Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Knock It Off!

Today I feel like the worst mom. Ari, Samara and I went to the playground this morning. Ari wanted to take his scooter with him. I told him that was fine by me, but he had to promise that he would ride it or walk with it all the way to the playground and all the way home. He agreed enthusiastically.

When it came time to go home, he did not want to leave the playground, which wasn't much of a surprise.
"Ari, we have to go home, when we get home, we're going to see Chesca." Chesca is Ari's cousin, and it was true, she is coming over later today.

We started walking home, and that's when the trouble started. He paused in the middle of the street and stood there unmoving.

"Ari you need to walk or ride your scooter."
"No." He whined
"Ari, I'm not in the mood for this right now. We need to go home and you need to walk."
"NO!" He yelled and started crying. I tried to reason with him:
"Ari, I can't carry you because I'm carrying Samara. So you need to walk."
At this point Samara started crying, and I knew she was hungry.

He walked a little bit, and then started crying in the middle of the street.
"Ari, you need to walk." I repeated.
He just stood there. So I walked ahead of him, figuring he would follow once he saw I wasn't putting up with his defiant behavior.

My attempt at tough love failed. I walked ahead of him and he did not follow. So I walked back with the baby on my chest crying loudly and got him.

After several more attempts to get him to walk home, reason went out the window and I lost it. I knelt down and yelled at him:
He cried louder and still refused to walk.

"Okay," I said "If you don't walk home, you can't see Chesca this afternoon and no playground for the next three days." That got his attention.

He begrudgingly held my hand and walked home crying all the way.

When we got home, I told him he did a good job walking home and that he would see Chesca and go to the playground after all. But I felt awful, because I lost my cool and yelled at him. I don't know how people stay calm when their kids are throwing monster tantrums.

What do you do when your kid sits in the middle of the sidewalk and refuses to walk?


  1. Don't feel like the worst mom! I think you did everything right. It's amazing how well threats work, right? Maybe a positive spin next time? "If you walk home nicely, then you can play with Chesca." Although a lot of the time i'm like "if you don't eat your vegetables, then you can't watch anything." If i remember, i try to phrase something positively.

  2. Good call! I need to remember to phrase positively. Sometimes that is challenging in the moment, but in the end there is a better result when one phrases things positively. Thanks Leigh!

  3. I'm a big yeller already. Kind of my default. I have a really stubborn "water off a duck's back" kind of kiddo. He's not especially sensitive to threats or time outs. So hard!

  4. It's so hard! And I think sometimes the only thing that works is yelling and/or threats. Grr! Especially when they appear to be immune to anything else.

  5. *hugs* dropping back via twitter and #UBP11 :) I'm not a mom, so I can't even imagine everything moms go through, but I think that acknowledging your mistake is a great step... I see so many parents yell at their kids and feel no remorse, and you did reinforce him by telling him he was good for (finally) walking home. *big hugs* :)

  6. Thank you! I sure need some hugs today ;)

  7. F that noise!! Are you joking!?!?!? If it were me I would have cursed her ass out and been loud in front of everyone. "TOO BAD! MOVE YOUR ASS!! RIGHT F-ING NOW!!" lol. I don't feel too bad about it. They don't understand how incredibly annoying they can be and that the world does not revolve around them. Z is screaming bloody murder, RIGHT NOW. For example.

  8. HA HA! You're good about being firm, and the results show! Z is such a sweetheart and L is too.

    And yeah, they DON'T understand! GRRRR!

  9. I yelled at my son for the first time the other night. He kept banging his head against his crib cause he was trying to get out and all I kept thinking was brain damage! I did feel bad, but you have to remember we are human and we lose our tempers sometimes. And sometimes our kids are annoying as hell! ;o)

  10. Oh no! I would have done the same thing, Jenn. But you're right, we are human and we all lose our cool. Thank you, woman!

  11. It happens to all of us!! Too often than I would like to realize to be honest. I know you are doing a great job mommying...keep smiling!!

  12. i've so been there. today at preschool pickup E was shrieking and running around like a maniac, and I had Baby N in the sling and couldn't chase her down. I definitely snapped at her and got a couple of raised eyebrows from other moms (mostly, as it happens, ones who have full time nannies...)
    it happens to the best of us. you're still a great mom. toddlers are just put on the planet to test the limits of our sanity every single day ;)

  13. Ugh, I have had a few (maybe lots...) moments like this. Having a new baby and a small toddler can be especially challenging. Throw in no sleep, too many hormones and a defiant child and you have a recipe for disaster.
    Don't feel like a bad mom, the fact that you even think you might be a bad mom means you are a good one.

  14. Jenny- Thank you so much! It is so hard when kids act out like that! I'm glad you can relate! And it's very true, it is a toddler's job to test us our limits.

    Amy-Aw! Thanks! I'm trying! Mommying is a tough gig!

    A Mountain Momma- Thank you for that. I always second guess myself. And lack of SLEEP is so trying on the brain! Good call!

  15. I kind of had an experience like this at the Houston airport yesterday. Tahira HATES holding hands, like really hates it. Normally I let her walk without holding hands, but in a busy airport I told her she must because I didn't want her getting lost/stolen or getting in people's way. She pulled away very defiantly and collapsed her legs, refusing to walk. I just had to get right in her face and tell her she HAD to hold my hand because it was busy and I make the rules. I have no idea if she understood me, but I think after a minute she realized that I wasn't giving in so she walked (but screamed the whole time).

  16. Those little people sure know how to push our buttons! It's so hard to always keep your cool ... I find that the only thing I can do is ask for their forgiveness when I break the "no yelling" rule. I figure they are learning that mommy isn't perfect and how to say they're sorry from me. :)

    Thanks for sharing!


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