Tantrum.

Wesley is my first child to ever throw an honest-to-god tantrum. Ones that involve hitting and screaming and kicking. The first time he did it I laughed because I had never seen such behavior in my other kids.

Suffice it to say: I’m not laughing anymore.

It’s a new world that I’m in, and I’ve been navigating the waters with lots of counseling from places like autism blogs, parenting forums, and the local bar.

(You’d be amazed how many frazzled Moms show up there after their kids go to bed.)

Lately – the best “solution” I’ve come up with when Wes dives into a fit is to simply wrap my arms and legs around him until he calms down. It rarely takes more than 10 seconds – as compared to the hours it might take otherwise. This technique has helped a lot more than the previous lock him in his room and try to ignore him because he would just scream and kick and I’d have to keep revisiting him in the room reminding him I was waiting for him to calm down.

Basically? He never calmed down. He just fell asleep. Or got hungry. Or bored. And by that point? He couldn’t even remember why he had originally pitched the fit so learning a lesson was out of the question.

So, lately we make a lot more progress with talking about our problems if we can get him to calm down. After that, lately I’ve been working on two different concepts with him.

1) If we are angry we don’t hit, punch, kick, or yell. We try to calm down by taking deep breaths. I even encourage him to leave the situation but we don’t hit.

2) When we are given a punishment, we have to accept it. We can’t pitch fits or the punishment gets worse.

These are the two simple “rules” we’ve been working on a lot lately as his anger (often at being punished) is what drives his tantrums.

OKAY. That’s where we’re at. Now, for this week’s nightmare parenting story.

Nikki had a Christmas program at her school last night. It was a long program in a packed cafeteria and Wes couldn’t really see a lot of what was going on. After Nikki did her part I tried to keep him entertained but he was bored and tired and I had to threaten to take him out to the van if he didn’t behave.

SPOILER ALERT: He didn’t behave.

The second I announced we were leaving? The fit hit the shan. I picked him up to carry him to the van and he fought me. He tried to push himself out of my arms (which would have ended with him on the floor with a cracked skull, I’m certain) and when he couldn’t get free, he started beating me and screaming.

All while I was trying to leave a cafeteria where my family and friends could see our wonderful display of parenting/child bonding.

As we were leaving, Santa was entering which upset Wes even more. He’s screaming, “I WANT TO SEE SANTA!” while he’s hitting me and I’m thinking Dude. HE’S RIGHT THERE. Aren’t you worried at all about what he’ll think of this?

(He was not.)

We made it outside and it was pouring rain and I remembered I didn’t park the car, Donnie did. (And in my head I screamed 14 million profanities.) I had to call him while trying to hold Wes down because he was trying to run back into the school. I found out where the car was and I carried him (IN THE RAIN) to the van while he fought and screamed the entire way. He almost made it out of my arms (and onto the concrete) twice. I got to the van and he tried to escape and run away. I had to hold him down while I found the child-safety lock on the door. Finally, he was “contained” and I could take a few deep breaths.

Funnily – he buckled himself in his carseat. I guess out of habit, but that worked for me because it helped with the containment. He was screaming/crying for “Another chance!” and “I’m Sorry! GIVE ME ANOTHER CHANCE!” while I sat in the front seat taking very deep breaths trying to sort out my brain and get to a point where I could talk to the kid who just punched me and kicked me.

I decided to film the talk. I needed something to force me to stay calm and not yell or get upset. I decided filming would be like giving me an audience so I would have to keep my shit together. I thought I’d share it with you guys because I know we’ve all commiserated on our tantrum-having children. Enjoy.

LAST MINUTE CAVEAT: Please do not offer any advice about handling these situations. This system is actually working for us right now and I’m really sensitive about my parenting skills. I may take any advice as a personal insult, even if it’s not intended to be one. This is simply a video to share our situation as I’ve been grateful before to see similar videos from other parents.

Notice first? How strained my voice is. I don’t know if you can tell but I can tell when I first start talking that I’m almost in tears. Also notice around 1:27 he unbuckles himself, I can tell he’s about to lose it but since he had already calmed down a bit, he didn’t push another escape.

