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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Dreaded Power Stuggle!

Liam will be 3 the beginning of June and I have been feeling quite happy with myself since we haven't seen the usual "Terrible Two's" behavior. However, this past week Liam and I had our first real power struggle and I must admit that I am out of my depth here. I have no idea what I should do so I am asking all you smart women out there if you have any suggestions for me that have worked for you, or if you could suggest reading material for me to check out. I want to learn more so that I know how to behave so that I will know how to better handle these struggles since we are having them quite regularly now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (I liked this picture because it reminds me that he really is only a little boy who is individuating and trying to figure out his place in this big world and not being "naughty" I am trying to keep it all in perspective as he is screaming at me and I feel myself getting angrier by the second because I don't know where the purple bid is..aghh, I think you can all relate!!")

9 comments:

Samantha said...

While I don't have tons of good advice, I will tell you that the "terrible two's" were a breeze for both my boys. However, the "horrbile, crazy, tantrum-throwing, gonna-pull-my-hair-out THREE's" were the worst! Mostly know that you are not alone and that you have so many people who love you and have been through this, for you to lean on and if nothing else, vent to! As for advice, I'm sure you have heard this before but to this day, I find it VERY helpful (in all aspects of life): pick your battles. Yesterday when Tegan wanted to go to the store in his Spidey costume (which consequently has a huge hole in the tummy area)along with his slippers, (mind you it's -10 outside) I had to remember this piece of advice. Was it really worth a fight? In the grand scheme of things does it matter if he wears it? Nope. So he did and life went on. I think also, not losing your cool (when you can help it) really helps too. When he is upset, then you get upset, it makes him more upset and the cycle continues until you are both in tears, kicking and screaming on the floor. (Been there!) Good luck cousin! You are a great mom so I'm sure you'll be fine!

Wow - how's that for world's longest blog comment! :)

Xela said...

Dito to Sami's comments! I felt like the two's were easy it was when they turned three that it got rough! I don't know why no one tells you that the threes are rough as well. Luckly I found that it only lasts a short time and I also have found that each year right before their birthdays they seem to go thru this weird power struggle. As if to say okay now I am four I can run the show, right.....Hang in there it will get better! I am sure you are doing a great job. I did read one book that seem to help me a lot it is call 4 weeks to a better-behaved child by Cristine Chandler, PH.D. with Laura McGrath
It helped with a few techniques that I had never thought of and I still go back to using with the older kids. Hope it helps and know that we have all been there and are still surving. Even more important the kids have survived! :) Love ya!

The Gunnell Bunch said...

Is he really that old?! My goodness, when did he grow up?! We went through and are still going through the power struggle a little bit but the thing that has helped exponentially is giving *her* the choice. It makes her feel more in control and often even if she's done something bad, I'll let her choose her punishment. She is continually telling me *she* wants to do it and that she doesn't need help so I let her do it even though she'll probably mess up, but that's okay because she'll learn. Good luck with it all!!! It's a fun age in spite of it! :)

The Perkins Family said...

Oh Moana, I could have written this myself. I too am going through a new phase with Tyler. The usual methods of discipline are not working and he is upped the tantrums to a new level. I went back to my "Positive Parenting" book and have renewed my strength to be positive and not blow up and imitate his childish behavior. It is so HARD not to lash out when he is being so stubborn and irrational. We'll talk more on Super Saturday. Good Luck.

Havilah said...

The best thing I've ever learned is to give Ruth decisions every day. Usually ones that don't really matter to me (it's good to give two or three options that are okay with you, but no more than that). This is good because it gives her a sense of control (which is what the power struggle is all about). Some examples of decisions I let her make are: which shirt to wear (this one or that one), what to have for breakfast (oatmeal or cereal), if she wants to paint or draw, etc. One trick I learned last year was that when it was time to leave the park and I knew she wouldn't like that idea, I would give her a choice: "Do you want to walk, or do you want me to carry you to the car?" It always worked! Another thing that works with giving choices is that if they aren't too happy about the choices, you tell them that if they don't choose, then you will choose for them. That always works for Ruth..she'd much rather choose than let me choose.

Syme Family said...

I second what Havilah said. Give them choices when you can. Sometimes for us it even comes down to "Well Miah you can either eat or go to your room, you decide." Then she picks. if she whines about her choice then I just say that it was her decision that she did/ or is acting that way.

The other thing I wanted to mention is make sure that he is getting enough sleep. Things are much worse for us in the power struggle if we aren't getting enough sleep. I really liked the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. Robyn Parkin recommended it to me when Miah was born and it has helped a lot.

Hope this all helps. We are here for you.

Syme Family said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syme Family said...

oops! I accidently posted that twice.

I was also going to comment on the new page that your blog is on. So cute! Where did you find it? or how did you do it?

The Fullmers said...

I have such great friends and family out there! Your advise is wonderful and your support is greatly appreciated as we work through this hard time. Some have asked about the new blog look. If you look to the left column at the begning there is a title, "need a blog makeover" the link underneath it will take you to where I went to update my blog. I then changed my font colors to match. Thanks everyone love you all!!