Friday, February 22, 2013

Opening Some Doors, (Pretending to) Lock Others...

Although all 3 of the women in this house are totally thrilled to have Adam back, I wouldn't say it's been all rainbows and butterflies in this house since his return Wednesday night.  Thanks to Little A.  While she's been over the moon to have daddy home, it didn't stop her from having one of her hysterical screaming fits yesterday morning. 

I am literally at my wits end with her and I really am starting to believe that it's so genetic thing, that Adam and I just produce children that are destined to be impossible for several years early in their life.  I also HOPE this means that when they are teenagers, it will be a breeze.  Ha!

I spoke at length with Little A's daycare teacher and she reported - as has generally been the case - that at daycare, she is perfectly capable of controlling her emotions and has the ability to calm herself down when she gets upset.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE AT HOME AT ALL!!!  Her teacher suggested a bunch of things, all which I've tried, and all that have failed.  In the end, she didn't have any more answers than we do.

I have one more tactic up my sleeve, but it makes me uneasy.  Everyone I talk to says I should put her in her room and make her stay there until she calms down.  This has been impossible since her door doesn't lock.  Neither of my kids have EVER obeyed us when we tell them to stay in their room...or anywhere else for that matter.  I've locked myself in a different room, but she just stands outside the door and shrieks.  Geez, when I was a kid, my mother would order me to stand in the corner of a room, and I would do so without question and not dare budge.  Clearly my kids neither fear us nor care about having our approval. 

So...I installed a lock on the outside of her door.  I've told her that from now on, when she pitches these fits, she is going to her room until she calms down.  Is this a terrible thing to do?  It feels a bit wrong.  Actually, the kid is so strong and stubborn, I wouldn't be surprised if she could break the door down!  Apparently it is wrong though, and we can't actually lock her door from the outside.  Ever.  I consulted a mom and social worker I know, and she told me that Children's Aid does not permit locking children in rooms.  Hmm, I know quite a few parents who do so.  So the most we can do is make her think we are locking it, but not really lock it.

So far so good though.  This morning when she started in on her first screaming fit of the day (within 3 minutes of waking up), all I had to do was remind her that she would be sent to her room, which now has a lock on the door, and she calmed herself down immediately.  Nice!

My Random Acts of Kindness for the week have been letting everyone go ahead of me: holding the door for everyone going in and out of public buildings, letting cars in while I'm driving, etc. My observations are that it's really quite simple: Kindness begets kindness while rudeness/aggressiveness begets more bad behaviour.  If, like me, you live in a big city, you probably see how quickly things can escalate in a bad way everyday: dangerous drivers, rude public transport passengers, people budding, shoving, racing to the front of the line.  And all for what?  It can take just one act of kindness to start things going in a better direction.

My sweetie thoughtfully brought home from London for me a Random Acts of Kindness calender, which has an idea or quote related to acts of kindness for every day of the year.  Love it!

Here is a Chinese Proverb from my new calendar:

If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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