I don’t know if I got through to him at all, but we went over our lessons and I didn’t flog him. So, you know, I’ll call it a win.

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74 Responses

  1. Heather@YSP says:

    Oh man, this couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Evi and I are STRUGGLING BIG TIME lately. She’s not big on tantrums, but lately she has been resorting IMMEDIATELY to violence, but only with me. It makes me feel like a shit parent and like I’m probably doing something wrong. When she gets mad or frustrated with Aaron, she’ll just pout or walk away or throw a toy at the wall. When it’s me, she IMMEDIATELY hits or kicks or punches or headbutts. Only me. I’m patient with her, I swear. I don’t yell. I don’t EVER use physical stuff with her, EVER. I have no idea how to handle it. I try to talk through it with her like you’re doing (which, for the record, I think you’re doing AWESOME) and I just haven’t found the right way to get through to her yet, and now Aaron (who hates the fighting) has developed this super UNhelpful response of jumping into the middle of it to try to diffuse us, which usually ends up with him offering her something I’ve just told her NO about since he wasn’t there for that part of it.

    Sorry, ranting. Anyway, thanks for posting this. It helps, and God he’s cute.

    • Cara says:

      Heather – My two year old is a complete Mommy’s girl and yet saves her worst behavior for me. I am the only one she ever hits. I was worrying about this and what it meant one night, and my husband said ‘she feels completely safe with you.’ Not that she doesn’t feel safe with her Dad, but I am definitely primary parent and she’s very secure in my love for her. His theory is this allows her to act out in ways she wouldn’t dare with others. I don’t know if he’s right, but it helps me not take it personally while still being clear on the boundaries.

    • zoot says:

      See, Donnie and I handle things TOTALLY Differently in these situations so we have to both work really hard NOT to interfere. I’ve interfered with him before and the same with me. While we both feel like our methods are better (grin) the only “compromise” we come to is kinda, the victim gets to handle the discipline unless they request assistance. But it doesn’t always work and we get in huge fights when the other person jumps in :)

      So, yeah. I totally understand the frustration. I often joke there are some things that were EASIER as a single mom ;)

  2. Susan says:

    I had a very similar conversation with my son (age 3.5) on Sunday in the car outside of Sam’s Club. And, then had it several more times at home. Turns out, he was coming down with a virus and handling it by acting like he’d lost his fool mind. For TWO solid days…until fever clued me in. Fun times. Kudos to you for staying calm. That’s always so hard for me. I try not to yell, but then I do. And, my parents never yelled at me. I don’t know where it comes from, and I often have to apologize for it afterward. I appreciate that you share the hard parts of parenting on your blog. Even before I had a kid, I was taking notes in my head. I’ve taught my son deep breathing because of one of your posts : )

    • zoot says:

      See, my Dad was a TOTAL yeller and it FREAKED ME OUT as a kid and that’s probably the only thing that helps keep me calm, is remembering being on the other side.

      That said – my instinct is still to YELL VERY LOUDLY so I’m only successful in battling that about half the time :)

  3. Habbala says:

    I have absolutely no parenting advice (You’re welcome). My son is only 13 months old, and OMG parenting is hard. Bravo on holding strong to the plan and talking him down. I feel like I might have been all “Ok, let’s go see Santa cause you’re super cute and obviously very sorry.” I am weak.

  4. Laural says:

    Such an interesting post. So my daughter (4.5) can throw tantrums, but she usually gets distracted when I walk away, so they don’t last. My son who is now 8 had major ones. Probably the worse I remember was when he was 3.5 and I was pregnant. We were in the grocery store and he wanted ice cream. He was kicking and screaming and I couldn’t really do anything physically, and it went on and on – and he was loud.
    As I was trying to coax him out (and he was walking and screaming) this woman started telling me off about what a bad mom I was. And, I will never forget these 2 lovely women who came over to me. The one woman turned to the awful one and said to her that I was doing my best, and she needed to walk away. The other woman calmly turned to Matt and said basically sweetie, it’s time to stop. And they walked me, my child and my groceries to the front of the store, and while I was paying, one of the women talked to me and the one with Matt just kept chatting to him and eventually talked him down.
    It turned out that they both worked with kids, had heard him, saw the situation, and when I was being yelled at got really pissed off (the store manager also opened a cash for me).
    The point is really – when we went through it I felt really really alone. Temper tantrums are the worst.
    I think you’re doing great. And, they do get better.

