Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What do YOU do when your kid has been throwing a tantrum for 20 solid minutes?

Colton is a beautiful, precocious, and tender little three-year-old. He's fascinated with the Christmas tree. And why shouldn't he be. It's really cool-- lots of lights, many cool toy-like things hanging there just begging to be played with, the promise of presents, etc. What's not to love?

The problem of course is that those ornaments aren't REALLY toys. They're decorations. So, the rule is "Look, but don't touch." He has a really hard time with that.

Mom finally gave him an ultimatum after about the millionth approach to the tree with ITT ("intent to touch," for all you who haven't watched the latest Night at the Museum). "Touch it one more time, my darling, precious child," she said through clenched teeth, "and I'll send you to bed." So he sat there for about a minute, with his arms tightly crossed, looking sideways at the tree which was within his reach, but out of his grasp. Then, when he thought we weren't looking--- ITT!!, and he TOUCHED! When I got out of my chair, the look on his face was a combination of terror, consternation, and a strange satisfaction at having touched.

As calmly as I could (which, happily, was pretty calm this time), I frog-marched him off to his toddler bed and firmly laid him out with his blankie. "Stay put," I warned, and left the room. Within a minute the wailing started....

It's been going for 20 minutes (sigh). Ah, the joys of parenthood.


Clint Carter said...

Hang in there. He was just testing his boundaries and testing your solidarity. (isn't "solidarity" normally used in political discussions?) It seemed to fit nicely into that statement. I don't know if it worked.

Susan said...

Stick to your guns! If you give in when he is 3, he will be a nightmare by the time he is 5. There is a great book that I used when I was going through that part of my do survive by the way...It was Dare to Discipline by Dr.James Dobson. Great book. I've used it alot even as a grandmother. Kids still love you, sometimes even more, if you discipline.