Toddler Tantrums

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I was so glad to hear that I'm not alone in this battle right now. Solidarity my three year old mama sisters, solidarity [ps: that is not to suggest I think it will get easier past three, I know better than that. :)].

Isaac began the terrible two's around 18 months and just as a blog friend commented, it's come in waves ever since. We'll have a month or two of fantastic growth and absorption and then BAM it's certifiably insane.

My Mom had been pushing me to read Dobson's The New Strong Willed Child for quite some time and I got it on my phone a few months ago. Reading these pages, filled with stories 1000% worse than what I'm experiencing, coupled with this fabulous reminder that we're in the tunnel, have been very helpful in those intense moments that I barely feel in control.

Isaac LOVES life so much.

He is exuberant.

He is joyful.

He is loud.

He is dirty.

He is amazingly everything I imagined a boy would be.

He loves his brother, amazingly more than I imagined he could.

But with all of that passion and articulation.

He LOVES to make decisions. His decisions. And he doesn't like when they are not catered to. If there is any deviation from our agreed to plans or his unapproved decisions. This is what we get.

Thankfully, the evening that I took these pictures, Isaac and I had a long talk on the way home from my Mom's regarding his need to listen, without a temper tantrum. I told him how sad it makes me to give him time outs and spankings and that I'd rather have fun! I told him that we were going to have a great evening and asked for his compliance.

And, we did, we really did.
Yes, he's eating my cheek, but happily so. After many conversations were going to have a great night.#brothers #notenoughdirtLots of love last night.Seems like outdoor time was the right remedy. #toddler #avoidingtantruns

And remember, if you're dealing with toddler tantrums, a little retail therapy on Baby Orajel's dime couldn't hurt! Don't forget to enter the $100 Target GC giveaway here.

Also, my favorite hobby has become increasingly useful for the major swings we've experienced lately. I always take pictures to remember, everything. Even the things I didn't notice when I was initially taking the picture. When I took Isaac out for his 3 year pictures on his birthday, I asked him to hug me so that I could get us both into the picture. I snagged this image and while my face is not in focus, his is. It's my most favorite picture from the month of April. It is he. And I. An image of my loving boy, which I cling to when sometimes we both forget.
 Linking up with The Paper Mama.


Tess Weber-Popejoy said...

We're going to hit 3 in just a couple of weeks. Asher has really been trying my patience lately and I seem to be the ONLY one he doesn't listen to! I'm still trying to whip him in shape before his brother gets here. Its going to be a VERY long summer with a newborn and a big brother who won't listen to Mommy :)

Meredith said...

I'm right there with you Leah...and Lizzy isn't even 3 yet, ha! I don't know if you saw this on Facebook yesterday, but while I was in the bathroom, Lizzy wrapped herself head-to-toe in tape. That prompted a time-out in her bedroom. While in time-out, Lizzy somehow found and ate all of one of those "Do Not Eat" Silica Gel packets, which then prompted a call to Poison control, and then a 55 minute stand-off tantrum because Lizzy didn't want to wear pants or a diaper for her nap. I FEEL you.

I'm mid-way through The New Strong Willed Child too :) It's kind of nice to know other mamas out there can relate!

Kallie Brelsford said...

Well hey, if you ever need a get away and in need of a babysitter I'm only 5 hours away! ;) Actually I've really been praying for my sister in this department too-just an overall patience. I'll be sure to do the same for you! Happy hump day!

Molly said...

Yes, yes, yes. I have a very passionate child. He loves passionately and disagrees passionately.

I really do need to have more talks with him when he is calm. And rewards for good behavior!

Jen said...

I'll have to check out The New Strong Willed Child. I've been ready the book "Raising Your Spirited Child". I don't know if it's just my attitude change that's made the difference, but we've really decreased the number of tantrums we've had lately. One of the big ideas that traits like be strong-willed,ect, are not bad traits to have if you can teach them how to use them appropriately.
Carter will turn 4 in another 2 months. My friends with 4 year olds say the 4s are a lot less challenging.

Emily said...

Oh the tantrums! We're a year behind you, but those terrible twos kicked in at exactly 18 months. And you're spot on that the things we love most about their strong personalities make the struggles the hardest. I keep telling myself that I"ll appreciate his very strong sense of who he is when he's 15. Hang in there!

Amy said...

I have had that book on my to read list for quite some time. I REALLY need to read it soon :) Brady is 2.5 and we've been in tantrum city for months now.

It's so fun when you're walking in target with a screaming kid...especially when he screams, "Don't take me away!" and i look like I'm stealing him!

emilyhansen said...

I've got another book for you. Mind you, I'm typing this as my 2 1/2 year old is crying herself to sleep for some unknown reason. She's decided bedtime is when she's going to let it all out :) It's called Love and Logic. Maybe you've heard of it? Great resource for kids who have strong opinions- allows me to give her as many choices as I can throughout the day and then use way less words when she disobeys. Keeps this house much more peaceful.
Sure hope you find time to breath and remember what a wonderful mama you are and what a great little man he is- which it sounds like you're doing.
Now, to tend to that crying baby :)

Megan said...

That books is on my "read" list... do you feel like it's helping you or not?

Hang in there, Mama. This too shall pass... or at least that's what they keep telling me. ;)

Unknown said...

Raises hand. I too have such a "spirited" child. In those dark moments I just keep reminding myself that these are the children who become leaders and are less prone to give in to peer pressure :)

Betsey said...

Thank you for this post. I have an almost three year old and we are dealing with the same exact emotions, tantrums, and strong will. I recently picked up The New Strong Willed Child too, and also a book on raising the "spirited child". Thank goodness for good books and great mommy blogs!

Ericanandy said...

Ah toddler tantrums. Fun times. We're 2 1/2 and around 1 year old I read Happiest TODDLER on the block because I had found out I was pregnant with number two and I was FREAKING out. I recently revisited it. It helps get the perspective of the toddler mindset and communication capability. It also has some good positive reinforcement tips in it. BTW I never did the "toddler talk" from it.
Good luck!

Julie S. said...

As Brayden is finally figuring out how to use his words, it seems his anger always comes first. I might have to check out that book- sounds helpful! :)

And that last photo? MELT MY HEART.


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