Sunday, October 24, 2010
Anger Management 101.
Well, one of the unexpected has thrust itself upon us - Anger Management 101. One minute, Luke can be a happy, little boy that is having fun moving cans and water bottles around the house. And the next minute he becomes a raving lunatic, seemingly upset about something that makes no sense to me or Kathryn. Its like we have a little Andy Bernard on our hands.
Neither of us were angry children (as far as we can remember), and neither of us were really sure how to deal with it. [Disclaimer: Kathryn is a much better discplinarian than I am, which is a good thing. She can deal with him much better than I can.] One day my parents were over for dinner, and he yelled at my mother about something stupid and hit her in the face, and that was about the end of that. She grabbed him and told him he was going to TIME OUT!
Time Out is the first step on our steps going upstairs. Under the stairs are all his toys, and if you sit on the stairs, there is nothing but wall to look at. Luke has recently become well acquainted with this spot.
He fussed, and fussed, crying 'til he was red in the face with tears streaming down his cheeks. Every time he got close to getting out of Time Out, he would yell, "STOP IT!" Time Out would then start all over again. Finally my mom talked him down a little to a mental state of seething calm - that look where you know he's real p*ssed off but he can't figure out how to get out of Time Out unless he behaves for more than two seconds. Once my mom was satisfied that he had paid his debt, she let him get off the step.
He hates the step now and he will do almost anything to get off it once he's there. He will cry. He will yell. He will then act really sweet and try and give you a hug so he can get out (which is difficult because you start to laugh at how hard he is trying to be nice so he can get out). But it has gotten even better now that he has suffered in it a few times. If he is doing something he is not supposed to do, we will now threaten him with the possibility of Time Out, and he immediately starts to chill. We don't even have to put him in Time Out for Time Out to work. Then I realized something about parenting: put in the work at the begining and hopefully you save yourself much more work and hassle later on.
He still has his moments, but it's definitely better now than it was.