Friday, March 1, 2013

An Update on Tantrums...

Tantrums happen.

Luckily for me, it seems that tantrums only really escalate when we are home. The kicking, turning red, horrible crying, everything you could imagine. 

There are two reasons I think they typically happen at home. One is that they know I mean what I say. I can generally talk them down from acting out. If I've given a few warnings and things aren't getting better. I'll tell them, if (whatever is happening that isn't okay) doesn't stop, then we are going to leave where ever we are (or stop whatever fun thing we are doing). I'll tell them that once. The second thing I do is tell (whichever one is acting okay) to talk to the other one because if what ever is happening doesn't stop then we are leaving ... This is the part that usually works. If we are out and something gets to this point, it TYPICALLY stops here. But if it doesn't then we WILL LEAVE OR STOP WHAT WE ARE DOING! If I don't mean it (when it comes to this) then I don't say it! So we don't typically get to the point of tantrum when we are out. 

If whining or fussing starts while we are out, something I say to them often is, "People are here to shop, see the animals at the zoo, (whatever is appropriate for where we are). None of then, including Mommy want to hear you fuss or whine. If you want to be able to stay (and/or come back), then you should think about stopping. 

This is something I think I say multiple times daily, "If you don't listen and follow the rules, then you don't get to do fun things". I have told them they should want to be good, want to take care of their things, want to follow the rules, and be proud of themselves for doing so. I explain this to them, I'm finding it hard to put into words. But then understand it, and sometimes they just need a little reminder. Sometimes if I'm saying this to L, then M will finish my sentence (and vice versa). 

The second reason this seems to happen at home is them being tired. I try not to plan late nights. We have a routine and I try to keep them as close as I can to their bedtime routine. Of course there are special occasions and we make exceptions. But being out too late (which isn't a normal thing for is) or simply being too tired will make this happen. Our girls go to bed around 7:30 and the tiredness starts to shine through between 4-5. Between my last post about this and now, I've learned some things I can do to talk them (mostly L) down from said tantrum.  

I have gotten to where I can point out to L, that this is a tantrum and the way she's acting is not okay. I can say to her, stop crying so you can  hear me (she stops, I get a pouty lip from her) but if we get to this, I can typically diffuse the situation by a short conversation about the behavior. If there is no end in site, I'll carry her kicking and screaming into her room, sit her in her bed and tell her she can come out when she stops. I leave her door open. I'm usually greeted a short time later by either a hug or a kiss.

A lot of the times, I can tell when the tiredness is extreme and has potential for tantrum activity. This is when I change up an activity or room that we are in (often) or what helps a lot is them helping Mommy. I can say, "You know, I really need help with something. Can you carry this to Mommy and Daddy's room for me?" or "Can you put this in the dirty clothes for me". Anything like that! My girls love board games! We can play a game. Sweeping the floor (they love this. I don't leave their little brooms out or they end up in the air, so they like when they get to help me sweep); they call it, "Finding the dirt". They are so looking forward to when I let them mop the floor!

This has been more of a ramble for me to remember these times. The tantrums aren't fun. I'm glad they seem to be happening less and less! I decided to blog more for myself to remember everything and that's happening while watching these sweet girls grow up! So these tantrums aren't fun, but I love the snuggles that come after! I love that I've gotten more in tune to them in the afternoon (when I am typically getting worn down from my day), I love that we changed our reading time to the afternoon because of this and we snuggle more while reading. They've always been snuggly babies, but with L just celebrating her 3rd birthday, I realize more now than ever that this time is going by so quickly. The quiet moments when we sit together and read, or they are sleepy so they ask me to hold them and rub their faces, I love these times! I love these babies! Tantrums or not, fun times and not so fun times... I love my life. It seems hectic at times, but I wouldn't change it for anything!

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