Monday, January 31, 2011

When Did I Become Patient?

My daughter had a bad week. It wasn't entirely surprising since she has seemed "off" for the past couple of weeks (poorer eye contact, spacey, etc.). But she had two tantrums, one at school and one at home. Actually, I'm amazed that I can now say this is a bad week, when she used to have 5 tantrums a day, easily! She does seem to be growing out of the tantrums though (finally), so two in one week is a lot for her!

After the tantrum she had at home, my husband commented on how much more patient I am than he is during them. I was shocked to hear this, since this wasn't always the case. I use to tantrum along with my daughter! I don't know when exactly this changed. I think it's a function of two reasons.

One big change is that my daughter and I used to be together nonstop, especially during her (really) terrible twos. I was so worn down, that I don't think I had any reserves. Even when she went to preschool, the three-hour break a day I'd get for two or three days a week, while heavenly at first, wasn't enough to really regain sanity. So when my daughter tantrummed, I would often lose my patience and yell and scream.

Now, she isn't tantrumming as much and she's at school for over 6 hours a day. These two things make it a lot easier to deal with when it does happen. Her tantrums are much shorter in duration than they used to be too. So, I find it a lot easier to cope with when they happen.

The other big change is that I've learned techniques to deal with them when they happen. The biggest technique is to just simply ignore the tantrum and walk away. During my daughter's last tantrum, she expressed anger when I started to ignore her. I simply told her that if she wanted my attention, she had to simply stop crying, and I'd give it to her. Now that she's older, she realizes that she won't get her way by tantrumming. It doesn't stop them from happening completely but it does help with the duration.

My husband went from telling me I needed to learn to model appropriate behavior during our daughter's tantrums to complimenting me on my patience and composure!

I've come a long way! But I think I have because my daughter's come a long way too!

9 comments:

  1. thats good news. i try to have patience but i need improvement.

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  2. That's great! I have learned to not tantrum along with Katie, for the most part, although she still has daily meltdowns so there are times I lose it. My husband is really bad, though, and still gets way too worked up when she acts like that. Makes for some long days.

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  3. I realize the same holds true for me too. If I catch myself on a good day with some patience to spare...I can usually handle tantrums and whining much more calmly.

    But days that leave very little time for myself? I have a very short fuse.

    So I can completely understand. Us moms need breaks throughout the day to recharge and refuel our patience tank.

    So glad she is doing better and that you are too!

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  4. this post gives me hope that maybe one day I'll have patience, too!

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  5. after i read this i was thinking... damn cheryl is my inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. You have both come a long way baby! It's a combination of all those factors that you name. I would not go back for even one day to when she was 2 years old. Not for all the money!!

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  7. Hi Cheryl

    Sorry I haven't bee visiting lately...I've been so busy with all this snow business..lol!

    I think your words are true for all -- no matter who the child is. Self control is something all children have to learn , and being a patient parent helps them do that!

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  8. Hooray for progress! We've been having a horrible two weeks over here ourselves. Holiday letdown? I don't know...

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