Tantrum Land

Well, we’ve reached a new phase in the Anthrohaus….tantrum land. Napoleona has decided that it’s her way or the highway, about every living thing. Today at Target she wanted to ride in the giant carts with two kids’ seats in the front, and when I said no she started freaking out. Those behemoths weigh about a thousand pounds and invariably one wheel has given up the ghost. So using one is pretty much like steering a water buffalo through quicksand, and I just wasn’t up for it.

So now my challenge is, how do I work with her to 1) calm her down so her shrieks don’t pierce my eardrums, 2) get her to listen to what I am trying to say, and 3) remember to not freak out the next time, all without resorting to major violence?

She is pretty stubborn, but luckily she’s only 2 1/2 so I can still rely on some mother’s helpers: distraction, her complete lack of rationality and logical thinking (oh yes, that’s actually helpful sometimes), and my newest friend, Consequences.

We’ve been becoming more and more acquainted with Consequences lately…

“If you can’t stop screaming and sit calmly in the cart, we will have to leave and go home.”
“If you hit your brother again, you will go sit in your room.”
“If you step into the brook and get wet, we will have to stop playing and go inside.”
“If you don’t start using nice words and an inside voice, Mama’s head will explode and you’ll have to clean it up.” (Haven’t actually used that one yet, but it’s been tempting.)

Sometimes distraction works well: “Hey look, those seagulls are eating up all the french fries that lady just dumped out of the back seat of her car!”

Sometimes irrational thinking works: “If we keep our house neat and clean, the monsters will be repelled by its beauty and stay away!” (Caveat: I’m not big on scaring kids into submission, so I tread carefully with this one. I have never said “If you don’t clean up your room, the monsters will come for you!”…but I have been tempted.)

And then there’s the bonus action of the big brother egging her on or having a tantrum of his own….


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