I just can’t seem to get it right with this kid! What’s a Mom to do when her baby is out of control with biting, hitting, and way too bull headed and independent behavior for his less than 2 yr. existence on this Earth? What do I do when I painfully, and often tearfully realize the child I want to scream at, smack (which we don’t do), and just walk away from is exactly like me, or at least how I used to be before I took myself on my own self-help journey to a slightly more calm existence. Emphasizing the slightly. I’m still working on it!
I knew the day I heard there were going to be two Taurus, the Bulls (me and my baby) in my house, there were going to be some challenges. I literally feel like I’ve been butting heads with my baby since day one from the breast feeding debacle to now. I don’t know if my Mom ever wished I’d have a child just like me to give me a dose of my own medicine, but if she did, wish granted! It’s to the point where I find myself having anxiety about the anticipation of how he’s going to act in any given moment, and how I’m going to deal with it, because so far, I’m striking out big time!
I’m not about letting my kids or their behavior run my family’s life, but there’s no denying the anxiety I feel every time we go out especially to eat somewhere. Is he gonna freak out, scream and throw his food, and everything else I give him, at me and everyone else, and be absolutely inconsolable to the point I have to walk away and cry, which I’ve done by the way, or worse yet, cut our meal short and totally abort the situation? Looks like then, he is controlling our lives. I’m not saying, or even thinking that my baby is some sort of devil child. He has many sweet, funny moments that I’m doing my best to focus on even when he’s slapping my face at wind up range, or kicking me as he throws a mini tantrum because he’s not getting his way. This is totally new territory for me. I feel like I’ve got it almost figured out with my 4 yr. old. How to teach him acceptable from unacceptable behavior and how to nip it in the bud quick. What works for my 4 yr. old means absolutely nothing to my 17 mo. old. And, I don’t want to hear the excuse,” Oh he’s just a baby.” I recently asked him to put back the throw pillows he just threw off of the couch at one of the homes we were looking at during one of our house hunting adventures, and he did exactly what I asked him to do. So, he gets it! I just need to figure out a way to stay calm enough to communicate in a way my baby responds to positively
What I’ve learned so far.
- My baby is completely different than my 4 yr. old. Like salt and pepper, and my little pepper’s got all the spice! Everything that’s worked for my 4 yr. old is exactly the opposite of what my baby responds to.
- My kid’s the biter! Ugh! So, first I went to the, “Victor, no thank you. No biting!” “Be nice!” Then, it would be off to the pack n play for a time out, which he didn’t like, but as soon as he came out, he deliberately went back in for the bite! I was at my wits end, when my Mom suggested redirecting him to something positive like hugs. So, we’re trying it, and it’s working much better than my approach. Actually, it’s made him more of a hugger overall, which is always a good thing! So, now as soon as he bites, we say, “Victor, hugs.” And, 8 times out of 10 he goes right in for the hug. Thanks for the advice Mom!
- My go-to, “Victor, No Thank You,” or if I’ve absolutely had it, and just yell, “Victor, No!” to correct my baby when doing the unsafe or wrong thing just makes him do more of what I don’t want him to do. I switched to trying to say what I want him to do like, “Victor, please come down off the stairs.” This seems to work better. Even at 17 mos. he seems to follow directions ok. It gets me tongue tied sometimes just trying to revamp the order and tone of my words from one kid to the next! I guess it’s a switch I just have to flip to try and get this right!
- I raise my voice to correct my 4 yr. old, he tunes in. I raise my voice to my baby, he tunes out. He’s just like his Mommy. You come at me yelling and screaming, or even with a raised voice, and we’re getting nowhere fast. Same goes for my baby. So, I'm doing my best (with some major pauses for deep breaths), to keep it calm and clear when it comes to the verbal exchange with my baby.
Should I say lessons from my baby are in full effect in my house? You better believe it! I think through all of the frustration, challenge, and sometimes yelling and screaming comes the realization that my baby is teaching me to be a better communicator! I just have to find ways to keep my cool as the lessons come blazing in. I’m gonna need more Yoga!
Most importantly, I have to come to more peaceful place in my heart with my little guy. I have to let go of the moments that drive my insane to the point of tears, and see things from a different view. A view that’s a little lighter on me and my baby. Understanding we’re both learning as we go. Remembering that as long as I’m open to new ways of approaching the situation, that new outcomes will arise. And, remembering above all, to Love him and myself through it.
Here’s to learning and growing in Love!