Friday, March 28, 2014

The Terrible Twos

I’m struggling.

The terrible twos are in full force at our house, and I totally lack the patience, time AND capacity to deal with this. Every day of the week there is AT LEAST one full blown meltdown. Oh and I’m not talking about throwing a little fit that is resolved by a stern talking to or even time out. I’m talking throwing things, rolling on the ground in hysterics, swinging and kicking at anyone in the vicinity and screaming for a good half an hour.

My emotions usually run the course of tolerant, to angry, to finally depressed. At first I accept that this is part of life. The angry portion usually comes when the tantrum has affected something larger, like me being very late for work. The depression comes after the tantrum has passed and I reflect on how much of our time together is mostly spent in this unhappy state. Also, I am acutely aware that how I handle the situation can solve or exacerbate the problem. And, lets be honest, I’m typically exacerbating the problem, leaving the blame on my parenting style.

This morning started out this way. So when I get to work I begin scouring the internet, looking for some advice and/or commiseration.

I wish I could tell you I found what I was looking for. Let me just share with you some of the CRAP I found.

RE: Managing Tantrums in Public
"Start by removing your toddler from the situation by picking him up and taking him to a quiet place such as the car or the bathroom. Hug him until the tantrum stops and provide guidance as you would at home. Do not give in to your child's demands. If he knows he can throw and fit and receive a candy bar, you can bet on a repeat of the same situation next time you run errands."

HUG HIM???? Yeah, I tried to Hug Caroline during one of her tantrums and almost lost an eye.

RE: Generally Managing Temper Tantrums
During a tantrum, it's important to remain calm and avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behavior. (Yea, no shit, Sherlock) Keep your emotions in check. If your emotions escalate, so will your child's. Do not laugh or confront her. Instead, ignore your child without making eye contact and wait for her to calm down. This will ensure you are not reinforcing bad behavior

Mind you, the above advice came from the same post that instructed me to hug him/her. But, ok, I get it, public vs at home. This is the stance I take most of the time, but it’s not always possible or realistic. YOU try being calm and wait the tantrum out when you are already 30 mins late for work. Yeah, the job that keeps a roof over our head is kinda something I can’t afford to eff up. And don’t tell me to get up earlier, because that isn’t the problem. We have been up at 5am and still had the same tantrum take place when right as we WALK OUT THE DOOR.

Oh how about when I googled “terrible two’s” and got this gem:

“The Terrible Twos: A Myth?”

I’ve got one finger that tells you how I feel about that headline. Needless to say I didn’t bother to click on it.

Then there are the mom message boards. They are sometimes more helpful and generally more supportive, but they also leave me wondering if they have any idea what I’m dealing with. For example one of the mom’s provided advice that read, “I found it helpful with my first daughter to get down to her eye level by kneeling and talk to her calmly until she settled down.”


All of this to say, if you are dealing with the same issues - I RELATE. Also, don't look for any mom advice from me because none of what I'm doing is right or is working.     If you aren't dealing with the same issues, I am accepting hugs or reassurance that I'm not failing as a mother.   Here's hoping that age three is better!

1 comment:

Mo said...

You are most certainly NOT failing as a mother!! You're simply one of the best I know. And OMG if one more person tells me that I need to be calm to calm her down I'm going to lose my f*$#ing mind.