Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reasons My Daughter is Freaking Out

This post was inspired by the book, Reasons My Kid Is Crying, by Greg Pembroke who captures frustrating yet funny parenting moments through well-captioned photos of unhappy kids. Join From Left to Write on April 15 we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Tantrums at six look at lot different than they did at two.  For one, they are far more verbal.  Whereas a toddler will throw herself down on the floor kicking and screaming bloody murder, a six-year-old will engage you in a lawyerly argument about what an awful parent you are, how maligned she is, and how, after she is done haranguing you, she may never speak to you again.


At which point it takes everything in your maternal power not to say

In my dreams

But the one thing that remains unchanged is the endearingly irrational reasons she is having a tantrum in the first place.  Here are a few of Sophie’s from the past couple weeks:

  • I sang Let It Go wrong and now we have to start all over again.
  • I told her it was time to take a shower.
  • She wasn’t allowed to have Oreos and Marshmallows for dessert.
  • I asked her to do her homework, and handed her the wrong sheet.
  • I put broccoli in her eggs.
  • I wouldn’t let her wear the same pants three days in a row.
  • I asked her to put her jacket on when it was 40 degrees and raining.
  • I took her out to lunch and to see a play, but she just wanted to be home with daddy.

If I was to snap a picture of Sophie in one of these low moments, I think she would bum rush me and break my iPhone. I’m not going to try it and find out.   I’m not stupid.  Besides, I wouldn’t want to.  What might have gone unnoticed at two, would be humiliating at six.  The sense that I was mocking her would only thrust her more deeply into her angry and injured position. 

To be fair—if someone did that to me, I’d flip out too.  (Despite what I may think, my reasons for throwing a fit are no more sensible at 43 than they were at 6—we want what we want and sometimes our desires defy all rationality.)

If there is one thing I have learned in four years of meltdowns, it is best to let the storm rage and blow over.  To avoid stoking it with words or attention, making it a bigger deal than it already is.

In these moments, I find it best to take a step back, appreciate the absurdity of the moment and laugh, but silently and to myself. 

Join me.  What’s one of the reasons your little one flipped out recently?


Eva from said...

Yeah - I think that's why I don't have pics of my kids crying. I feel like it adds insult to injury. However ridiculous that injury may be - like I told one of the boys that I liked his drawings which OF COURSE means that I HATE any drawing my daughter has ever done... ever. And my punishment for that compliment? Her tears.

PK said...

LOVE all her reasons. My favorite response (yes I fuel the flames sometimes) to all of these when my boys tantrum is to mimic them a little and show them how ridiculous they look. Its not as funny when they mimic me though but oddly enough, it works for me and for them to quiet the storm a lot more quickly. The most recent is I am a horrible mom for not letting Michael play the X-box after he had just played his DS for an HOUR (a whole hour! that alone is a giant gift, take a hike kid) so he went bananas and I acted just like him. Minutes later we were both on the floor laughing. And Michael says "you make a good me, you can play me in a movie"
However, this does NOT work on Daniel. He gets sent to his room to calm down. He's a feisty one.

Colleen @AMadisonMom said...

Oh my gosh... I could have written that list of things that cause freak outs!!! I think our daughters would get along quite well... or make each other freak out more. lol

Michelle L said...

Doesn't change at 7 either!