I need a moan because, oh my god, has Amy been hard work over the last couple of days. If someone said the terrible twos are bad, why has no one warned me about the tantrums of my threenager?
I’m not joking. Amy, just turned three, has the attitude of a teen that is at the height of puberty’s hormonal climax. She stomps her feet, she cries and screams with only one thing on her mind: getting her own way. I’ve always known that she’s a strong-willed or some might say stubborn child, but recently she is really testing me. Everything that I ask her to do results in a meltdown and it’s just incredibly hard work to stay calm and collected.
Today, we had a 45 minute battle over her farm puzzle. I asked her to quickly pop the pieces back in the box before dinner and usually, it’s no problem at all. She just does as she’s told and tidies up her toys before getting out a new toy or going for dinner/a bath or whatever we have to do. This afternoon, Amy completely lost it with me. She screamed and kicked toys, she told me to go away, yet climbed on me and it seemed like it was all getting too much for her. I stood my ground, because I found it important that she learns that there are rules that we have to follow to make sure we can then spend quality time together and after 45 minutes, she finally gave in, tidied up her toys and apologised giving me a kiss and telling me that “Amy loves mummy”.
Two days ago however, I had a massive wobble that really upset me. I was bringing Amy to bed and didn’t expect anything unusual to happen. I read her Stick Man book to her, let her “read” it to me from back to front as she always does and gave her a good night kiss before turning to the side for quiet time. I always stay with her until she falls asleep, some might say that’s wrong, but I don’t mind as I really enjoy this time of day and Amy tends to get upset, if I don’t. Two night though, quiet time was the last thing on Amy’s mind. She started mooing and playing with her cuddly cow and despite me telling her that it was bedtime, she went on and on and on. After 15 minutes, I got so annoyed (I know) that I said, if the cow says “moo” one more time, it flies out of the window. I don’t even know why I said it, maybe because it was the first thing that I looked at, but Amy started mooing again and I grabbed the cow. I grabbed the cow and threw it out of the window and the moment I did it, I knew it was wrong and an absolutely horrible thing to do. It scared me and it shocked me and I don’t want to react in such an uncontrolled way ever again – because it’s not the mum I want to be.
How do you deal with tantrums and how do you keep your calm when your kids really push your buttons? I’d be grateful for any ideas and advice.