Screaming, hitting, kicking, toys thrown across the room, drinks spilled on purpose, crying, disobeying, whining, punching, threatened biting, bullying, and bribery. I'm tired of it and it's all coming from 1 child at the moment. No, not "at the moment" because I think I could tolerate a moment of this. It's been going on for the past 6 weeks, and seems to be getting worse.
Why? In his words, because "I don't like it when I don't get what I want."
Oh, ok, so we'll all just do what he wants and the family will run smoothly, right? No, I don't think so. In fact, he's pretty low on the totem pole around here, so we need to figure this out.
Consequences? Well, so far he's lost various privileges for anywhere from a day to a month. There's a list on the calendar so I can keep it all straight. He's also had time outs (both the nice ones when he sits there somewhat calmly, and the not-so-nice ones when we have to hold him in time out like a toddler), been talked to calmly and not-so-calmly, prayed for and with, and missed out on fun family activities.
So far, I'm not seeing many results, and it's getting quite trying. I try so hard to keep my patience, but it is so very difficult. And, I hate feeling like we're walking on eggshells in our very own home. Really, we should be able to chill out and relax around here, not worry that there could be an explosion at any minute.
And that's truly what it's like. The tantrums are not directed at any one family member, but at all of us at different times.
A sibling won't share a toy? He explodes.
They won't play the game he wants in the way he wants? He explodes.
He doesn't like what is served for snack, breakfast, lunch; really any meal that is served? He explodes.
Then, this afternoon, when there were no more privileges to take away, when I was at my breaking point and was about to lose it and therefore hiding in my room, I heard him praying. Asking God to help him calm down. Earnestly asking for help with his temper. And when I came out of my room, he was sitting quietly and calmly on the couch. Thank you, God!
He's not prefect. Nor am I. And I don't expect this parenting thing to be easy by any means. (Just now he was screaming at his sister.) We just all need peace in our home again, and for now, I'll take it while he sleeps. Too bad he won't nap anymore...
And now, they are singing the books of the Old Testament together like the best of friends.