Choices

May 27, 2009

The bub is now really and truly two. It’s only been in the past few weeks that he’s been trying out tantrums. I’ll tell you, they are working. Many times I am just too tired to do anything but help him with whatever is freaking him out.
Want milk not juice? Sure. Hot Wheels under the couch? I’ll get them. Whatever. But, I was getting concerned enough to pull out the parenting books and see what they have to offer. And what do they suggest? When your kid is having a tantrum, distract him with choices. Then, he’ll feel that he has control over his little world and will stop freaking out.
Totally wrong. Because what if they don’t want ANY choice? What is nothing offered is the right thing? What if it takes 20 minutes of crying to decide between a spider t-shirt or a spider MAN t-shirt? What then? What if you give up and offer the entire drawer of t-shirts and they ALL are WRONG! Then, you just have to grab a shirt and yank it over his teary and beet red little face. And then you have to hear, “NOOOOOO SPIDER T-SHIRT!!!” So then you have to switch shirts. And then you are an hour late. No more and then.
I’m going to give up on the choices stuff. I’m just going to present things as a fait accompli and see what happens. And if what is presented is wrong, then I’m not offering a choice. If he comes up with a “right” thing that is doable then we’ll do that. But if all he does is freak out, then we freak out. And if it works, I’m writing my own parenting book.

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