The Baby Whisperer

Last night my nearly 4yr old FINALLY pooped on the potty. Huge success!!! He would hold it for 4 days and refuse to go until he finally ruined countless outfits. But then last night he finally went. VICTORY!! (and yes the use of "finally" in every sentence was intentional)

So reeling in my motherly prowess I felt super awesome this morning and suddenly had a thought to combat back-talking, fits, general misconduct. I don't know if I've seen it before or something... I mean I doubt I invented it. Anyway, I tried it. It worked. I have yet to test it on an ultimate toddler fit, but I am hoping this method will stop the fits from ever happening. So, here's what I did.

Scenario 1: Tristan is jumping up and down screaming because Brennan drank the leftover milk from his cereal bowl. I calmly dropped down to eye level with him, grabbed both hands in one of mine, lifted his chin with my other hand and said very very calmly "Tristan look at me" (until he did, which wasn't long at all) and then also calmly said "we don't have anymore milk, would you like some juice to drink?" and I got an OK, Mommy. The fit was over. Normally this fit would escalate into screaming and end in a timeout, which would result in more screaming, which would result in Mommy smacking a leg or mouth and screaming right back. End product: severe Mommy guilt and a screaming child I don't want to be near. Not working!

Scenario 2: Brennan is screaming at my legs, smacking and grabbing at me, wanting to be held. I am chopping veggies to make breakfast. I get down to eye level. Grab the hands, lift the chin, wait for eye contact and say "Brennan I can't hold you right now. I'm cooking. Go to the living room with Tristan and watch Sesame Street" and again I got an OK, Mommy and he just walked away to the living room. What the what?!?!! Nearly every day for the past year I have dealt with screaming Brennan at my legs while I cook dinner. He refuses to allow anyone else to hold him. He refuses to stop. I resort to yelling... for an hour while I cook. He screams at the door. He bangs. He throws things. He hits. I ignore him because, frankly, I gotta cook. Makes for a stressful end of the day.

I am going to keep this up today and see if it will still work later on or if they'll "get over" it and go back to their usual antics. Right now I feel like the baby whisperer though. Jessica gave me the title after I told her about it on the phone this morning. This constant "patience, kindness, compassion" mantra I started 4 weeks ago is really helping my anger issues. I know I yell and hit because I lack patience, not because the kids are exceptionally bad. While I will still be the occasional yeller and smacker since I think kids deserve it once in awhile... it won't be for lack of patience or anger on my part. I know they will learn from my example and become calmer, less aggressive little people... they learned the opposite from me so it only makes sense ;)

By the way I have pictures and videos and stuff, just lacking time and desire to upload and edit them!
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