    • zoot says:

      Wow! I hope karma blessed those two women with winning lottery tickets and good hair days ;)

      (Let’s not mention what I hope karma did to the other one.)

  5. Beth B. says:

    Sorry Kim. Hang in there. He is a cutie that’s for sure.

  6. Laural says:

    PS. I’m sorry but I couldn’t get over your accent :) I was trying to pay attention to the video, and it was so cute to hear both of you speak!

  7. Beth B. says:

    And yes – your accent!! How cute are you also!!!? :-)

  8. shannon says:

    meh, flogging only works til they figure out they survive anyway… your plan seems fine :)

  9. Clancy says:

    I have had almost that EXACT same conversation with Henry. Almost word for word!

  10. Steph T. says:

    Bless you my friend, because I cannot handle tantrums. I can take just about everything else my “nieces” and “nephews” (my friend’s children) dole out, but a tantrum sends me over the edge. I have to walk out of the room and let their parents deal with it, because I have no patience for the kicking and screaming. I will say, that in the two instances where I was babysitting and had this happen (and no mom or dad present to deal with them, so it was all me), I did exactly what you do, I held her until she calmed down. She was hitting both me and her sister and it was the only way I could think of to stop her from hurting herself or one of us. You’ve got to do what works for you…and I would never criticize that. Actually, I think you are a pretty awesome mom and even good kids act out…so I don’t see this as any reflection of you or your parenting skills.

    • zoot says:

      Well, the tantrum thing is new to me because my other two were evil in DIFFERENT ways :) (Although – let’s be honest, E was never evil.)

  11. April says:

    I clearly have no advice so I’m glad you aren’t looking for any!! haha…. My kid is has been throwing major tantrums about going to sleep, so I actually really liked seeing this and seeing how you talk it through with him, it made me think of how to talk to Emmett a little better. I have like NO kid skillz, I feel like I never know what to do!

    But darn is Wes cute when he’s in trouble!!!

    • zoot says:

      Oh, man. When it comes to the Won’t-Go-To-Sleep tantrums? I suck. Because I need my sleep so desperately I’ll do just about anything they ask. Which is why 6 nights out of 7 I’m in either Nikki’s or Wes’s bed. ::sigh::

  12. Cara says:

    So, this post literally has me crying, because I KNOW how frustrated and helpless I’d feel. I can’t watch the video (my own kid is here), but I’m really impressed with your ability to come up with a strategy to help yourself stay calm at a time like that. I suspect I was a lot like Wes, except it was more my over sensitivity to emotion in general that set me off. (Mom used to say I didn’t have thin skin, I walked around with no skin.). My Mom used very similar strategies (remove me, wait until I hit ‘that pitch’ and then help me calm down, because I couldn’t do it on my own), and we both survived. To this day, I want a drink of water when I’m upset. Did you know you can’t drink water and cry at the same time? I still think she was a saint to make it through my childhood. You’re doing great.

    • zoot says:

      Oh, Nikki is TOTALLY of the “no skin” variety. She gets really upset over minor things. That’s a whole other battle all together! :) I’ll have to teach her the water trick!

    • Beth says:

      I watched it with my 3 (two weeks from 4) year old. We actually had a really good talk about why he was upset and what happened. She seemed really fascinated by the whole thing and asked a lot of questions about if *she* does that.

  13. Becky says:

    Kim, just wanted to let you know that the video just about brought me to tears because it was like looking in a mirror – I am living the same. exact. thing. with my 4 /12 year old and it is so comforting to know I’m not the only one! Aiden is much like Wes, my lover and cuddler and random mommy I love you-er, so I think that’s why the tantrums that include such rage, with hitting and punching and embarrassment are so much harder than they were with my first – I take it so personally, it hurts my feelings, I’m more sad than angry with him. I love the deep breaths and accepting your punishment. We’ve tried similar things, but not that wording and I’m going to steal it from you. Thank you for sharing, it really was helpful, if only to commiserate with you :)

    • zoot says:

      Seriously – when Wes is “on”? He is so sweet. He says “Yes ma’am” and has manners and gives hugs and kisses! And his “sad” face when he’s not pitching a fit is just heartbreaking because he has those big blue eyes. It is hard when they’re so sweet on a good day!!!!

