Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why No, Don't, Stop and Are you out of your mind doesn't work...

Last night, the biggest WWE (translates Worst WhineFest Ever) occurred in our house. 

Talk about...Out. Of. Control. We didn't mean to put them there. Honest.

Yes, both children had eaten (sort of for the second kiddo), rested or napped, but it didn't matter. They were extremely frustrated at being told that it was time to stop playing and get ready for bed. We even had a three minute timer set.

 It really started with dinner. Young child plays with food more than eats it. So, I apply a consequence of "take the food away." Immediate response of major tantrum begins. I spout out frustrated words, but hey, at least hubby and I didn't give in, right? While the oldest child is pleading to not have to eat the chicken. Again we don't give in. He eats his whole dinner-can I get an amen?

So the battle continues as we worked to get them up the stairs. Youngest child was carried and oldest child was persuaded with good ol'-fashioned if you want a goodnight song...then you gotta get ready to go to sleep. Of course, oldest child with huge tears still spouts whining with, "I want one more of this or that" of playing, but surprisingly manages to brush teeth and such. 

 When we somehow manage to get the children in their pajamas with clean teeth, we find our ears ringing.
Bathrooms are notoriously adept at amplifying the most piercing of sounds: A high pitched cry in a full blown fit.


Okay, now I might be making hubby and I sound good, but actually we failed as well as did some things right. We engage the children too much when they are throwing a fit. I could be a bit more calm and patient.

So my point? 
   Well, for the first time in my parenting, I realized after the WWE was over that hubby and I need to handle whining and tantrums differently. We try to actually reason with the said child in the said fit...Yep, you read that right. What are we thinking?
 So something that does work is ignoring, NOT engaging, NO reasoning, and removing the child from any audience or attention. My children are going to have to learn how to calm down. And understand that this behavior doesn't get them what they want and that it isn't okay either.

 So the other problem...I say, "No, don't, stop, and sometimes are you out of your mind?" way too often.


Why? Well, because do you like being told these things? Yeah, me neither.
So what does work? Or what is suggested (from books) is to try not to use these words as much as redirecting, distracting, and turning the no, stop or don't into a HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN DO...
                For example, When my children are coloring on the floor and my typical reaction is, "No, don't color on the floor.", I should say instead, "You can color on the coloring book. Or you can color on these pages or I will have to take the crayons away."
Did ya catch how I used two of the negative words in the one statement. Classic.

But the second statement(s) are better. I bet I won't get the same fit unless I am being tested and then comes the logical consequence of take away crayons.

So to break this habit is going to be hard. I wrote in on a white board on my fridge to help me remember.
 Since remembering is half the battle!

What about you? How do you handle tantrums? Whining? Any tips are welcome! 


  1. Hang in there, Mommy! Those kids are figuring life out - one tantrum at a time! Rarely do we see grown up on the floor of the grocery store kicking their legs because their favorite cereal is sold out! :)

  2. Hey you did the best you could! Oyyy so frustrating when they start the whining. Whining is one thing in this house I do not take lightly! The kids know if they whine then I hit a certain "tone" and it is all over from there.


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