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Question of the Week - Easing Frustrations

It seems to me that every age/phase/stage has its own set of frustrations. And each child has their own way of frustrating his/her parents. Some frustrations I seem to do really well handling. Others... not so much.

This morning was full of frustrations. The Pumpkin woke up before I could get the Pookie back to sleep. She sat on my bed and watched Blue's Clues for a while, but the baby still wouldn't go back to sleep and she was losing interest. When she loses interest in the TV while in my room, she inevitably gets into stuff that she shouldn't. So I tried putting the baby down in the swing (it's in the master bathroom) in the hopes that it would rock him the rest of the way to sleep. I brought the Pumpkin downstairs with me.

But the Pookie didn't fall back asleep. He kept fussing and getting more awake. And the Pumpkin was being very contrary. Right before I went up to get the baby and just bring him down to be with us, I said to my lovely little pre-schooler, "I want to hear a lot less Nos and a lot more OK Mommys." Surprisingly, she was better when I got back down. But the Pookie was still super fussy. Instead of getting him back to sleep, I had to feed the Pumpkin before we headed to school. And my nanny was running late. Did I mention the ants that were invading my kitchen?

It all worked out, and I got the Pookie to sleep and the Pumpkin and myself out the door. I'm trying a new technique for the dropoffs, but that was still tough. But I'm at work now and dealing with other frustrations all together.

So let's lighten the mood and help each other out with today's Question of the Week:

What tips do you have for dealing with a typical kid frustration?

I've got a good one for the constant questions that work at least for my girl. When she asks a question and I answer it and she asks it again (and again and again), I don't keep answering it. I turn it back around on her and ask her the question, maybe with a slight shift of what word I emphasize. Then she answers it herself and stops asking the question.

For example, she points to a picture and says, "Who's dat?" I answer, "That's Grandma." She points again and asks, "And who's dat?" I say back to her, "You tell me. Who is that?" She says, "It's Granma!" Then we move on to something else.

Hmmm, I had another one, but now I forget what it was. I'll post it later if I remember...

How about you guys? I can use all the tips I can get, for any age at this point. What secrets do you have in your arsenol to keep you sane during typical frustrating behavoir?


Becoming Mommy said…
The general contrariness makes me crazy. For a while "You say 'yes' to Mommy" worked, but that was short-lived.
Now we have a reward/restriction system.
If he's good all day, he gets a 'prize' (I held back several birthday gifts of fake-food packs). He gets one if he's good all day (which means till after dinner).
We remind him every time he's being difficult and then count to 5. He has till 5 to comply, and if he doesn't, something he's enjoying at the moment is taken away.
It works pretty well. We almost never get past 4.
NoTimeToTalk said…
@Becoming Mommy - that's funny because we go to 3 and it usually never gets past 2. I think that if you counted to 20, it would never get past 19.

Children love to push those boundaries.
caramama said…
I remember the other thing!

I have found that when the Pumpkin does not do what I say, sometimes it's because she doesn't understand what I'm asking or how I'm asking it. So if she does do what I need her to do, I ask her if she understands. She usually says no and I try to explain it in simplier terms.

I have another one, but I think I'm going to write about it in a seperate post...
Katie said…
I have L watching a video right now. Sigh. At least it's not Disney princesses.

Right now my solution to serious frustration is plunking her in her play pen. It's not a long-term solution, but it works for now, when what I need most is to be able to physically separate us so I don't implode. She's begun the joy of strong, conflicting emotions resulting in (usually) mini-tantrums. Hurrah for motherhood!
cynthia said…
Turning the question back around does NOT work for my kid!

We're into the WHY phase. Why do you have that nail "pollage" on your toes? Because I wanted to pain them. Why did you want to paint them? Because I like the way it looks? Why do you like the way it looks?

It's nice that she is curious...
paola said…
When I remember I pull out some emotional coaching techniques. Similar to Moxie's '4 part denial' ( If you're interested read my comment on that post). It works really well with my 4.5 year old, and SOMETIMES even works with the 2.5 year old.

Otherwise I teeter between threats and rewards. So either 'do..... or there will be consequences ( please)' or 'come on lets do we can go to the park'. Less PC but works just the same!
Anonymous said…
We do the counting, too. Depending on what the offense is we either give a timeout or take something away. If the offense involves something he's not using properly, we take it away. If not, he stands in the corner for 2 minutes or more if he won't stay in timeout.

Lately, we've had an issue with repeating of songs. There's a few he really likes and I really enjoy hearing him sing but you can only listen to "I like to move it" so many times during a trip to the beach before you want to run the car into something. We tried, "How about we listen to X song?" Nope. "How about we listen to it in a little bit?" worked for a little while. Then we tried, "How about we listen to it once Daddy wakes from his nap?" Wouldn't you know it, just when DH awoke in the passenger seat, Monkey said, "Daddy wake now." Like, hint hint, you said. We played it and then he wanted it again and again. When we finally put our foot down, he threw a massive fit complete with red face and tears. Not sure how to stop this one -- if anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

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