“Have a kid”, they said!
“It’ll be fun”, they said!
“Three years is way harder than two” they said.
“WTF?!?” I said.
Why do people tell you to have children and then when you do, they tell you all the shitty stuff??
It’s like this big prank the world plays on you!
The social media outlets show the highlight reels; your parents regale you with stories of how cute you were as a baby; you nieces and nephews only show the best sides of themselves when you are around; your friends with kids tell you how great it is…
And then you pop this screaming, needy, pooping thing out…AND THEN they tell you all the horror stories.
I feel like this is a terribly unfair method of convincing someone to have a kid. I mean, if you heard all of the ways children rob you of time, money and sanity, who would do it??
I know our population would seriously suffer (but honestly maybe that’s a good thing)!
And in full honesty, I am writing this is the midst of one of the most epic tantrums we’ve ever experienced so I am being a bit harsh, but really, I mean REALLY…OH MY GOD MY EARS ARE BLEEDING!!!
Ever just want to yell “SHUT UP!” but then you come to your senses JUUUUST enough to say it in a really quiet but exaggerated-faced whisper?? Me. Right. Now.
Ok, so I’m going to put a positive and productive spin on this because it’s what always keeps me sane during challenging times.
Here are my tips to remaining calm and sane during 3 year-old tantrums.
- We just discovered the fact that we can send her to her room so we don’t have to hear it. Maybe its the fact that we can trust her up there now, or maybe we’re just slow to come to this, but the dulled screaming is a lot more manageable.
- The Whining Chair. A lot of our tantrums escalate from whining. And we learned to intersect that quickly so it doesn’t end up in a full-on thrash-fest, with, The Whining Chair. It’s just what it sounds like. A chair in another room for her to sit in when she starts whining. Once she has settled down for a full minute we start the timer and she needs to sit there for 3 minutes. This is different from a timeout because it is expressly for whining.
- Recognizing the triggers. For our child, TV + Tired = RUN FOR THE FUCKING HILLS! So when she is tired we don’t even think about TV. Except today, we fucked up. And now I’m writing this.
- Rather than distracting the child, I prefer to distract myself, hence, writing right now! A lot of “distractions” for kids when they are behaving badly come in the form of rewards and i don’t believe we should teach them this is ok. So I don’t reward the bad behavior. We have consequences, such as timeout, and if there is a melt-down, we adults, distract ourselves with something fun!
- If there is a certain behavior that is a problem and leads to tantrums or whining and is done in an appropriate manner, we reward. So, when our daughter is hungry, if she starts immediately whining that she wants something to eat she goes to The Whining Chair. If she is hungry and asks nicely, we overly praise and then she gets to put a sticker on her chart. 3 stickers per day for a week = a tiny toy reward form the dollar store.
So, there you have it. 5 ways to get through or avoid a tantrum. And as I finish up, the noise is slowly quieting down from upstairs so I will now go talk to her about why she was up there to begin with.
Thanks for sticking with me.