October 05, 2007

I am leaving Olivia overnight Saturday for the first time since she was diagnosed. I am equal parts rabbity panic and WOOHOOOOO! I'M OUTTA HERE, SUCKERS!!!!!!!!!

I neeeeeeed this break, even if it is only going to be about 30 hours. I've been having a hard time dealing with O's moments of toddler-induced hysteria lately and if you have gotten within ear-bending distance of me, you have probably heard the desperation in my voice.

In between outbursts (hers and mine), I have been reading discipline books and feverishly Googling phrases like "toddler hitting punching tantrums please make it stop," and trying variations on time-outs, sit-downs, walk-away-without-slamming-the-doors, etc. I have patience with a lot of what toddlerhood has brought our way, but I run dry when it comes to all of the hitting. The hitting drives me nuts. And nothing seems to be working. I know that she knows she isn't supposed to hit; she tells me often, "Hitting hurts. We don't hit [insert family member name here]." But it is her go-to as soon as she is angry or overwhelmed. I try to remember that young children have to be told again and again before it sticks. But when she has hit me or other little ones dozens of times over the course of a day and all the while I am saying, "Don't hit" dozens of times...it all starts to feel a bit ludicrous.

I have little space for re-charging my batteries when I am feeling overwhelmed myself. She likes her some Momma and doesn't let me get far. She doesn't play independently, accompanies me to the bathroom, needs me in whichever room she is in, goes to pieces when I am on the phone or the computer. I am the whole dog and pony show for her.

With both this and the hitting, I wonder is the behavior part of a phase, or is this stuff that I have taught her and could help her unlearn (not so much the hitting, but that Momma is entertaining and there's no reason to play Play-Doh by yourself when you can get her to come make kitties with you), or do I need to toughen up, or do I need to re-think my attitude about pre-school?

I am opening the floor to all five of my readers, so share all the wisdom you got. But not until Sunday, cause tomorrow I'M OUTTA HERE, SUCKERS!

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Blogger Shannon said...

Have a niiiice weekend away!

As for discipline, I think O's age is the toughest because she doesn't understand reasoning.

I think for now, maybe do time outs. The rule of thumb is 1 minute for each year of age. It sounds ridiculous to only do 2 or 3 minutes, but to a toddler, it might as well be an hour because they have no concept of time.

I set a timer and told my kids when the timer beeps, then they can come out of time out.

After I started time outs with them, when the bad behavior started up, I'd threaten them with time out and they'd stop what they were doing to avoid it.

At this point consistency is key and the change in behavior will, over time, straighten out....sort of!

I've had my melt down moments where nothing I'd do would stop the craziness and I'd yell at the top of my lungs to "SHUT UP!!" because they couldn't hear me otherwise. The silence afterward was a pleasure, but I don't do that on a regular basis. When that does happen, I know I need some "mommy alone time" to gather my frazzled nerves.

It's a lot of perserverance and weekends away that helped me and continues to help me from leaping off a cliff, "ALOL".

9:06 AM  
Anonymous katiek said...

Paige, it's so hard especially with your first to figure out what the heck to do. Josiah was a typical boy and he got the physical discipline. He still does, and honestly its alot quicker than time outs, boom, your done. But I don't begrudge anyone in this day and age for not spanking. Do what feels right for you. The whole "spare the rod" can be a blessing or a curse.

With Eden, my delicate flower of a girl, I tried spanking and she looked at me like the world was falling down around her head. I reserve that punishment for blatant disobedience that involves her hands (throwing things after being told to stop, hitting, touching something after a warning). Eden responds to verbal warnings without the physical emphasis, unlike Josiah. Eden is a tease and manipulates your emotions with girly patheticness and flare. Sending her to her room (aka time out) is the worst thing ever. I find that being on the other side of a door hits home even better. And like Shannon said, 2 minutes is eternity. And i'm standing on the other side staring at my watch.
Even if Olivia isn't rational enough yet, try reasoning anyway. It's good practice because one day she will understand. I ask Eden if she understands and sometimes she says yes! It also helps in public to have practiced being rational. It "looks" better and feels less humiliating. Having an older sibling, Eden has figured out what's acceptable. That time period with Jos was hard 18 months to 3 was hard, but obeying the FIRST TIME was really important or he'd get a spank. Then the phrase FIRST TIME becomes DOOM. Growing with your child is how God designed it, so blessings to you guys, and may your family grow together.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we grew up with entertain yourself time for 1 hr. you may want to set a timer and tell o to go play (puzzle, toy, play doh, etc...)start for like 10 min, then work your way up. reward and praise her for playing independently while mommy does dishes, screams into a pillow, or even takes a bath. i know that the nanny on tv places child in time out, when they come out, put them right back explaining she doesn't hit and will be punished. you could duct tape her to the chair, but im pretty sure thats cruel and you shouldn't do that. good luck!!!! vanessa

9:18 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...

I hope you had a wonderful and reviving break. Start watching old episodes of SuperNanny for discipline ideas!

Timeouts have worked for us. Even our 5 year old would comply when he was 3 and he had a stubborn streak a mile wide. I hope God blesses you with the wisdom of Solomon and a lot of patience (like Job maybe).

10:08 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

thanks to all. the break was indeed just what I needed and went so well that O's grandparents think they will be up for it again soon. bless their little hearts.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Your time away sounds great. I've done it once and am going away again in November. It's amazing how much better you feel when you get back.

I wish I had some advice. I'm at my wit's end with Boo. Someone recommended 1-2-3 Magic to me once and I think I may check that one out of the library. I'm about ready to lose it with her and I'm sick of yelling all the time.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I'm so glad that you got away! That sounds like heaven. Thomas actually kept the kids for most of the day on Monday so I could have some time away. Just not the same though when you know you have to come home and put them both to bed. Anyway...back to your problem.

I have almost always used time-out with Isabelle. It only took about 1 hour one of the first times I used it to make her stay in it and she has always stayed after that. I used the SuperNanny technique. Basically I give her 1 warning and if she does it again then she goes to time out. Except for physical or hurtful behaviour such as hitting, biting, kicking, spitting or name calling. Then it is straight to time out. I tell her what she is going in time out for when I put her there then tell her she will be there for 3 minutes. The time does not start until she stops screaming. Then when her time is up (I use a kitchen timer) I go in and sit down with her and ask her to tell me why she is there. Then I make her apologize. Then I give her a hug and we go one with the day.

I have spanked, but I have a hard time with that because I tend to do it when I am at my whits end and really, really pissed. I usually end up feeling guilty and that she didn't learn anything from it.

Isabelle has been a handful most of her life so we have had to work on behaviour a LOT. It does get better. I swear. She usually doesn't have to go to time out more then once a week anymore. Of course there are days that she is there quite a few times.

I have also been reading a parenting book called Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years. I love it! I had to return it to the library before I was done, but I am going to purchase it as soon as I can. It is really good and practical. The techniques seem to work really well on Isabelle.

Hope some of this helps. You can always e-mail me if you want to continue this discussion or if you have questions. I hope that you are still refreshed from your break. I have to say I am a little jealous. ;)

5:34 PM  
Blogger KentT said...

Hi Paige,

What you are going through with Olivia is perfectly normal for toddlers. Their reasoning skills aren't developed yet. Olivia is testing her limits and exploring. Try 2-3 minutes of Time Out and hug her and go on. Your idea of a break is very excellent. I have a 3 year old myself with Type 1 D. Erik is a pumper and uses Animas. Have a superb weekend. If you need advice or to vent, email. Visit my blog at www.sugarfreewheeler.blogspot.com Thanks for your excellent blog and I enjoy reading it.

9:17 PM  

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