Something Beautiful or Humorous: Apples that Eli painted

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Chris and I have had a difficult time with Eli lately. It's somewhat of a relapse- we went through a really hard time when Mia was first born and it has been better for quite a while. Now it's just horrible. Almost every minute that he's home & not in preschool, he is whining, screaming, carrying-on, throwing tantrums, over-reacting to being hurt (First he will scream like someone stabbed him with a knife. "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh" And usually this is out in public and all the heads will turn and look at me like I've just totally child abused him. And then "I STUBBED MY TOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Screaming and crying for 20 minutes.), demanding to eat junk food, play computer games or watch tv, and if we say no...... it's 45 minutes at least of yelling and screaming. And because we've been dealing with this constantly, we're extra sensitive to his misbehavior and we don't deal with small episodes very well because they are part of a long string of tantrums that never ends. In other words, if life had been normal for a while, then Eli had a tantrum, we probably wouldn't be acting like the meanest parents. But when it's the 7th, 8th, 9th tantrum that day, you feel like you will go crazy and you are about to throw the child out the window!

Maybe it goes back to our house not being big enough. If only I could send him down stairs to the playroom instead of him being under our noses all the time. Or if we lived in Utah and next door in every direction was a little cute Mormon 4 year old he could play with. I know he's bored and lonely.

Another thing that I wonder if I should do is go back to where there is no more TV allowed period. We read that the American Acadamy of Pediatrics recommends little to no TV for kids under 5. So for a while, we said he couldn't watch TV until he was 5. But now he does, mainly in the morning before I wake up or during Mia's nap, so Eli could have a "quiet time." There have been a few times when he was grounded from TV, and they were days that were a little more peaceful.

The other thing is that we just can't get through to him that it is wrong to lie. We've completely lost our trust in him because he lies. I have to disclaim, though, that mainly, when we've noticed him lying, it's been when he is about to get in trouble for something. I've heard before of parents not punishing the kid when they tell the truth. But on those occasions, the offense was so bad, I just couldn't justify letting him get away with it.

Sorry, Eli, I'll write a blog about your good points another day. I just needed to vent to my other mom readers for a minute! You're a good boy somewhere down in there!


Ryann said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I have had similar issues with Emilie. I did a lot of extensive reading about lying at this age and learned that 4 yr. olds can't really conciously lie. They are not capapble of it. Rather, they say what they wished they would have done (which sounds like a lie). I had a really hard time coming to grips with this but when I did it helped me to be more compassionate with her.

Also, when Terry left we had a huge problem with the tantrums. I really feel that when I was more patient and did not show any emotions to the tantrums that they diffused more quickly. We also have a whiny chair where Emi sits until she is done crying, whining, whatever. It is enough now that if we bring out the chair, she stops the misbehaving.

I hope that some of this helps. It is a difficult stage to get through. Good luck!

Angie said...

So Natalie...I've been having fun reading your blogs. I have days like this too. I used to let Cardon watch TV alot. It was the first thing he wanted to do when he woke up. I was starting to realize he would get SO "emotional" when he didn't get to watch TV whenever he wanted. So when he started preschool, I told him he wasn't allowed to watch on days he had school cause it was SO hard to get him ready. He is so much better when he doesn't watch it. Plus, since we stopped watching, some days when he doesn't have school, he forgets and doesn't even ask to watch it. It also forces him to play with his brother. It is good, in the mornings, they play for 1+ hours with few mishaps. I feel its better for them to play anyway. But you know, there are days that I need a good break. I let him watch. I just try my best to not let hime watch it too often. O...and I had the worst day Monday. Chris was telling me over the weekend about Eli's potty problems. These were my exact words "I don't think Cardon is really smart enought to figure out to just go outside." Little did I know...The boys usually play downstairs in our unfinished basement. They have all their toys down there. I was in the kitchen and Joseph started yelling "mommy...poopy." from the bottom of the stairs. I figured he was telling me he was poopy cause he is starting to recognize that feeling. So, I asked him if he was poopy and he said NO. So that got me a little worried, he usually tells me when he is acutally poopy. So I ran down the stairs and he showed me POOP on the floor. It turns out cardon was too busy playing and didn't want to make the trek up the stair to go potty. So he pooped and peed in the corner of our basement. Joseph had picked it up, and Cardon smudged it up and down his lags and pants. I was dry heaving SO hard. It was so discusting. I just thought you might want to know.. only cause of your recent issues. Ahhh, somedays are SO hard with kids!!! Love you.