Thursday, July 17, 2008

Conundrums and Tantrums

I'm becoming more and more convinced that William's baby years are 100% behind us. My main clue? His incessant demands and tantrums. I realize that this makes him normal, not naughty, but it's still easier said than dealt with.

So far in the Nash household there are four actions that will earn you a 1-minute timeout on the step. Those are: hitting people, climbing on top of the coffee tables, standing on the couch, and throwing food on the floor. Lately he's also been throwing fits for things as simple as being required to get dressed. You know the drill. He throws his head back, arches his back and screams like someone is slowing trying to cut off his right arm. In these instances I don't find timeouts to be effective because he doesn't really have an actionable offense except to be completely unruly. So instead, I give him his nukie and put him in his crib for a few minutes to calm down. If he's going to act like a baby...

Last night William may have set a household record for number of actionable offensives followed by sentenced timeouts. We volunteered to watch our three next-door neighbor kids while the parents were out celebrating the dad's birthday. The children are ages 4, 3 and 18-months. They are an absolute joy to look after. Possibly the easiest kids I've ever watched. Our son, on the other hand, gave us the plight of 10 disobedient youngsters.

It seems our little Willingham has gotten a little too comfortable in his role as only child and was quite disturbed by all these new kids playing with all of his toys. His toys that are ignored every other day of the week, I might add. That poor little 18-month-old boy would barely even look at a toy and William would come barreling out of nowhere and pound him on top of his head.

Brian swooped in just as fast and grabbed William and sternly told him he was out of line. This was followed by a timeout with lots and lots of hysterical screaming.

William would complete his sentence then go up to the little boy and say, "Sawy," followed by a cute little hug.

But no sooner was his timeout complete than William was upping the anty. Now, not only was he hitting again, but this time he was grabbing objects to worsen the blow. Think Matchbox cars or a plastic block.

Brian's anger seemed to increase proportionately with William's and at one point I even had to tell him to either calm down or go upstairs because he was scaring the poor neighbor kiddies. So much for Brian being the soft parent. I had flashbacks of my dad disciplining one of my siblings when I had friends over.

So there isn't really an end to my story. We went round and round in this matter all night. The aggressive behavior did seem to get better when we moved from indoors to outside but he still got incredibly jealous if I picked up or even spoke a word of kindness to anyone who's name didn't begin with "W".

As I write this I can see that this makes my little William out to be some sort of bully when he surly is not. In our ECFE class he was one of the most gentle kids. In fact one time I caught a little boy pushing William off a car with a lot of force. In return, William gave him a giant hug. Maybe he confused the push with the beginnings of an embrace but at any rate it was cute and was the farthest thing from trying to cause any harm.

So what do you think? Did your children go through this stage? And if so, how did you deal?

1 comment:

  1. At least he's not a biter! Ashley bit until she was around 18 mos! We were kicked out of daycare for days at a time! I hope Maddie isn't a baracuda too... So yah, consistant timeouts worked for us, but we've also started taking toys taken away.


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