It’s funny that I write that…my dad used to say that to me before giving me the strap when I was a kid (it was a different time then…I’ve got no ill will or anything). I never really believed him until now, though. It’s a HORRIBLE thing to have to discipline your child. To see the sad face, the tears, the hurt…BAH! It sucks.
So when both The Ex and the Ankle Biter’s babysitter told me this week that he’s been having tantrums lately, I listened with butterflies in my stomach. I mean, I can be strict when I want to be but at the heart of it all I’m just a big softie when it comes to my kids. I give in probably a LOT more than I should.
I got a call from The Ex yesterday asking how Ankle Biter had been doing. And since picking him up after work on Friday, he and I had been having an awesome weekend (as is normally the case). She thought that maybe he had been coming down with a cold or something since he had been cranky much of the week.
I thought back to Monday and Wednesday nights when I had him for supper…and he had been great with me. So I was wondering if maybe I was doing something differently, something better that the others weren’t doing. Were my parenting superskills truly coming into play? Maybe I was really JUST THAT AWESOME!?!?!?!
I got a first-hand taste of “Tantrum City” this morning. And if I can be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how to deal with it.
The Ex had told me that he had gotten a few “time outs” over the past couple of weeks. What I hadn’t asked, though, was HOW, exactly, he was getting those “time outs”.
So I turned to Twitter (yay social media!) and asked the following:
- At 2 1/2 years old, how long should a “time out” be? Five minutes? Ten minutes?
- What, exactly, should the “time out” contain? Sitting in the corner? Not going outside? No toys? No TV?
Thankfully, some more knowledgable people responded:
@Momma_Sunshine (swoon) replied first:
And that’s exactly what I did. I wasn’t mad…I wasn’t forceful…I even sat close by so he didn’t think I had abandoned him. But for 2.5 minutes, it was quiet.
I hated every second.
We were originally scheduled to go outside when the tantrum took place. After a few more minutes of silence as he watched television, he eventually turned to me and smiled.
I, of course, smiled right back and gave him a big hug. We went outside and I’m pretty sure that NO lesson was learned (lol)…but at least I did what I needed to do as his father.
When we came back in, all had been forgiven. I didn’t have any more tantrums to worry about…he was on his best behavior. In fact, the only thing that I had to concern myself with was his newfound ability to MUG for photographs…just like his old man.
Am I proud of this new accomplishment? Heh…YOU be the judge.