We've got ourselves some spit fires around here. One in particular is a world-class tantrum thrower. When she doesn't get what she wants she whines, she screams, she throws herself on the floor, the whole nine yards. And horror to end all horrors, this happens just about every morning before school. And I am not a morning person!
Hunny Luv's response usually drives me absolutely insane! He will stop whatever the family is doing, then repeatedly try to explain his decision and get the child to talk (while the kid is still acting like a buffoon). And he usually follows it up by giving them whatever they wanted to begin with #sideeye
I must admit that they're formidable opponents, for their father. But they've met their match because
The Friendly Stepmonster Says... One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
The madness has to stop so I had a long talk with Hunny Luv where I explained that giving in when a child throws a tantrum only reinforces the unwanted behaviors. It also shifts the balance of power because they know that if they scream, cry, flop around on the floor like a fish gasping for water, etc. he/she is going to get their way. Not to mention that it's totally unfair to the other family members who are having a pleasant experience put on hold all because someone wants to act like a donkey.
I believe that it's okay to try calmly reasoning with the kid for no more than two minutes. After that they need to go to timeout, if not a physical timeout then a verbal one where you pretty much ignore the fact that they're whining or screaming their head off.
Soon enough, they will begin to realize that tantrum throwing isn't going to get them what they want and that it will even delay their opportunity to vocalize their opinion on matters. And then the tantrums stop... or at least taper off.
I was really proud of Hunny Luv today. This morning was the first time that I've ever seen him refrain from indulging in a tantrum. After trying to talk to MiPhi, he calmy continued to get ready for work and get the kids ready for school. At first she screamed louder. Mind you nothing was wrong with her... well, she was probably shocked that Daddy didn't come running. But pretty soon she realized that the tantrum really wasn't working and just like that...
She stopped! With this being the first time, it didn't take her long to start whining about something else. But it's progress, so I'll take it!
A while back I posted that I am dating a really great guy, but there are a few aspects of this relationship that I never envisioned when daydreaming about my future. One of those is that Hunny Luv has three kids with his ex wife; MiPhi (6), Cuddle Bug (3), and Boho Bug (3). The kids actually turned out to be one of the reasons that I fell in love with him! It was evident early on that he is a very devoted and loving father. And the fact that he and his ex have a sane, healthy coparenting relationship is a huge plus.
But it hasn't been not all roses. I've dated men with kids in the past, but this relationship is the most serious one that I've had where kids are involved. And it's also the first one where the father and I have very different parenting styles. While I do not have kids yet, I grew up around and caring for kids so I have some pretty firm beliefs about how children should be raised and what I expect from them
I've gone back and forth for a while now over whether I should blog about my relationship with the kids and things that arise as a result of our differing parenting styles and I've decided that it's a go. So, stay tuned for The Friendly Stepmonster Diaries :)