an update from the tantrum front

So after my bad parenting moment of a few weeks ago, I’ve been working overtime to keep from losing my patience with the Bee. Which has not been that easy, as she has been a holy terror to live with, of late. I have, however, managed to keep my temper, although it did at one point require locking myself in my room to read a book.

Distraction (my own), it turns out, does wonders for extending the patience. So far, I have sewed, read, done laundry, set the table for dinner and gone out in the yard to weed, in order to avoid yelling at the Bee while she was yelling at me.

It’s starting to pay off. On Sunday night, when we returned from the beach and she had to live with the fact that her temper had lost her tv access for the whole weekend, she started screaming at me again. I blithely continued on my way, doing whatever it was that I had been doing, and eventually, she went to her room and calmed herself down.

When it was over, I told her that it was great that she had calmed herself down, and that it seemed much quicker than the other times she’s totally lost it (okay, I didn’t say totally lost it to her, but you get my drift). I asked her if she thought there was something different this time, or if she had used a different technique to get her composure back.

She said, “No.” Then, “well, there was one thing.”

“What’s that?,” I inquired.

“I got bored of fighting with you.”

Victory through boredom. I’m on to something here.

ETA: She also told me, in a later conversation that night, “Mom, sometimes I just feel like a toy that someone took out and played with, and just used me up till all my insides were gone, and that’s when I lose my temper.”

Melting much?

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June 4, 2008. thoughtful parenting.

8 Comments

  1. Jennifer replied:

    I’m following this with interest… my daughter’s only 4 but I see her acting this way already. Especially when she’s sick, which she’s been for like 3 weeks now.

  2. MetroDad replied:

    Victory through boredom? I’ve never thought about that before. This could be your idea for a new school of parental theory. I like it, LM. I smell a book deal!

  3. Anna replied:

    Oh yes, being boring is a highly underrated parenting technique. Welcome to the club.

  4. chichimama replied:

    The tantrums don’t go away soon? Are you kidding me???? Arghhhh!

    That being said, I will now have to adopt your parenting technique. I had forgotten about the boredom card…my mother was the queen of that one.

  5. Susan replied:

    I somehow missed your earlier post–but am oddly reassured to learn that someone else’s kid is having such an emotional season. I know this must be hell to live with, but it sounds like you’re doing a fine job separating her reactions from your reactions and that there are still good conversations happening. Her ability to tell you that she feels like a used up toy? That’s some amazing talk.

  6. MommyWithAttitude replied:

    I think you have a budding poet — and I’m definitely stealing the “boring” technique next chance I get.

  7. Comfort Addict replied:

    Hang in there, LM. Congratulations on finding innovative ways to deal with this very tough time.

  8. Kimberly replied:

    I’ve had some success with this approach. My problem lies in the fact that as the only parent in the house, I can’t exactly absent myself. Plus, Diva Girl has a habit of following you around to continue the drama.

    I’d like to say that dealing with Diva Girl’s ADHD has wiped out the tantrums, but really not so much. Lessened the frequency? Yes. Intensity? I actually think might be MORE to compensate for the LESS overall tantrumming.

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