Monday, December 3, 2012

Hot Topic Monday: Dramatic Conclusion to End All Fit throwing!

Hey everyone! So, it has arrived! Finally! We have reached the post that concludes our families of experiment with the abolition of fit throwing! I can't believe it! What was once supposed to be a month took two ... but the results were even better than I could have imagined!

Because lets be honest ... This face isn't a fun one:

/Es angry face ... lets get rid of it!
If you are just tuning in to this experiment I will summarize it for you (hence why I didn't do a big summarization yesterday):

E had a big problem ... she was (ok ... still is) a drama queen comes with the territory of being so amazingly all girl ... but with this and all its positives came negatives ... she was a fit thrower ... to the max (is that still a legit phrase?) ... it was even worse when she would get back from her moms house (which she goes to every other weekend) ... and so we had to find a way to deal with it ... to put an end to it ... as is I do not have as much patience as a "real" mom ... so we had to make changes ... I mean ... I would never murder a child ... but I may not have had my hair for very long as I would have most likely pulled it all out! So I sent out a cry for help on Facebook ... called for all the moms out there to help me come up with ways to lessen the amount of fits thrown  by lil miss E ... the response was amazing! So many of my friends had amazing ideas for me ... I mean ... I couldn't pick just one ... that't how good they were ... and so E and I set up an experiment. Our quest: to solve our fit problem ... our way to do it: take a week per and test out the different avenues provided by my dear friends, there were four, and we would try them all! E was fully informed each week before we started a new technique ... this was done in order to ensure that the experiment was not done to E but with E ... she is not a lab rat ... I would die if anyone thought that!

First was Ignoring ... this was provided by friends Karinne and Meredith ... E responded great to this technique ... until the second day ... but what I learned from my friend Kaitlyn is that this is to be expected ... It is knows as an "extinction burst" ... It will happen a few times before dying down ... yet it will only die down if you stick to your guns. Es outbursts died out ... but looking back ... having the information I have now ... I felt cold doing that! It was easy for me ... sometimes I still use this tactic when I hit the end of my rope ... but it was totally shutting her off from all attention (I know that is the point) ... but it now feels cold. I said before in my post about it that it seems to bring out a lot of her insecurities ... and after using the others I can now recognize how true this statement really was! I don't think that I will be using this technique anymore with E ... it's simplicity was desirable ... so were it's results ... but its affect that it had on E emotionally was not.

Second came sent to her room to calm down ... given by cute Laura ... this was an amazing way to deal with fits ... E gets her own time to calm down and I get the negative behavior away from me! It was great ... until E got smart ... She outsmarted me with this on more than one occasion ... most notably when we were cleaning the house and she intentionally threw a fit to be able to go up to her room to play. I think that this is most effective for younger children ... by giving a child a book as Laura suggested that they really enjoy will entice them to calm down. When Es fits were real during this week she really was able to calm down when she was in her room. However, I will stick to what I had said in the post previously written, this technique is most suited for toddler aged children.

Third was the ultimatum ... wonderful Amanda gave us this suggestion ... It was successful on multiple levels ... E would stop her fit when she didn't want to clean ... and my floors would get cleaned when she didn't want to stop her fit! win-win right! I think that I am going to save this technique in my back pocket ... I think that this will really come in handy when I have a moody pre-teen ... Fits will be different then ... but my house will still need to be cleaned ... and older kiddos may be more thorough ... yanno ... saving it for purely selfish reasons and not feeling bad about it at all! The only reason why I am saving it is because of the next technique that we tried ... which I will explain now

Finally was the "fit chart" ... this came from Elizabeth ... and is the one that will stick! Although E is only four she is somewhat fragile. As I have said before, I don't know how Es life was before she came to live with R and I ... We can only assume ... take guesses through conversations with her mom and with her ... I can say that I don't think that it has been the easiest. Part of me wonders if she may suffer from the genetic depression that her mother suffers from. That is why this method of fit control has been so beneficial for us ... we are not getting angry at bad behavior but rewarding good choices and behavior. What we did was we made a chart where E could put an "x" in a box every time she decided to stop throwing her fit ... when she received a certain amount of "x's" she got a gift. E did outsmart me in the beginning ... throwing fits to get to make an "x" on her chart ... but we adapted it ... made her have to stop throwing her fit and finish out her tasks in order to get an "x" ... and it has worked amazingly ... the only glitch is how many times she asks when she will get an "x" ... but that is worth it! This tactic keeps her self esteem high ... which is a big deal for us!

So ... basically ... we learned a lot these past two months ... again ... I give thanks to all of my dear friends who gave me all of these ideas ... here is what to take away from all of this:

  1. Ignoring is simple and effective ... yet can feel cold. If your child is totally secure in who they are this is a good way to go because of how simple and how effective it is (once you get away from the outbursts). If you notice that this starts to affect your child in negative ways I would disband it immediately for one of the others. 
  2. Sending a child to their room is great for toddler age kiddos ... when they are too young to take advantage of it! If you are ok with children throwing fake fit to get out of something ... then this is good ... I understand ... sometimes you just need a little space yourself and this allows it!
  3. Giving a child an ultimatum is a fantastic idea, especially for those who are older. Your house will stay clean ... and if it doesn't then that means that there are more happy times being had through less animosity in the home. Personally this one will constantly be in my back pocket!
  4. Having a "fit chart" promotes positive behavior. It is a wonderful way to build your children up rather than tear them down for poor behavior. It has helped E enormously! This is the one that I will endorse ... it is the choice that we are making in our family. This will be something that we will use forever ... not only with E but with our other children. I think that it is very important to build children up rather than tear down. As I keep saying ... this is the way to do it! 

Good luck parenting my friends! It is super difficult and there are so many ways to do it ...I hope that this provided some insight ... hope that it will make it easier! Good luck with all of your fit-throwing endeavors