So everyday (at at least some point during the day) for the past week has been pretty horrendous. My dd1 (3 1/2 yo) has been getting really angry or disappointed and not knowing how to deal without screaming. (DH and I rarely raise our voices to our children). Her episodes are filled with screaming, yelling, crying, hitting (me only) and general out of control behavior. (I know 3 1/2 is a HARD age and most of this is age appropriate.) I usually deal with the frustration/anger she shows by validating feelings (I see how disappointed you are. You wanted x and you don't want to wait. etc) Her lashing out usually continues. Hitting starts. I try to remove myself from her. (I say I know you are really angry, but hitting is never ok. I can't be near you if you are going to do this.) She clings to me and I can't get away. I finally manage to get into my own room (which I hate because I feel like 1. I am abandoning her/love withdrawl 2. I hate feeling like I have to 'run away' from my kid to not get beat up on). When she finally calms down a little, I take her on my lap and try deep breathing exercises, which work at this point. We talk about why hitting is not ok and better ways to deal with frustration. Later in the day, she usually asks for a story about the incident and I retell the story and ask if she wants to hear how it could have gone better. Which she usually does, and I do. Any suggestions on how I can deal with these outlashes? They seem to occur over the smallest thing ("please wait for 3 minutes while mommy finishes dinner. I will put the timer on. When it rings, I will come help you do that"). I really try to make an effort to watch out for her hunger, giving small snacks throughout the day used to help... But this week has. been. HELL!
As far as the spanking that happened yesterday, I really don't know what other options I had and am looking for suggestions. dd1 was squeezing the back of dd2's (almost1 year old) neck. This behavior came out of no where. She hasn't hit or shown aggression toward her baby sister since baby was about 3 months old. I had just gotten up to stir dinner on the stove and turn down the heat. All of a sudden, I hear screaming. I look over and see dd1 with a deathgrip on back of dd2's neck. As I am running over, I say "dd1 LET GO of your sister." I get to the girls "Let go." She is still holding on tight, dd2 is screaming. I try to pull dd1's arm off. No give. I try prying her fingers of dd2's neck. Not happening. This is when I spanked dd1 on the bottom and she let go. I immediately told dd1 to go to my bed (our cuddle place) and sat down with her and talked about it. How I was sorry I hit her and hitting is never ok. But also how it is never ok to hurt her sister and I didn't know how to stop her. We snuggled and kissed and made up. Was the spank hard? no. Was it a dire situation? yes. Is this all excuses and rationalization? I feel like it is. I have always been against spanking or any physical power discipline...especially after I had kids. And now... I have actually done it. There had to have been a better way. What would you have done in a situation like that? Any advice would be helpful.