Friday, April 23, 2010

Yelling and Screaming and NO!...oh my

My baby. My perfect, happy, adorable little baby. Man, can she scream.

E is officially making her bid to gain status as an independent human being. Loudly. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course. In theory, it is very much a good thing. In reality however, I am seriously wondering how long it will be before concerned neighbours show up at my door with child welfare representatives in tow. Everyone goes through this, right? Right?

Okay, I know it's normal. What I don't know is how to handle it. I used to watch Nanny 911 and scoff at the incompetence of parents who were afraid to discipline their children and would rather give in than spend the energy teaching their children how to behave. I was always able to offer up my sage advice on how I would have appropriately handled the situation. Now I'm on the other side of the fence. The side where the decibel meter is shattered daily, where the reward for ensuring a child's safety is an all-out tirade of fury, and where one is constantly reminded of her inadequacies as a caregiver. It's tough on this side. And I could use a little guidance. Like, oh I don't know, a visit from Nanny 911.

Not that it has gotten that bad yet. Right now we just have a fiery little 15 month old who is not sure what the rules are and just wants what she wants without a full arsenal of skills to express herself or understand why her mama does what she does. And a mama who just wants her - be happy and cuddly all the time no matter what, which may not be entirely realistic.

I could use some advice. So please, anyone with wise words for coping with this tricky stage, please impart your wisdom. Should I be giving her time-outs for tantrums or just when she does something wrong? Do I just wait out the tantrum or get in there amidst the flailing body parts and try to redirect her attention? How much explanation can she handle at this stage?

Part of the problem is that we haven't really childproofed yet, apart from the odd plug cover and a couple of elastic bands around door handles. Also, the place is a mess. So she is always seeing things to get her hands on that she shouldn't. The obvious solution to this is to get the apartment in order with all things she can't have out of her reach/sight, and to childproof. Okay, so who is picking her up and taking her away this weekend so that I can get started? Anyone???

1 comment:

  1. (Amy here)

    Oh the tantrums... it's so funny that you talked about Nanny 911 because I always think of that show when I'm dealing with J. haha. Like you, I used to scoff at the "bad" parents on the show :)

    Here is (are?) my two cents- In terms of the actual tantrum, the best thing to do, at least for us, is to just ignore the behavior and actually walk away. The more attention you give the behavior, the more it reinforces it as a means of getting attention. When J throws a tantrum, I leave him to it and just walk away. Eventually, he works it out and is over it. We only give time outs if he does something wrong.

    He sometimes also gets a cool down time. This is because he can follow us and so sometimes, the tantrum follows us as well. I will take him to his room and tell him he needs to stay there until he cools down, but it's not the same as a time out (no "naughty chair", no time limit, etc).

    I hope that helps. Honestly, I really think the best thing to do is ignore it. Good luck Mommy! It is normal... and it gets better! Not that they don't regress every now and then... :) Just remember that this just means that Elle is smart! She's asserting her independence early. She just needs to be reigned in a little. haha