do you believe in coincidences? fate? or just plain perfect timing? i do, but i also believe in God. i believe in spirits. i wake from dreams about friends and family and think ok, i should call that person, they're on my mind for a reason. i do believe things happen for a reason and while at times they may be horrible, awful situations, i think we come out changed and stronger, if not better humans. so where am i going with all this? get to the point, blogger, you may say...
i read an article yesterday about tantrums. and, let me just back up and say that i know jack is getting better, but that doesn't make it any easier because i've been struggling to raise this strong-willed child for 2 years now. i first started to have discipline issues with him at 15 months of age. his terrible twos started just ahead of the typical age of 18 months and has continued to last beyond the three years. it is reassuring to see he has matured in many ways and is able to further communicate, decreasing his level of frustration - but still. jack has come a long way; i hope he doesn't have too further to go.
so, back to the article. it had been a particularly frustrating day with jack. one of those where i just pray for a nap that lasts until ben gets home. how awful to not want to be around your child?! i had been to the post office earlier in the day, and as i was sitting down to enjoy some much needed quiet time, i picked through the pile of mail and pulled out the magazines first - reader's digest, people, parenting - ah, parenting, let's see what activity i'm not doing with my children or what fun meals i could make that my tot will still turn his nose at...
i happen to stumble upon the biology of bad behavior aka the account of jack miebs. the author's story of her bad children made me laugh - you think that's bad behavior?! but, i get it. what's bad for some is doable for others, and her "bad behavior" seemed like a pretty good day for us! i digress. what did stand out for me is this: the part of the brain that regulates emotion and controls social behavior, is also the last area of the brain to develop. so this tiny gray matter has only just begun to mature at age 4. hello!!! the article goes onto explain ways to deal with your strong-willed child, and it sounds like i'm right in line with ignoring the tantrums, giving options (do you want the blue cup or the red cup?) instead of asking questions with yes or no answers, and i was really amazed that most children, after their tantrum will need some love afterwards. i just thought jackie was such a weirdo! the examples they gave were tantrums lasting around 6 minutes, and i'm sure if jack was able to contain his audience, he'd keep up his act. since i take my baby girl and leave, he always comes looking for the girls in his life.
typical crying and kicking tantrum
the last thing i'll mention which really cracks me up is that "just as kids can quickly slip into anger and sadness, so can they slip out of them. that's why shortly after a tantrum, your kid is back to playing as if nothing happened, while you're still quaking from the event a half hour later." um, YES. my thoughts and experiences exactly. that's why in the evening, when ben asks me about my day, i'm able to walk him through exactly what happened and we both shake our heads, call him names (yes, yes we do) and laugh through it, sometimes even through my tears.
i've said it before, and i'll say it again, if he weren't so dang cute! you HAVE to laugh through the not-so-funny because it's the only way to work through it. and the way i work through it and laugh: taking pictures of the madness. i'm hoping if i have proof, i'll one day get an apology.
thought a little fresh air would do us some good, turns out, not so much.