don't feel like a good mother. I haven't been able to sleep more than an hr or so from thinking about it.
I imagined the scenario of leaving the room as you suggest, which I've actually done before at bedtime during similar, less intense episodes. What would've happened next is him getting up and letting himself out of his room and running away, forcing me to wrangle him back to bed somehow that may have involved more physical coercion, even escalating the physical confrontation. Or I would have stood guard outside his door either holding the knob to "lock" him in, which would have eventually led me back in to a howling child, or waiting on the other side to grab him if he tried to run out, also a physical discipline type of maneuver. In any case, I believe we'd have ended up wrestling back in his bed exactly where we were.
Unless perhaps you're saying I should have let him run around to play for 10 minutes before trying to get him into bed again. The problem there is that the chances would have been slight that he'd have returned cooperatively to his bed after more playing, as it winds him up. I'm also not sure if that sends the message that he's being rewarded for all the light-throwing, mom-pummeling antics.
How else could me walking away from the power struggle have played out? (And I ask that in earnest without trying to sound like a smartass about it, I swear!)
Last edited by demigraf; 03-16-2012 at 03:57 AM.
Oh Myles. I'm so sorry. I don't know what you could have done differently that would've resulted in B staying in bed, but maybe walking away (even if he meant he would go an play) might have meant you could calm down and more importantly, not just take his hitting and yelling at you without you feeling like you had to use physical force, since it sounds like that bugged you quite a bit.
We have two totally different kiddos, but similar mindsets, so the only thing I can say is that sometimes it's more important for me to try have control over my emotions and let myself go and breathe/relax to try to get rid of the build up of anger and frustration, rather than deal with the tantruming kiddo. It doesn't really matter what Abbey does while I go calm down (assuming she's safe) because the point is that I'm taking time to deal with my anger/upset rather than bring it into the situation. I totally understand not wanting to reward the hitting by letting him do what he wants, but maybe you can deal with a consequence after you feel like you are in a better place to figure out what to do (and at that point, if you decide spanking is necessary for discipline, you can mediate the consequence without feeling the regret of acting out in anger).
As far as preventing it from happening again, the only thing I can think of is letting him have the light but saying it has to be turned off, or letting him have it for '10 minutes of play before sleep'. Abbey tends to freak out (and power struggles are more likely) when I give her a global 'no', but she seems OK when I offer a compromise like that. There are definitely times when I stand my ground and deal with the tantrum, but bedtime isn't one of them, since my overtired kiddo is like ticking time bomb at that time. She also does better when she knows exactly how bedtime will play out, so I'll often give her a play by play of our nightly routine to jog her memory before it starts (brush teeth, brush hair, wash face/hands, put on pjs, read 2 stories, snuggle and talk about the day, lights out).
Anyway, please don't beat yourself up over it. When people are hit/attacked they have a surge of adrenaline that physically causes anger
as a response to the assault. It doesn't matter if it was our own kiddo that hit us, it's just biology. You are a great mom, but you're human too.
Bridget, I'm so sorry Savana is dealing with that cr*p on the bus. I hope your dbf can drive her so that she won't be exposed to it anymore... and I really hope the charter school works out for next year, or homeschooling in Hawaii.
I thought of you and her earlier today, because there's an article on PANDAS and OCD in Parenting magazine this month (forwarded to me by a friend). At first I thought it would be a scare-the-pants-off-parents story about Strep, but it's actually really good. It talks about antibiotic therapies for treatment (and documents a mom trying to find help for her daughter in various pedis and psychologists before finally driving 10 hours to meet with a doctor who would treat PANDAS). The anecdotal story they used said that the little girl was 98% better after treatment, but the OCD returned after awhile. I guess the antibiotic treatment has to be repeated a few times, but it would interesting to find out what the long term results of treatment are.
Last edited by AbbeysMom; 03-16-2012 at 06:03 AM.
Even after having 4 I don't know for sure what else could have worked in that scenario. If you'd allowed him up, that could have taught him that hitting, pinching, etc would get him what he wants. That wouldn't be good either. There are two schools of thought on restraining/spanking, and for me I try to avoid those whenever possible...BUT, it's not always possible in my world. I'm more ok with it then I was with the girls, but that's because the evidence is in the pudding-they turned out all right despite being spanked occasionally. We're very close and I don't feel like it's negatively impacted them or our relationship at all. Do I like that we resorted to that? No. If there had been any other way to deal with some of those situations we would have done it. Conner has started hitting and throwing things in an attempt to get his own way. We tried all sorts of things and just this past week Rich did spank him. He didn't do it again and it saved all of us hours of a tantrum. I'm still trying to think of ways to redirect and prevent those temper outbursts though. It still doesn't feel good even though I'm confident he'll be ok and so will we.
Last edited by missychrissy; 03-16-2012 at 07:51 AM.
I don't know. Weight loss groups kind of backfire for me because I go into them wholeheartedly and then if I fall off the wagon I feel bad. It's seems backwards but I seem to do better if I don't tell a lot of people I'm doing it. Less pressure, I guess. Thanks for the offer though
Myles, I meant to say earlier, he's not going to hate you.
Mylah, I have lost my sh!t at bedtime when my kids were that age. Granted, I have not spanked but I've yelled and trust me from a woman whose mama was a yeller that it's just as scary and hurtful as spanking is. I think Gwenn nailed it when she said that we have to let go of the power struggle. All of it. Even the fear that "getting his way" will send the wrong message. The truth is, in the grand scheme of things, that is not what he will take away from it. I personally think it's more important for us to model healthy ways to express anger and to make sure our children can trust us to do this. Let's face it, you can't fight anger with anger. It fails every time. I am not coming down on you my friend because like I said, I have been there at that bedtime hour and hated myself for it. I 100% advise to walk away and come back calm. If for nothing else so you can love yourself when you lay your head on your own pillow that night. B is at a rough age, mama. Big hugs to you and just let all that go and start fresh today.
