Mille has really been struggling with throwing some big temper tantrums. I know the move and all the changes around our house are hard on her because she is aware of the chaos, routines are interrupted, even the physical environment being changed with boxes, and piles of things being sorted through and thrown out decreases her sense of normalcy and content. She doesn’t have the skills or vocabulary to express what is bothering her. I’m not sure she is consciously aware of what is bothering her. So she is easily set off into a fit. Crying, refusing to answer questions, screaming, with her body she becomes either floppy, refusing to hold herself up to stand or sit, or else she becomes stiff, so you cannot hold her. We have been trying the approach of distract and then teach. We bring up a completely different topic that will peak her interest and when she calms down and engages then we talk about her behavior and what was wrong and what the right choices would be. Sometimes we simply have to let her scream it out for a while before she can calm down. Our discussion includes what choices she made and other choices she could have made or could make next time. Often the fits begin when we ask her to do something and she doesn’t want to, so we have had a lot of conversations about obedience. We also have been teaching her that Core Phase is her most important job and it is to learn obedience, right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, and relationship skills.
Today she had a real doosey of a fit, in which nothing was working so I had to lock her in an empty room until she calmed (hmmm, that won’t be an option in the new house). I was stewing the whole time, wondering if I was doing the right thing, and at what point I should go talk to her. Finally, I did go talk, before she was calm. Through the door I told her if she could take three deep breaths and quit crying I would let her out. She promptly did, and very soon was distracted and happily engaged in playing. This was during my precious quiet time when I was trying to get stuff done, so I skipped the discussion, when she was willing to just change directions. She did great the rest of the day.
Here is where the sweet blessing comes. Tonight as Jonathan tucked her in, she said, “Daddy, tonight I want to be obedient.” Rolled over and was ready for sleep. Jonathan said, “Mille” she looked back at him. “Thank you. That is a good core phase choice.” She gave him a big smile, and rolled over for sleep.
The other blessing of today was Kate learned she was cast as Katherine in Taming of the Shrew. She couldn’t be more ecstatic. Her first lead role.
I’m a mother going to bed with her heart full of gratitude!