Am i being mean?-but it seems to work??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 8 Old 07-28-2009, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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so, dd1 is going through the crazy 3.5's. seh is usually good, she is learning that the world doesn't revolve around her and it can be hard. she really really really tries to make the world revolve around her and to control everythign, but, obviously she can't. we talk a lot about how we can't control the world, other people, etc=that we can only control ourselves and how we react to the others. but, she does lose it soemtimes and has a big temper tantrum. whenever i try to be loving and listen and talk her through, she gets worse and worse and worse. but when i have a "suck it up" attitude about it and just say, literally-"buck up sweetie, sometimes life is hard" then she calms down and is fine. ??????
i feel really bad about it. but it is the only thing that works for me. with dh he plays little jokes with her and snaps her out of it. but she doesn't really respond to that with me. and honestly i don't have much patience for the tantrums. so i like to nip it in the bud anyway....but i feel really bad. laying down the law works, but it isn't very GD and i feel weird doing it. is this "normal"?
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#2 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 12:51 AM
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I think sometimes all the reflecting feelings and talking just prolongs the misery. Being able to remember that sometimes it just sucks and being able to bounce back from that is, I think, kind of what you're aiming for. It's how I talk MYSELF out of a nasty mood or pout - oh well, you don't always get what you want so enjoy what you've got.

Obviously ever kid is different but if reminding her that you can't always get what you want and moving her on to the next thing seems to calm her and help her feel better, HOW is that mean? Now, if you're standing over her yelling, "SUCK IT UP, BABYCAKES" till she glazes over and zones out, that's a problem
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#3 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 12:56 AM
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Does SHE think you're being mean? You said it seems to work. If you're literally saying "Buck up, sweetie. Sometimes life is hard." You are acknowledging that she has valid feelings, and that you recognize that it's hard for her. Maybe that is all she needs.

I do believe that kids need a valid forum for expressing their feelings, but I don't think that it always means they need to completely melt down. A lot of the time, for a lot of people, a simple acknowledgement that "life sucks sometimes" is all that really is needed to help muddle through.

I could also be way off base... I am another person who has a HARD time dealing with tantrums. But I think that sometimes over-sympathizing with kids makes an issue a LOT bigger than it ever was in the first place in the child's mind -- kind of like when a toddler takes a tumble and looks around first to see what the reaction is. If somebody gasps and rushes over, it's a huge deal. If they think nobody saw, they're up and running again.
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#4 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 01:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rachel_eva View Post
but, she does lose it soemtimes and has a big temper tantrum. whenever i try to be loving and listen and talk her through, she gets worse and worse and worse.
When my DD gets like this, I try not to talk her through it--I just hold her and sometimes murmur something that let's her know I understand how frustrated she is. Usually, the less I talk, the quicker she gets through it!
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#5 of 8 Old 07-29-2009, 02:22 AM
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My DD (almost 3) cannot STAND to be hugged/held/touched when she's having a tantrum. If she's crying because she's hurt physically, then yes, she wants me to soothe and comfort her. If she's angry with me, something I said/did, something I can't do, etc. she wants to be left alone. And I have found that sometimes I just have to say "I know you're upset, but tears aren't going to change anything. It's OK. Let it go. Deep breaths."

Deep breaths is a relatively new technique we're trying out that seems to really be helping.
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#6 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 01:34 PM
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I also agree with the previous posts - life is hard sometimes - especially at that age

Nikki, married to Ryan my and blessed with totally amazing and unpredictable DD1 7-25-00 and DD2 1-12-08.
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#7 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 03:22 PM
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I think what you're doing is fine. I know that I'm happier when I just acknowledge the negative circumstances move forward without wallowing in it. Like being stuck in traffic -- I can sit there and be furious that I'm going to be late or I can try to find a good song on the radio or have a nice conversation with my kid in the backseat, either way I'm going to get to my destination at the same time. Sometimes just skipping over all the big emotion is just as well. And I think it's a valuable skill, will likely make her happier and it seems to me that people that can do this are often easier to be around.

Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#8 of 8 Old 07-30-2009, 03:35 PM
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I have learned that the 'tantrums' a three year old has, is very different from the tantrums a two year old has! - You have to approach it very differently (and for me, it was quite a sudden thing as well). However, you can still do this compassionatly (though doing otherwise does sometimes feel good lol - it probably really does not help in the long run). When DS turned three - I found Naomi Aldorts book 'Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves' to be very insightful and helpful!

I also find, at this age, and the older they get - different feelings and different situations (depending on the child - but since you know yours best, focus on the one) also require a different approach - but once again, this can also be done compassionatly.

When DS turned three, he didn't want me 'talking him through' - he simply just wanted to be heard. After the matter, I could validate his feelings and then talk with him about it - but seriously, the storm only got worse if I tried to do all this during the storm. Wait till the storm passes. They need that storm (as long as they are not hurting themselves or others) - and they also need us to hear them out. My advice is this. Also - avoid the rude comments (I think it can only teach our children to be pretty darn 'mean' back!) but say them to yourself in your head if it makes you feel better (I know how that feels! hehe). Just - quietly be there.

Now at nearly four - we don't have storms. We can simply talk about things as we go. So - this too shall pass...its a fab motto! hehe
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