Don’t let him fool you! He’s not this angelic…
MY TODDLER IS BEATING ME UP!
If you haven’t said those words yet, you are one lucky mother!!!
My cousin phoned me yesterday and said, “Help, I need advice. I just dragged my son out of the market- fists swinging, lungs blaring, he’s scratched up my face, a passerby almost called child services, HEEEELP!!!”
“Been there done that,” I said, and most mothers have had their share. The funny thing is that all my children have been different and have handled the terrible 2’s, 3’s and 4’s with their own demons. And yes, I have considered at times calling an exorcist. LOL. Not really, I have done the best I can with each of my children, but it’s never easy. It’s always an embarrassing challenge, especially in public. Many times when a tantrum escalates, it’s dangerous for your child and for you. I can remember my youngest going through a stage where she was throwing her head back. We had stone floors, and I would practically kill myself trying to get to her in time to catch her before she smashed her head! Awful…
Then there were the days of the airport meltdowns that ended with my kid slithering across the floor like a rabid reptile escaping mommy, The Crocodile Hunter! Oh, and the time that my 5 year old refused to have a hair cut, which I forced upon her because she looked like the one-eye-kid. She couldn’t see her homework, not to mention anyone else around her. I had to literally hold her down in the chair and restrain the back of her head as she proceeded to froth at the mouth and totally flip out. Who knew little girls could turn into monsters so quickly? I am sure that day she thought the same of me. Never went back to that salon.
Here’s what I’ve learned. It’s more exhausting to discipline our children than to give in. BUT in the long run it’s worth it. Consistency is king. Our kids will push and push if there is any glimmer of hope that mommy will cave. No means NO! You have to back up your position and stick to it. All caretakers must share your vision of what is and is not acceptable. Understanding the source of your child’s outbursts may help you avoid them and deal with them better. I m not an expert, but with four kids, I have learned that eventually kids tire of hearing no, they stop freaking out, and eventually stop insisting on what they cannot have.
Behaviors that trigger them can be modified. I do NOT mean you should call in sick and not go to work when your child is having a separation meltdown, I mean that tweaking your dialog to prep them may be helpful. Here are some articles that may guide you through these common and stressful times:
Trust me, we’ve all been there. I, too, have had the entire store stop as if it were in a mandatory moment of silence. My comfort is knowing that other moms have been there, done that and thankfully it passes. My favorite is what they call the straight jacket hold (I use this when I need to stop him from hitting and keep him safe)…kids back to you; arms crossed over their chest, their right hand in your left, and left hand in your right. They cannot hurt themselves in this position or hurt mom – and you aren’t hurting them. It looks awful, but it’s effective. That is until a dodo with no kids calls the cops – kidding (I hope).
Having a girl house, which for the most part had been pretty mellow, did not prep me for my strong and sometimes aggressive son. Every day is a new challenge. When it’s not physical, its emotional. It’s all par for the course. Hang in there. Know that we are stronger than they are, and they are counting on US to remain in control.