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Nanny 911!

Thursday, October 21, 2010 Leave a Comment

I know this is completely politically incorrect to say, and you might think I'm a horrible person after I say it, but here goes: My 4 1/2 year old makes me madder than, really, I can ever remember being. I feel like a cartoon character, with a red face and steam coming out of my ears and my heart throbbing in my ears. At least once a day, maybe more.

Worse, he manages to bring out some crazily stubborn part of me -- a part of me, come to think of it, that probably came out last when I was 4 1/2. We both dig our heels in and won't budge.

And it's always over something so tiny, so trivial, it makes me embarassed to even recall them.

Like today in the car, I turned up the music and rolled down the windows, partly because it is a gorgeous day, and partly because I didn't want the 1 year old to fall asleep in the car and ruin his nap.

This turned into a full blown temper tantrum from the back seat, because the 4 year old didn't want that song, and then it was too loud, and then he was cold, and then he wanted one window down, but not his, but not all of them rolled up..... and then I was the Meanest Mom in the World. Are you kidding me?

By the time he leaned up to pull my hair, I was at my wit's end. This kid is worse than a teenage girl, all these emotions!

He's also been doing things he knows he'll be punished for, seemingly just to push my buttons. Like hitting his little brother, which always results in time outs. Or having a temper tantrum in public, while on a bike ride, because I turned left, not right.

In the past two weeks, I have read Nanny 911 and Supernanny in a desperate search for advice. They both say don't use punishment, try to get them to use their words and tell you what's wrong. Phooey. Time-outs, in his room until he can calm down are the only way I can cope.

What do you do when your kid throws stubborn, willful temper tantrums?


  • Anonymous said:  

    We've done the Love & Logic method, which in summary is empathy + consequences. For temper tantrums, the strategy is to stay calm and unemotional and explain that you'll be happy to talk when they're calm. Time out is really to separate you from the kid so you don't have to listen to them.

    The have books but I think it's better to take an actual class, there's several L&L certified instructors in Denver. headandheartparent.com is one I know of.

  • Anonymous said:  

    Healthy parenting can be boiled down to those two essential ingredients: love and control. They must operate in a system of checks and balances. Any concentration on love to the exclusion of control usually breeds disrespect and contempt. Conversely, an authoritarian and oppressive home atmosphere is deeply resented by the child who feels unloved or even hated. The objective for the toddler years is to strike a balance between mercy and justice, affection and authority, love and control.

    This is from Parenting the Strong Willed Child -

    How Parents Can Lead a Strong-Willed Child
    You should not blame yourself for the temperament with which your child was born. She is simply a tough kid to handle, and your task is to match her stride for stride.
    Your strong-willed child is in greater danger because of his inclination to test the limits and scale the walls. Your utmost diligence and wisdom will be required to deal with him. You simply have to be tougher than he is, but do it without being angry and oppressive.
    If you fail to understand his lust for power and independence, you can exhaust your resources and bog down in guilt. It will benefit no one.
    For parents who have just begun, take charge of your baby now, hold tightly to the reins of authority, and quickly begin building into her an attitude of respect and obedience. You will need every ounce of awe you can muster in coming years. Once you have established your right to lead, begin to let go of the reins systematically, year by year.
    Don't panic, even during the storms of adolescence. They never last forever. The sun will shine again, producing, perhaps, a beautiful rainbow over your spirit. You're going to get through this.
    Don't let your child stray too far from you emotionally. Stay in touch. Don't write him off, even when your every impulse is to do just that. He needs you now more than ever before.
    Give that kid time to find herself, even if she appears not to be searching.
    Most importantly, I urge you to hold your children before the Lord in fervent prayer day by day by day. Begin every morning with a prayer for wisdom and guidance.