Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fit Throwing be gone ... part two (ignoring)

Week one is over ... Now ... just to make sure everyone is up to speed ... I am doing a month long experiment with my four year old to see what will help cure the case of the fit-throwing (if you want to go back and read that blog it is here). This week I tackled the first suggestion ... telling the child that I will ignore her until she calms down then actually ignoring her.

E got back from her mom's house last Sunday night ... I felt that that would be an appropriate time to start ... all things considered ... again ... you can go back and read the other post for more details. And so it began ... the first fit was Monday morning ... I told her I was going to ignore her ... I did ... worked like a charm ... no joke ... lil E calmed down so quick it scared me ... this seemed to confirm what I had always suspected ... fits were for attention ...if she wasn't going to get attention why throw a fit right? Monday only had one other fit ... Tuesday followed suit with only one fit of it's own ... I was in Heaven! I was about ready to blog and call the whole experiment off because I had found my solution ... but then came Wednesday.

Oh Wednesday ... lovely Wednesday ... we used to call it hump day until we got a child ... to all reasons you just thought in your head ... yes ... that is why! ha! Wednesday hit me like a sack of bricks ... E did not want to wear the shirt I had picked out for her (remember, school day = I choose day) ... it was a hoodie (I may or may not have yanked it off of her head a little hard while trying it on in the store ... completely freaking her out ... I plead the fifth). And so the fit began; however, this was not a normal fit ... this was something I had rarely seen before ... I told her I would ignore her until she calmed down ... I did ... it worked ... after about fifteen minutes. Whoa ... what happened? I was not used to this at all ... where was the angel from the last two days ... the one who calmed down immediately after I started to ignore her ... holy crap ... This was crazy. Luckily (scoff) it did not end there ... after we were all ready to go ... running a little late because of the duration of the fit ... I had E run back up to grab her jacket while I grabbed my downstairs ... she comes slowly slinking down the stairs ... with a toy behind her back ... for who knows why ... E always brings a toy in the car ... I always say yes when she asks (this is another blog post I have to write about ... do your kiddos ask you if they can do anything ... because E asks about everything [no joke ... she will come into our room to wake us up every morning just to ask if she can play with the toys in her room ... which we have told her many times to do if she wakes up before us]) ... this time she was acting weird ... so I just told her that she needed to walk a little faster but that she can bring the cat (that's what she had hiding behind her back) ... she seemed taken aback for a millisecond ... then she took the cat from behind her back and was like "no ... nevermind" and threw it back up the stairs ... oh ... ok ... so we hustled out the door and she was just about to get in the car when the crocodile tears started ... hello flood gates ... nice to see you have opened again. If it were possible ... unfortunately it was ... this fit was worse than the other .. it takes us twenty minutes to drive to school ... she was screaming the entire twenty. First it was because she wanted the toy (we were already late ... I had already locked the house ... there was no turning around here) ... second because she wanted music on. Now ... when you ignore them you should not give into them at all ... E and I usually listen to Alvin and the Chipmunks Pandora radio on the way to school ... she really looks forward to it ... and it is fun for us to dance and sing together ... but there was no break in her fit this Wednesday morning ... none ... it went straight from one thing to the other ... hence no music ... hence unhappy baby. What was the most killer was the amount of times she said "mom", "moma", and "mommy" ... also the amount of times she told be that I was "hurting her life" ... It took everything I had not to cry ... or scream at her to stop ... I was on the edge of a tipping point ... luckily school was there to catch my fall.

Wednesday didn't get any better ... nor did the rest of the week (though none as bad as Wednesday) ... it was rough ... so I recommitted myself to the experiment ... vowing to see it to the end.

What I learned from this week:
  1. This seems as if it will be one of the simplest of all of them ... really, the effort it requires is minimal (unless you have a moment like I did Wednesday morning). You say you are going to do it and you do it ... all the while you get to continue on with whatever it was you were doing ... or whatever it is you need to do. They may follow you around ... but really ... their fit will rarely affect you ability to do whatever you want while you are ignoring them. 
  2. Ignoring really does seem to work ... that is ... unless you ignore them a lot in the first place because you are too busy with other things ... then it only seems to enlarge the fits. With E ... if we already weren't paying attention to her, her fits would be louder and longer. If we were paying attention to her, her fits would be a lot quieter and shorter. 
  3. For E ... this really seemed to bring so many of her insecurities. I do not know how she was raised before she got to R and I ... I can only make assumptions ... but I don't like to do that. But by ignoring her it was crazy how quickly she calmed down the first couple of days and then had a blow up day on Wednesday and then ... get this ... created a sadness in her eyes. I don't really understand what it is yet ... but there is this new sadness to E ... she now says that things are he fault ... she isn't treating other children or adults with the kindness that she used to (no joke [I know I keep saying that ... deal] ... her teacher told R that she had a hard day on Friday). I don't know if it was this ignoring thing that brought out all of these negative feeling for E ... or (and I honestly feel this way) ... I am not doing as good of a job of parenting that everyone says I am ... maybe I am being to cold (I do feel distanced sometimes) ... and by me being so cold a distant I am creating this negative affect upon E and it is finally getting to her because it has officially manifested itself in this ignoring thing. Maybe it is me. (I need advice from other moms I think ... other step-moms might be the best)
I am sure that I will have more to say when about ignoring when I complete next week ... Which is putting E in her room with a book to calm down, not being able to come out of her room until she is calm. It seems as if this week is going to be a little bit more time consuming that last ... a little more difficult ... we shall see ... I may be sticking to this ignoring this after  all ... if I can figure out the sadness thing!

Ok! good luck parenting my friends (I know I need it myself ... so yanno ... good karma for wishing it for you)!