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Now what do I do?

597 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ajsmom
This is so new and weird that I'm scrtaching my head at the best way to teach ds, now 3, about sharing with me.

He knows about sharing with others but today I wanted to listen to the jazz music on the cable on TV and ds went into orbit as soon as the TV went on. I think he believes that since it is only on for his viewing when he is awake, he thinks it's his to choose what to watch.

I told him that I wanted music to enjoy while I wash dishes and he lost it. He wanted to watch one of his videos from the library. I explained that sometimes it's his turn to view and sometimes it's my turn to use it. He kept crying and wouldn't stop. I gently reminded him that we need to share the TV and other things in the house, he still cried and now wants to have a mommy-drink about it because he is so upset. I told him nicely that I need to do the dishes now and he can play with his trains again or go into the bedroom if he doesn't want to be near the music. He was still yelling to turn it off and pushes the power button on the TV. Now it is off.

I told him that since he is unable to share the TV that it will be going away. I took him outside and he proceeded to play nicely in the sandbox while I washed dishes and called to cancel cable.

So the box will go away, it was heading out anyhow. So since I can't remove everything from the house, what might I say to ds to teach him to share with dh and me. He understands when he isn't old enough to use something we use but this concept of being separate from me and understanding my needs is new in his eyes. He whines if I ask him to wait until we are finished eating a meal to do something with him but he is getting better at coping when we suggest things he might do until we're ready.

This is still different from my taking a turn with or at something and the emotional reaction is so huge that he forgets what the topic was. I know his way of coping is to come to me for information and comfort but today I wanted him to go somewhere else away from me since he didn't want to hear the music but that seemed to confuse and upset him more. I am sure it's a developmental stage he's working on but it's so hard and draining to keep stopping the activity to handle the big melt downs.

A friend tells her sons to go to their rooms to finish being upset if, once she comforts and resolves things, they are still wailing and disturbing the rest of us. They go and later seem ok but I'm not sure this is what I want for ds.

Any ideas?
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Some things I do-

empathizing with his feelings- It is hard to wait when the tv is on and you keep thinking about that video you want to watch. Be understanding. Sometimes that is all it takes- he doesn't want to hear your logical adult buts and explanations if he is upset about something.

Teaching ways to show anger or dissapointment- some will come as you start try to explain his feelings and talking about them otherwise instead of being so logical about why it is your turn- let out some of your own feelings- I was really excited to listen to this music while I do the dishes, I don't like doin them and it makes me feel better to listen to some good jazz. When you trun off my show I am angry, and I would really appriciate if you would leave it on.

Write a note (even though he doesn't read, he know when you write something down it is important) either about how he feels or about when he can watch tv or about what he can do while he waits for his turn.
You know, he is so articulate for 3 that I sometimes forget he's still very young. He asked me what a hypothetical destination was the other day and my jaw dropped! It's a lyric from a James Taylor song we play called Walkin' Man. He loves it.

Empathizing with him often helps especially now that he understands that videos need to rewind before being seen again.

I thnk he's finishing a developmental hurdle of some sort so I think we're on track this week.

Thanks so much for the ideas and encouragement!
I would recommend against getting rid of the TV, at least right away. A three year old needs to feel that he will be protected from the big consequences of his actions, because he's not really old enough to have that kind of control - for him to feel like his meltdown was so powerful that it caused the TV to go away could be really scary, for him to think that he has that much power over things. He needs to know that if he melts down, you're there to make sure things stay okay. It would seem probable that he'd make the connection if the TV goes.

Hoping this makes sense. I also agree with everything Mallory said, a good of good strategies there!

It's still here, we just don't have cable. We will still put it away sometime soon but I don't think ds will think it had anything to do with him. He can watch videos on the computer too so it's not like he will have nothing to watch.

We're going to turn the TV cabinet into toy storage and he really liked that idea. We also plan to move it into our other bedroom/office so that one day, when he finally sleeps in this room, he'll be used to playing and enjoying this space.

Now, if I can just find a corner of this 700 sq ft house to sew in...
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