  14. MommyAttorney says:

    We do the “deep breaths” when angry thing. We haven’t talked about accepting punishment or it gets worse, but we definitely need to. I think you handled this incredibly well. Brava!

  15. Jane says:

    This is an AMAZING display of parenting, Kim. You stay calm, you repeat your points, you explain your feelings to Wes. I am in awe of how well you kept your self together and stayed on track with what needed to be conveyed (especially in light of how stressed you are of late). I empathize and I hear myself in your words, except in my head I am much more shrill and yell-y.

    Kudos to you for following through and for sharing this. I am sorry that you and Wes and Donnie and Nikki and E are going through it, but if this video reflects even a fraction of how you have chosen to address the tantrums, you are doing a phenomenal job.

    • zoot says:

      The video is probably accurate lately – as I read more and more about how important it is to be focused and calm and deliberate, but early on? Not so much ;) I basically had to reprogram my instincts which tell me to YELL RIGHT BACK AT THEM!!! :)

  16. Amanda says:

    Remaining calm when they are going bananas is so difficult. But you did it, and you should be extremely proud. My youngest child came home from pre-k a month or so ago and said they had a calm bottle. The teacher took a plastic water bottle, filled with water and glitter and she gives it to kids when they need to just chill out for a minute. As the glitter swirls, it’s supposed to help them calm down. It is fun to watch, even for adults (yes, I tried it!). I thought it was such a good idea, since it gets them to focus on something else for a while. Anyway, just remember you are doing a good job. You will get through it all and oh, the stories you can tell on him when he’s a teen!

    • zoot says:

      OH MY GOD THAT IS GENIUS. I’m stealing it TONIGHT. Thank you so much!

      (Especially because you relayed it as “this is what someone I know does” instead of “why aren’t you doing this?” which means I’m less likely to take it personally ;))

      SERIOUSLY. CALM BOTTLE! GENIUS!

  17. Roberta says:

    I think you were awesome. You removed him from the situation, you followed through, you remained calm, you talked to him. The hardest part for me is remaining calm. I can go from zero to REALLY MAD awfully fast, and I have to try not to react in anger and yell. Ugh. My parents didn’t yell. Although, I have to say, one time recently, my daughter was pitching an almighty screaming fit, and ignoring wasn’t working, speaking calmly wasn’t working, and I did say STOP IT RIGHT NOW I HAVE HAD ENOUGH in an almost-yelling very, VERY scary voice, and she did. We were in the car, and she was dead silent for the next 10 minutes, like she just needed something to snap her out of it. Not that I’d recommend it, but it was interesting. I have also done the thing where I just hold onto her tightly until she calms down. This thankfully doesn’t happen often, and is usually related to tiredness. It’s so hard.

  18. Stacey says:

    wonderful…..just wonderful. you are a GREAT mom. I don’t know what I would have done….

  19. melaniek says:

    I dont think you need any advice, as far as I could tell you handled it WAY better than I did when it happened to me. Your accent is also great. Hugs from another mom on the battlefield.

  20. Lindsey says:

    That was awesome. You could see him calm down in stages with the reminder to breathe. Love it Kim!

  21. Jen W. says:

    Just wanted to say you are AWESOME. I would have been yelling and losing it. You are AMAZING!!

  22. Darchele says:

    I will have to use the video with my boys. I think
    It will help me stay calm as it is on video, and can
    go back and show the boys how they act. Thank
    you so much for sharing!

  23. Beth says:

    Oh my gosh, I am going to watch that every day. I am SO BAD at tantrums, my strategy is to send her to her room until she knocks it off. I have no patience for fits, and what you did was SO effective. I really like the idea of holding her when she is freaking out, because sometimes it does feel like the trigger is just her feeling generally out of control an not knowing how to reign herself in.

