Thursday, February 25, 2010

Therapy Thursday - Game Stop is Not My Friend

Riding home from school recently, my daughter spied Gamestop and all of sudden my daughter launches into "can we go to Gamestop?"
"No, we only go to Gamestop on Friday or the weekends." I answer back.
"But when we go, the Wii and Xbox are  always broken." She volleys back.
" Well I can't help that." Tears ensued from being told no, escalating into one of her irrational arguments. Her badgering went on for rest of the bus ride but eventually she stopped. I am thinking this is over but alas I was wrong.

As we get off the bus, I ask for my phone back. She refuses, holding it behind her back, "I will give it back if we can go to Gamestop."   In my efforts to try to deescalate the situation, I go to the old standby "this is your last warning" which usually works but she refused again.

At this point, we literally are still at the bus stop having this crazy argument and she is still refusing to give back my phone. Now of course, people are walking by giving me "the look." Parents know this look as it always from people who don't have children or older ladies shaking their heads. It's the "how come you don't know how to control your child look."

No matter, I just want this ridiculous argument to be over so we can go home. Instead of taking away something small as a consequence of not listening, I go to the big thing, "if you don't give me my iPhone, NOW,  you will not be going to D's birthday party." This, of course,  has the opposite effect.

"I don't care."  But a few seconds later, she hands me the phone and asks me if she can go to the party.

"I will think about it." I tell her.

She then runs into our apartment building, storms into our apartment and then slams her bedroom door. While I am cooking dinner, I hear her rustling around in her room. This behaviour is pretty familiar and I know where we are going with the rustling of paper.

I then see her writing something then taping it on the door.

"Did you write, I hate you? It's okay to be angry and I know you don't mean it." I  call out to her.

All of sudden, I see her take the paper down, crumple it and then throw it away.

"I love you mommy, I didn't mean it." She says crying.

"I know you didn't mean it. I know you love me. Let's just sit, relax and breathe a little bit before dinner."

Temper tantrum finally over.

Lightbulb moment and it only took me years to realize it. When my daughter is having one of her irrational moments/temper tantrums episodes,  I NEED to let her temper tantrum run it's course, literally and NOT to go to the consequences place in the middle of her wackiness as it just doesn't work.

Easier said than done, right.


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