Wednesday, February 29, 2012
We are a home of boundaries, consistency (to the best of my ability) and active learning. We communicate quite a bit through words and when words are not working, we use our bodies. Hugs, deep breaths and taking "walks" to another activity are a great way to avoid breakdowns. But even then, sometimes we all need time in the "naughty" chair. Sometimes that "naughty" chair is just the "quiet" chair or sadly, a little thump on the tush... but we all need a break.
Today is a day of breaks... lots of them. I'm sensing kiddo is entering a period of frustrations, emotional angst and independence. He becomes angry and frustrated with SO many things... but the root of it is when things don't go the way Lucas initially intended. Whether it's toys, friends, meals, car rides, or schedule... Lucas has a clear idea of what he wants and how that should go. When they don't go that way, frustration mounts.
Then comes the emotional angst. Breakdowns involve fists, throwing, hitting and crying... and sometimes kicking. It's natural to want to deal with the angst immediately, but I have to remind myself that the kicking wouldn't take place had it not been for the initial frustration. Dealing with the original problem has to come first... otherwise Lucas won't learn how to identify his frustrations as an older child or an adult.
Lastly, Lucas' independence is threatened when he experiences frustration and anger. From the start, he had visualized doing something, on his own. Without the help of a parent. And when I ask him if I can help, the answer is typically a strong and assertive "no." I struggle with wanting to take over and just fix whatever the problem is. When I take a step back, I realize his development increases as he's allowed to work it out on his own. The trick is to figure out a way to ensure independence without poor behavior or poor reactions to disappointment. I'm still working on that one.
So here we are again... entering a time of frustration, angst and independence. Granted, they're here all the time... but some weeks are more difficult than others. These are the days when I drink more coffee, take deeper breaths and attempt to find activities that involve the both of us... like swimming, painting, and running in the park.
How do you identify behavioral cycles in your own children? Do you have a plan of attack or just go with the flow? Every day varies for us and sometimes it's just about survival, a good movie and a delicious snack.