I just don't think we can teach children to be gentle unless we are gentle. It's so much less about what we say and so much more about what we do. As I walk away I say things like, "I cannot be around you when you are hurting me". The only other thing I can think of that would stop the behavior without walking away is something that we did with children in the classroom at the preschool I worked at which they called a "love hold". This is where you sit the child in your lap, with your legs crisscrossed over his and your arms holding his arms and whisper in his ear, "I will not let you hurt me. I will not let you hurt me. I love you and I care about you and I will not let you hurt me." Then let go when you feel they are calm enough to control their own body.
Just speaking from personal experience when I lose my temper with my kids, we all lose. I feel terrible and they feel terrible.
I wish I had more time to discuss but we are about to hit the road. All of us. Oy.
Myles, that age is so rough, nothing prepares you for how hard parenting is at times. G is a little older, but he can get so frustrated, wrinkle up his nose, and yell at me. I can see the rage in his face. It's a struggle sometimes to teach how to deal with his anger. I come from a family of, I will give you the silent treatment for days, or I will slam the door. My dh is from a family of yellers. His mother is a huge yeller, I hate it.
Last night G was on the lanai and he brought in his basket of balls, while I was in the kitchen cooking, he started throwing all his balls in the house, when he knows that isn't allowed. I told him to stop, of course he didn't, he kept throwing them. And this boy has a crazy amount of assorted balls. I had to stop cooking, told him I was taking the balls away from him as he had broken the rules. I try really hard to remain calm, it's not always easy by any means. Now my dh response would have been yelling at him. I have seen G's face when dh yells at him, he's scared. I have talked to dh about it, his response is "I wasn't yelling, I was raising my voice"
I am so sorry to hear about Savana's bus trip, that is so sad. Have a good time on your trip!
L, thanks for those links. What fun and cool ideas.
Lisa, good score on your exercise equipment!
Shelley-mom to DS, 6
Thanks for talking this out with me, guys. I'm still feeling really rough, and he's all smiles today. I hear you guys, about the walking away thing, I totally see your rationale. My major concern is... then what? I have walked away in the past, which is how I know things would have turned into just more for me to discipline. In any case, just so I'm clear what kind of toddler I'm talking about here, Bodhi would have literally run away from me, playing and simultaneously protesting sleep until 3 or 4 am, and even then would have kicked me as I carried him off to bed. I would have felt like a pretty ineffective parent then too. (I've been talking to DH about it since he came home. He's talking about how easy of a time he has it with Bodhi and "why don't I just..." Not particularly constructive.) And I don't know if this makes me look self-controlled or just cold, but when I spanked him it was done pretty dispassionately. Like, I warned him it was coming if he didn't stop kicking and counted to 3, then followed through with a neutral expression. I kept my voice really soft and unreactive last night while things were happening. Anyway, let's say I do walk away next time, and B runs manically around the house, how do I get from there to getting him to return calmly to bed? That's the part I'm not seeing.
I'm listening openly over here. Your every thought is appreciated.
Bridget, that 'love hold' is what we call a "sticky hug" in the house. That's how I was pinning him down. They can only go on for so long with him, and last night they didn't work to calm B down - they don't often do. He was fighting to get out of multiple sticky hugs so much, he was breaking out into a sweat.
Have a safe trip! I hope M is nice and helpful.
Last edited by demigraf; 03-16-2012 at 10:23 AM.
Bridget I can not believe that kids that age have potty mouths like that I can only assume they learned such things from their parents I was never a fan of the school bus and if at all possible I know Nolan will not be riding one (actually preferably he'll go to a Charter school, but we'll see what happens).
Myles what a rough night you had I don't think that one time spanking will cause any serious harm and I think you recovered the situation appropriately by having you both apologize for your actions. You are teaching him how to take responsibility for his actions and even if it didn't play out like you wanted, that can be viewed as a positive
Josh is still having bedtime issues too. You remember how I said he's always coming up with something, like his tummy hurts. He's come up with more, lately. His tummy hurts, he feels old, he feels dead, (which as you can imagine is sort of disconcerting) I always tell him if he still feels that way in the morning he should tell me, and he never does. I don't know what to make of it.
But yes, when all I want to do is end the day, all the disruptions are very trying.
kate, I remember you saying Josh felt "old" and I thought that was so funny and cute.
I just wanted to say how beautifully forgiving and in-the-present my child seems to be. I dropped him off at school today with green mini-cupcakes to share. He gave me the biggest hug and smile when I said goodbye to him.
I'm still struggling to find the lesson in last night's experience. Maybe it's just to be more like my kid and let it go. Having you girls to talk to means so much to me, I'm getting teary.
OK. Back to work!!
I have kind of a guilt hangover right now because Abbey recently learned how to use the potty and today had three accidents in a row while on a playdate. After two accidents, I asked her why she wasn't telling me and she said "Because I want to keep playing." I told her that she needed to stop playing and go, it wasn't fair to make mommy clean up the mess because she didn't want to stop playing and it would end her playtime anyway. Then she did it again. So we're not supposed to punish accidents, but if she admitted she didn't tell me because she didn't want to stop playing, so I get to clean up the mess, again. I got mad. I tried to stay calm but she could tell and she apologized in the car which made me feel worse. And we have our own issues with consequences, because nothing really phases her... she doesn't care if the playdate ends, she doesn't care if a toy is taken away, she doesn't really seem to mind time outs. The only thing she doesn't like and reacts to is mommy being mad (which can include me raising my voice or just trying to calm down). I really don't want to be yeller, and I'm sure you don't want to spank, but I get being at a loss. Parenting these 3 year olds is really difficult.