  24. Lauren E. E. says:

    I am so impressed and inspired by how you handled this. It is so hard to follow through on the punishment once the kid has calmed down and expressed regret. I would have totally caved and taken him back to see Santa because I’m a sucker for sentimental activities. Kudos to you! Thank you for giving me some new ideas and tools to use on my own kids.

  25. Karen says:

    You. Are. Awesome. I think I need to start borrowing your technique with my 14yo (please tell me it isn’t too late!). Your kids are lucky.

    Keep it up. No wonder Eliah is so awesome.

  26. Vicki says:

    I think you did an amazing job calming him down and you followed through. Kudos!!!

  27. Sigh. Parenting is such a tough gig. You were amazing and I was on the verge of tears for both of you at the beginning of this. Big hugs mama.

  28. Heather R. says:

    I think that you are an awesome mom! I think we have all been there on the brink of having our own meltdowns when dealing with kids and tantrums, but you have handled this with grace and dignity. This video reminds me of the techniques I learned reading the book “Scream Free Parenting”. Rock on, Zoot!! And give Eliah a big hug from George, Phoebe and Erik —- we sure do miss having you guys as neighbors :)

  29. Carol says:

    My god Kim, that was awesome. I mean I am so sorry you had to go through that but dang, you did a great job, as did Wes eventually. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

  30. Parenting is so hard. I’m sending good thoughts to you and I’m so glad that you’all are having some success.

  31. Annegirrl says:

    Oh my goodness, I have had this conversation so many times with my soon to be 5 year old. She especially loved spitting when she reached maximum tantrum level. I learned fist-hand what spitting mad looked like. I don’t have any additional advice because we went pretty much the same route as you. I just wanted you to know that it gets better. My almost 5 year old doesn’t have those screaming tantrums anymore. We reserve those for the newly 2 year old.

  32. Courtney says:

    Wow. You win. I don’t know what I will do when Lila gets to be this age. I am impressed at how you didn’t give into him! [He's so CUTE when he's being pitiful.] I do have a question though – how do you decide if you or Donnie will take him outside? Do you alternate in these situations or is this a plan you already have in action and are just waiting for the right time? Or do you always handle these types of situations? Just curious and imagining what I’ll do one day with Lila/future children.

    By the way, you have a great voice. I hate listening to myself because I’m a squeaky Southerner on video.

  33. EmilysHollow says:

    I am VERY impressed! I am not great at towing the line and tend to “give in” too easily. I justify it by saying that Xander’s so young (2.5) or whatever. But still, I love LOVE the “accept the punishment” mantra. I am going to steal it. And it is SO EFFING HARD to stay calm when they throw fits. Xander doesn’t do it a ton, but often enough that I feel like a shit parent when it happens. I want to get through to him, but cannot. Ignoring him doesn’t work, sending him to his room, nothing. I have yet to figure out the way to help him calm down so I can have the talk part. So GREAT JOB!

  34. Rachel says:

    I’m so impressed with you and following through. For some reason that video made me so sad, but not b/c he was being punished and crying, but more b/c I can forsee this in my future and I’m sure I’m going to cave! haha. I love the “accept the punishment” too… Good luck and thanks for sharing. I’ll try to remember this when my kid starts pitching a fit!

  35. Nyt says:

    Here’s an unsolicited opinion, you’re doing a fantastic job. My daughter is 6 now and she’s pretty much given up the fit thing, but at their peak?? Holy moly! We had more back-arching, puke inducing fits than you can shake a stick at. And I did the same thing…. I just hung on until they stopped (why yes, that black eye was from my kid ) and then there was discussion. I’m in awe of the deep breath thing, I never even thought to give her something else to concentrate on. I was too busy trying to concentrate on something else so I didn’t kill her. There was a period in time there where I never got a hot meal, completed a shopping list, got to shave both legs in the shower…..

