Sunday, August 23, 2009

'Serenity Now'....

Today I took a trip to Chapter's to decompress as it were and I found myself in the toddler/preschool parent help aisle with other bleary eyed parents looking for anything that would magically give me a solution to help me deal with the monumental tantrum bender that my three and a half year has been on for the last five days.

When he goes into these complete meltdowns he is barely the child I know and love. He yells, screams, throws things, hits, says 'i hate you', 'i don't love you','get out', 'go away' and I am left with the feeling that I have utterly failed as a parent. I know all the experts say don't take it personally but I'm not a robot and words do hurt even when being hurled at you in the throws of a preschool aged tantrum.

The only quote I can away with today that I totally related to was 'I feel like I was a more successful parent before I had children.' [forgive me I can't remember where the quote came from...I went through a lot of books today]. It's true I do. I thought the 'terrible two' were hard but the 3's and 4's are going to kill me I think [OK not literally but you get my overly dramatic point].

I know most parents go though this and for those who don't have kids with any behaviour/temperament issues then I raise a glass of Baby Duck to you. I envy you, even if I think you're lying about your perfectly behaved child [see I have become so damn jaded].

So I'm at a loss. Is it just a spirited child who just doesn't like the word 'no' or is it something more?

I have read everything from give your child Omega 3/fish oil capsules to homeopathic syrups that calm even the most agitated child. Is a change in diet needed? Is it an allergy? Should I ban all sugar from his diet? No ice cream, no chocolate?

I guess I am finding it hard to balance the reality that he is just acting like a normal kid his age to my mind reeling with information overload that there is something not all kosher with the situation. And that scares anxiety/panic attacks scares me.

I've cried more in these last three months than I have since he was born...I guess this is part of my personality that thrives on order and the well mastered plan. And I just can't wrap my head around the fact that parenting is far from a well mastered plan. Every kid is different as is every 'solution'. What works for kid A does not necessarily work for kid B. So no blanket solution, no magic pill.

As I write this my three and a half year old is serving out the end of his day long punishment by going to bed without having his bedtime books read to him by me...and it's killing me. I freely admit that...the follow through is the worst of it for me. And today I followed through on everything...I took toys away, the TV shows and computer time. And I feel like a total ass for doing it. But I also no that empty threats are the worst.

So will he hate me tomorrow? Will he resent me? Probably.

But it's a clean slate.

At least that is something to look forward to in the never ending drama that is the preschool years. Right?


Amy Bronee said...

The one theory that someone told me that I cling to is: really intense children are actually geniuses. Sometimes I just want to string him up by his smarty pants, though, if that's the case.

Thanks for the warning about the 3s and 4s. We're just barely entering the 2s over here and it's totally comforting to know it's not gonna get better any time soon. Really, thanks for that ;)

Loukia said...

I know how you feel. It's never easy dealing with your child when they act out like that... and the worst part is, it makes ME feel like the worst mom on earth! Like, what am I doing wrong to get this behaviour from my son, you know? Yup, ages 3 and 4 are not much easier. Almost harder. They understand everything. It hurts. But I think no matter what, they'll go through these phases. You're a great mom. Don't worry too much about it. :)