I'm sure I'm not the only one who has days like I did today, although it's sometimes easy to feel alone. My incredibly strong-willed 'almost 3-year old' is 'going through a phase' (that phrase that more experienced parents love to wave about!) of testing her boundaries. I thought I knew what tantrums looked like and how to deal with them until now...suffice to say they've escalated to a whole new level of intensity. Perhaps the comparison of a tropical storm with a tsunami would be apt, as it feels like the tantrums leave a trail of emotional destruction in their wake. Although I'm fully aware of what she is doing and I am trying to encourage her independence, it just seems like my endeavours to address her obstructive behaviour are futile. Today I felt like I was on a runaway train heading for danger...like I'd failed... I'm not looking for sympathy, only sharing this with you so you may know you're not alone as you journey this somewhat tempestuous age.
Whilst I know it is important to be consistent, I believe my approach may need to be adjusted to be more effective. I guess offering a limited set of specific choices does sometimes help to diffuse explosive situations so I'll try and persevere with that. Having done some further reading on the internet this evening, I am reminded that I need to pick my fights...by listing the top few behaviours which really bother me and then setting clear rules and logical consequences. As the article said, if I focus on all her bad behaviour, I'll be fighting with her all day long!
Every once in a while, I am encouraged by suprisingly lovely manners or behaviour...almost as if I am catching a glimpse of the horizon as the storm calms. I am assured this won't last forever, and I am constantly reminded to make the most of every second before my little cherub grows up and heads off to school. So...hang in there mums!!