  36. Ashley says:

    Oh my! First, as everyone else has already stated, Wes is TOO CUTE! And it made me sad because I’ve had similar fits and conversations with BZ already at 2.5, and it always makes me sad when he knows he’s done wrong, but I have to go ahead and follow through. Although, I must admit that at some times I’m glad he cries, because he can also go the other direction and be a punk who doesn’t seem affected by my punishment…that’s frustrating, too. We haven’t started the deep breath stuff yet, but that was a good reminder that it’s time to introduce that.
    So my question is, what happened after the conversation, after the video? Did you just sit together in the car and discuss normal stuff? Act like everything was okay, except, of course, that he didn’t get to go back to see Santa? (BTW, that part about Santa seeing him…hilarious!) Just wondering if you could complete the parenting lesson for me :)

    • gwen says:

      I’d like to know the answer to this too — I want to be able to take a lesson from this too, someday, and I’d love to know what comes next.

    • Zoot says:

      Part of why I stopped the talk when I did was I was seeing people leave the school and knew Donnie and Nyoka would be out soon. But the rest of that period and even the rest of the night was just spent revisiting the basics. I’ve also tried to remember when he’s had REALLY good days and I thought of that later and brought up Sunday when he helped me cook while his sister was sick. I tried to remind him of some of the good things too because I hate just constantly being all, “YOU SUCK!”" :)

  37. Julie says:

    Oh man, I had to fight back the tears. It’s hard seeing how frustrated he is, but you did such a great job of talking with him and calming him down. I hope this keeps working for you!

  38. Jen says:

    I love how you handled it. Also! I just love your cute little accent!!! ;-)

  39. Lesley says:

    No advice here, you are doing GREAT. Wen threw a few fits when he was little, I wish you had been there to give me advice about the holding. You’re right, once the fit starts, it snowballs, and they JUST CAN’T STOP. Some kids need that tight, close, comforting feeling to calm down. You are so fortunate to have discovered it. And I bet all your friends who saw you carrying him out thought you did EXACTLY the right thing. How many of us have sat in an audience while some kid acts awful and their parents do nothing? He’s a sweetie with the same strength and determination of his parents, just not a lot of things to apply that to when you cant work, drive, write, etc.

  40. Sarah says:

    (((hugs)))

    I use the same techniques with my students, they’re 13. I hope we’re on the right path.

  41. Penny says:

    Hang in there I know it sucks. We are dealing with the exact same thing. My son is 4.5 and when he gets like this he goes balistic and looses all control. So I also put him in a safety hold to ensure he doesn’t hurt me or himself. And as hard as it is, I try to talk calmly to him until he has settled down then talk to him about no hitting etc. Its SO HARD! My first reaction is to get angry as well because I feel like I’m not giving him consequences to his actions, but through trial and error I realize me being angry helps no one. So I feel your pain :(

  42. gwen says:

    I don’t know a lot about parenting, but it seems to me like you handled that amazingly well. You were consistent and asked him to explain things back to you so that he really understood — and you could tell that by the end, he did get it. Even if he has another tantrum five minutes later, it seems to me like eventually he’ll be able to find the pattern because you’re being so clear about it.

    My hat is off to you, Kim, as usual!

  43. Elissa says:

    Thanks for sharing this–makes me feel less alone to know that others have experienced what we have. For a while I felt like my kid was a freak for hitting and kicking me (and others) during tantrums because it’s so rare that people talk about it. And I love your accent. So funny to hear your voice after reading your words for so long ;)

  44. Therese says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing as I too have a child that can throw tantrums. He’s a little younger than Wes so the conversation about consequences might need to be a little different for him to get it but overall, this is excellent! I’m very sorry that you had to have the experience, especially in public but man, thanks for sharing! I also love the idea of videoing because you knew that would force you to be calmer. I lost it on my kids and husband the other night and felt horrible. My I-phone is usually wherever I am so I’m going to start recording when I feel like going nuts. No one likes video evidence of insanity! I most of all want to say that I really just love how you always seem to follow-through with consequences even if it’s tough or embarrassing. That, for me, is a tough issue with parenting. I try to be deliberate about only naming punishments that I know I’ll follow through with but when the tears and begging and “I’m sorry” start coming, it’s tough. Again, thanks for being vulnerable and willing to share. I think you are very brave!

  45. andi says:

    Kim! I think you are a great mom! You handled this firmly but with love! You have nothing to be insecure about, you are a great parent and you just aren’t giving yourself enough credit!

