I've got you baby
By Kyla Henderson
For March 23, 2013
Do you ever wonder if your kids are bipolar? One minute I have a sweet and helpful, darling little girl and then as soon as I ask her to clean her room, the ugly, screaming, scary monster comes out. It's hard sometimes to believe that I'm talking to the same person who was calm and happy a few seconds earlier, but now that I look upon her in amazement as she has thrown her head back, tears are streaming down her face which is contorted into an ugly snarl, she's beat red and screaming,"NO, NO, NO, I don't want to!" My question to her was, "Sweetie, can you go tidy your room for a little bit? How about just pick the things up of the floor and then we can do something fun." Sounds reasonable to me, but perhaps my delivery was off, because in a split second she was in full-blown tantrum mode.
I am used to tantrums. I have been a parent of a very spirited girl for five years now and yep, I am used to them. In fact I usually go about my business and let her have her little fit. I make sure she's not going to hurt herself of course, but I'll go make coffee, or load the dishwasher and "ignore" her until she is done. I've really found of all the advice I've gotten since becoming a parent, that is one of the most useful pieces of advice. Now that she's older she doesn't usually throw herself on the floor for her fit, but will stomp her feet, scream, cry and sometimes will stomp down the hall to her room and slam her door. I don't enjoy her slamming her door. It makes the house seem to shake when she does it, but looking on the bright side, at least she went to hear room without me having to ask! I have to admit though, I was a bit stumped when she threw this tantrum. When she was younger tantrums came because she was hungry or tired or both. Now, in true girl fashion, it's mood related. "Why are you so upset? It will only take you a little while to pick up your room. Then we can do something fun. In fact I'm going to do the dishes when you do that. See, I'm doing a chore too. And I'm not sad about it. Sometimes we just need to do some chores before we have fun."
I don't why I try to reason. It is completely pointless effort on my part, but I'm always hopeful that one day my calm and soothing voice will get through her fit throwing. But she's stubborn, and unfortunately for her, so am I. So she screams and I let her, and then she cleans her room. It's not the nicest way to go about things, I suppose, but it works for us!