I knew today was going to be a bad one when Carys woke up whining and then continued to cry and scream all day. I endeavored to find out what was wrong with her but it seemed that she just wanted to be mean to me today and through a continual temper tantrum that still hasn’t let up even as I write this. She cried while eating breakfast, screamed at the top of her lungs outside and whined through nap time, when her father got home from work she started fighting with him and hasn’t stopped, which is annoying but at least its not focused at me for the moment,
I have tried to diffuse the situation many times today using all the methods I know and all the tools in my mommy arsenal. I tried our calming exercises or hula ducking as she calls it (courtesy of Ni Hao Kai-lan) were we take deep breathes together and sway side to side. That worked for all of 5 minutes before another tantrum started this time the calming didn’t work so I tried singing songs for distraction and offering to play a game to no avail. She would have none of it so I asked her to please stop screaming and tell me wanna but when she instead twice that she didn’t want to I put her in timeout, which resulted in louder screams but by the end of the two minutes she seemed to have calmed down.
Since she had stopped the screaming and remained good for a while after I rewarded her with a trip outside to play in the pool. When it was time to come in the tantrums started again, more embarrassing this time since the neighbor were looking on and shacking there heads in disapproval, since none of them have kids I’m sure they could have handled it better. I went with the tried and true deaf ears and carried her and her brother back inside were she could continue to scream without an audience.
She screamed and whined for the next hour straight until her father got home and they engaged in a shouting match, not a recommended way to handle a tantrum, before my husband finally forfeited throwing his hands up in defeat crying “I’m done!” In the end I called my grandmother and had Carys talk to her for awhile and that seemed to defuse the whole situation.
Tantrums can be a lot to handle and are never fun, though sometimes funny. Usually one of the techniques I used today work but today it just didn’t fly it was I guess just one of those days. I try my best in all situations to try to validate her feelings and empathize with her but it doesn’t always work because some days there is nothing wrong or at least nothing I understand as there is a slight age difference between my daughter and I. An important thing to keep in mind during tantrums of course is to listen and remain calm, never easy but it can be done, I like to use the same technique I’m trying to use on my daughter on myself to make sure I remain calm plus the all important count to ten…or higher.
I like to try to control tantrums in calm peaceful ways that don’t involve a punishment saving time out and consequences for a last resort. When all else fails however I do deem this methods necessary but am sure to stick to the 1 minute per year rule for timeout times and make sure the consequences fit the behavior, for example taking away crayons for coloring on a wall, to make sure that she understands why she is in trouble.
The best thing to try to do is to try to avoid a tantrum situation all together by offering choices when ever possible, and making choices were seemingly there are none. When it is time for dinner I let Carys pick all the things she can control which fork she wants, which cup, and what additions she wants for her food like shredded cheese or dip. Even though all the forks are the same and I only give her choices I approve of she feels that she is making a real choice and we avoid a tantrum.
In the end I just hope this is the last day like today but I know better. Still its nice to dream.