  46. Amber says:

    Oh, oh, oh. This made me want to CRY. Because i can totally empathize. My daughter (who is now 6) even still throws the hugest tantrums and we’ve tried EVERYTHING with her. Everything. And you sound so strong and steady and calm, which is exactly what he needs — and I know how hard it is to keep your cool when things like that are happening. I’m so, so, so sorry you’ve got to deal with this. Stay the course because it really, really sounds like you’re doing all the right things.

    For my daughter, she has a lot of trigger words that make dealing with her fits hard. Like if you say that she needs to calm down (no matter how calmly you say it) the fight is ON. Locking her up in her room for her to get the rage out can last for hours, and lately she beats the heck out of the door with such ferocity that I think she’ll break it. She sees a play therapist who says the key is helping her find a healthy outlet for her frustration. Like, “When you feel angry with mommy, you may do THIS and THIS, but you may not do THAT and THAT. If you do THAT, then you will [insert consequence].” But so far any consequences we come up with don’t seem to bother her a bit. It’s tough!

    But YOU: you’ve got this. And yay that Wes has such a supportive mom while he figures out how to handle his emotions. You rock! And so does he! And your whole family! Basically I want to be you, I think.

  47. Han says:

    I’d appreciate a “pin you down and don’t move” hug when I’m being unreasonable or over reacting lol.

    • Han says:

      I posted that then realised I had more to say and couldn’t edit!

      Our Sidekick found out this week that due to rules set in place by the social work team he won’t be seeing his Mum face to face at Christmas. Part of it is a good thing part of it is a bad thing. But don’t get me wrong I want him to see his mum at least once to wish Happy Christmas and swap presents etc but at the moment while these rules are in place it’s horrible. He’s pretty much permanently angry everything takes five attempts and me in myself there is nothing I can do except sort his presents, deal with the anger and wait till he chills a bit.

      If it works for you, you do it. Wes needs to know who is boss and that he can’t kick and punch people – if the behaviour isn’t dealt with now then it could turn into worse as he grows up.

  48. Maryellen says:

    Parenting is hard! I love the “accept my punishment” line. I totally need to use that with my 3 year old, it is more concrete than just saying “calm down”….I also love his adorable deep breaths! They made me chuckle just a bit! Also, go you for keeping a strong, steady, calm voice. Care to share your secret?

  49. Katie says:

    You are awesome. I am using your “accept your punishment” line of attack during my daughter’s (she’s 4) next tantrum which will most likely be tomorrow….

  50. Sherry says:

    I saw nothing wrong with your video. Thank you for putting it up.

    I actually use your “When do you obey?” quite often with my son. Now I get to throw the “Accept your punishment.” into the repertoire!

  51. Belinda says:

    My youngest would pitch oscar-worthy epic fits and I so remember wanting to crawl into a small hole when he’d do it in public, his favourite venue (hey! more attention that way!) Kids are all so different and sure don’t come with an owner’s manual so you do the best you can and hey they grow up! He’s 20 now and supremely creative. I joke with him now that it was his creative juices that fired him up so much when he was a wee one. I think you are a great mom just as you are.

  52. Ana says:

    So, I don’t have kids, and the thought of parenting terrifies me to no end – and having to do things like this is one of the reasons why, so this may be weird, but I wanted to just say that what you did? Was AMAZING, and I can only hope that if I ever to end up with a kid, I can be half as good at this parenting malarkey.

    (And also, though this is unconnected to this entry in particular, you inspired me to put on my running shoes 5 times in the past week, after about 2 years of no exercise, and I wanted to say THANK YOU for that, too.)

    • Zoot says:

      AWESOME. I actually skipped a couple of my runs this week so you’re doing better than me :)

      • Patty says:

        Kim, I’ve always thought you were a terrific Mom – honestly. You did a great job with this. You are teaching him that he chooses to be punished when he chooses to do things he knows he shouldn’t. It’s a tough lesson for him to learn and possibly tougher for you to teach. Don’t doubt your parenting skills – your friends either. All any of us parents can do is our best. If you are friends of Kim’s then I would say you are pretty wise people and parents. Trust your instincts.

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