This is a link to an article I received yesterday from a website I'm following very closely -- AHaParenting.com. 11 Things to Remember When Your Child Gets Angry
At first I thought "Oh, so now I can't even put my two year old in time out?" But I guess it's more situational. I don't send him away because he's screaming. We give him the "uh-oh song" when he does something inappropriate like banging a toy on the wall after we've warned him a couple times not to. I have to say that this distinction is helpful and important.
My son gets pissed off about a lot of things, like waking up too late or not wanting mommy to pick him up -- "No! Want Daddy!!" Well excuuuuuse me...
As if on cue, this morning I had a chance to live out the website author's advice. I'm pretty sure my son has an internal compass that tells him when Mommy wants to get out of the house early (so I could attend a Weight Watchers meeting, no less). He played, he ran away, he dawdled. I think it took half an hour to convince him to put his pants on. Yeah, that kind of morning. I was frustrated enough when it was time to leave that my husband (God bless him) stepped in to gently force him out the door. The boy then didn't want to get in the car seat, and my blood was about to boil. I stated very firmly that we had to get into the car seat so I could give him a mint, and that we need to leave because Mommy's running late.
Seriously. When has the argument that we need to leave EVER resulted in compliance? Never. Ever.
He went ballistic. I mean, practically foaming at the mouth screaming and crying. I stopped. I changed my approach instantly, realizing that a) he had no control over these big, scary emotions and b) this wasn't an emergency and I could spare a few minutes. I gently put my hands on him and said soothing things like You're okay. You're safe. I'm right here. I love you. And I let him cry for a bit. Then he told me he wanted some things, including a snack bar. I said "You got it. Let's get you into your car seat and I'll get you a snack bar." He was still crying, but let me buckle him in. I got the snack bar and we drove off and he was fine. Darned if that loving tactic didn't work beautifully.
Lesson learned. When my son is at his worst, that is when he needs me or Daddy the most.