My first daughter was a breeze. She went with the flow. But then again, she was my only child and she could have all my attention. We didn’t own our house. We didn’t have a lot of possessions and my husband’s job was 9-5 Monday to Friday.
Nine years (nine years today Happy birthday! to my sweet daughter) later, our son is 17 months and very needy. Needier than I recall my daughter being (but I have rose-coloured hindsight).
The more I need or want to get a task done, the needier he becomes.
We finished my daughter’s paint job during nap time and I wanted to get the trim slapped up before supper. Of course, he starts needing on my lap. Needing up. needing the hammer I’m using and to also dump the nails on the floor.
It was good when I started. I was calm. I could handle it and he was okay with just a hug. But then a hug wasn’t enough, he start whining. And then he started crying.
And I lost it. I yelled at him. (god this is so embarrassing, I yelled at a 17 month-old child for crying- god he needs to start talking. I can’t handle his screaming about everything that he doesn’t like or does like but can’t get).
I wished he had a crib so I could throw him in there and let him cry it out while I cooled down. But his crib is a toddler bed and the mattress is on the floor of our bedroom and getting out of my daughter’s room was a safety issue because her trim was laying in the doorway.
So I yelled at him. I grabbed him up and he kept crying. I tried to keep working and he cried. I freaked out some more. I slapped up the piece of trim I was working on and then removed us both from the situation.
Things I’ll do better next time:
1) Stop pushing on when he’s unhappy with the situation. I always try to keep going with my agenda and it never works out. I always find I get angry when I’m working against reality. 17-month-olds are a lot like brick walls, you can keep throwing yourself at it but it doesn’t budge. Unless there is something I have to get done, I don’t have an example on something that cannot wait five minutes, in which case he will have to cry.
2) Set up a time out place for him and for myself. Probably bring him to his mattress. I’m afraid my temper is effecting his reactions to his own anger. I need to teach him how to deal with his frustration a little more constructively, by managing my own.
Share your stories of losing your temper with your children in the comments to commiserate. Or do you have any tips and techniques for keeping cool under pressure? What are your hot button issues?
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