Monday, September 5, 2011I thought we had been progressing nicely with learning manners, the please and thank yous, requests made without sounding like a drill sergeant ordering grandma and grandpa from one task to the next, requesting to be excused from the dinner table, saying grace before meals, etc. But the temper tantrums....oh my they are forceful. 2 1/2 years old and all flailing arms and legs, screaming, hitting, kicking,..such rage. But again, mommy stopped in for a few minutes today and I am wondering if this is one of the triggers.
I refuse to lose my patience in this. I have set my mind on higher things. When these rages begin, I pray. Calmly I pray out loud as I hold this precious little one and try to avoid the flailing limbs. I also keep reminding the child of my love, and how precious she is to me . Over and over I quietly tell her how wonderful and special she is; how happy I am to have her living with me, that this is her home and I will love her forever and ever. (My prayer is that I will have her forever and she will believe she is loved and precious, not just to me but to her heavenly Father.)
Why do I pray? I have found nothing else seems to work. Putting the child in the bedroom causes the tantrum to continue indefinitely, also crying for grandma. Reasoning gets us nowhere and escalates the volume. Ignoring it where and when it happens prolongs it. In addition, as time passes she becomes more and more out of control. I have found when in the throes of one of these tantrums, she actually is craving MY affirmation and is needy for my attention. Tantrums tend to be more often when she is tired, the schedule has been disrupted, or mommy has been here for a visit. As I pray for God's peace to replace the spirit of hurt, anger, or rage, she honestly seems to relax and listen to the prayer. I pray that she would understand how much we love her and God loves her even more. I pray that God would heal this little heart and provide the grace and mercy needed to live life, given its circumstances. I pray that God would direct my husband and myself to be what she needs us to be, to give us the energy and stamina we will need to parent His precious little lamb. Slowly she relaxes and listens, shuddering as she gains control of all the emotions. I take my time and cuddle her. The last tantrum I requested my husband come in and observe, for at times he is home alone with her and needs to know what works. Eventually she will say, "I'm all done crying, I'm happy now." It is like day and night. the child hops off my lap and plays as if nothing has happened, yet later will talk about crying, or having a fit, and sometimes what may have set it off. It could have been not being allowed to wear certain clothes out to play (because it was too chilly), or having to sit in time out for hurting the dog or cat. I might have said no to a Popsicle because she had already had one for the day. At times, I feel like just giving in to avoid the temper, but in reality, I know it will eventually rear its ugly head if the emotions are boiling beneath the surface. Hopefully as this child grows older she will learn to share feelings verbally and we can avoid the exhausting displays of temper. I pray as this precious one gets older I can continue to see the hurting child and continue to be available in the way needed, I know it will take strength that only God can give. Quietly praying with my little one has proven Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."