Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Deaf by Thirty-Five

Things have been a little low around here the past couple of days. There's been some lack of sleep due to really bad headaches and teething. Temper tantrums (Miss A's) have been at an all time high. I've been asking people I know with children if they can feel their eardrums rattle when their kids scream, because I can. The general consensus has been “no”. Bad news for us I guess. I'm predicting that Peter and I will be stone deaf by the time she's five, if not sooner.

I keep asking myself if there is something more I could be doing. I've tried various things. Ignoring her, getting cross and raising my voice, being calm and trying to calm her as well. Nothing works. It's like a hurricane that you just need to wait out. To be honest I'd like to put her outside at these times and board up my doors and windows.

Of course I've been getting a lot of advise. Some I've asked for and some I haven't. I take this advice differently depending on my mood. The most promising thing I'm told is that she'll grow out of it. But then I ask, “when?” and no one knows.

I love her, she's a great kid but lately there have been days when I think “I just can't handle another tantrum, I can't.” But then she'll have one because she doesn't want to get out of the bath or because she doesn't want her jammies on or because life is just so HARD!!! And somehow I get through it and put her to bed. Then I play Unreal Tournament which usually makes me feel better.

So because I had an adequate amount of sleep last night and I'm in a pretty good mood I'm welcoming any advice anyone might have on dealing with temper tantrums. Specifically for 18 months olds. Reasoning with her just isn't happening yet. Ready...Go.


Rachelle said...

Umm, no advice, no sympathy. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with them too.

bon said...

Wait it out? Don't really know because every single kid is so vastly different. Birdie I could calm by singing, LaLa wouldn't calm (and still won't) for ANYTHING... but after a good five minutes of screaming will respond to kind words. Usually. Pearl just has miffs, not tantrums.

I do draw the line at the dinner table. I will not be screamed at, at the dinner table. Any screamers are excused to their rooms until they can be decent. It's handled in a matter-of-fact way, no raised voices and no issues...they are carried gently with a care for thrashing arms and flailing feet, they are deposited in their room and invited to return when they can hold it together. I allow no exceptions.

Time outs... one minute in time out for each year of age.

Dude, that's my parenting expertise. All of it.

Kelli in the Mirror said...

My daughter did go through a tantrum period where my eardrums rattled. I had forgotten until you mentioned it. I thought at the time it might kill me, and it did go away.. so there's hope.

I think tantrums are different for everybody. For my daycare kids, a lot of them responded to being put in a different room for a few minutes. No audience and all that. I would stick my head in the door every couple minutes and very cheerfully say, "Are you all done? We don't scream in Kelli's playroom!" and if they kept on, I would say, "okay, call me when you're ready to stop!"

Didn't work so well on my own kid though, so I don't know about that.

Jenn said...

Did you get the latest LLL magazine in the mail this week? There's a section on toddler tantrums in it.

jen k said...

just remember, sometimes this is a toddlers only way of communicating, that its the only way when they are frustrated..i just say, be patient...take deep breaths, and remember that this is normal.

my only other advice? talk to her eye to eye, at her level...and be calm as much as possible..

nice coming from the worlds' most impatient mom...anyhoo, hang in gets better...

Eli's Mom said...

Wish I had more, but we deal with them too. The worst of them usually go in spurts, a few weeks at a time and tehn they calm down (but they don't go away) for a week or two. Right now we are in a calm phase, so i get 3, maybe 4 a day, and tehy're somewhat tame. Having said that I know Eli will ramp them up again tomorrow. I'm with you in that I'm praying he will just grow out of it but WHEN is a major question of mine too.
Right now I just walk away from him (if possible), or if he's in his high chair, I take the tray off (he's belted in) and turn him away from us until he calms. Sometimes it's 5 seconds and sometimes it's closer to 5 minutes. Wish I had mor to offer!!