Adelie and Staley's World

Adelie and Staley's World

Friday, April 14, 2017

Temper, Temper

I am familiar with two year olds.  I understand that they are learning to navigate their worlds, test their boundaries, gain some independence, and deal with strong emotions that they are not yet able to handle.  To sum up, I understand that there are plenty of tears in store for us as Briggs enters this world of two.  Tears and tantrums are a part of growing up.  I understand that and I'm ready for it.

I may not have clear recollections of exactly how my girls acted and behaved at two.  I know we had lots (and lots and lots) of unnecessary tears and drama.  However, I do not recall long-winded screaming fits.  I remember plenty of sadness, but not necessarily anger.  I remember crying over plenty of silly things, but I don't remember a short-fuse and quick temper.  My son, however, is showing me this new side of two.

For the most part, Briggs is such a happy, sweet, snuggly little guy.  But he definitely has a short fuse.  Patience is not his strong suit.  He can get mad quickly, and he makes his anger known.  He's always been this way.  If his needs aren't met or his requests aren't fulfilled as soon as he makes them known, he is quick to pitch a fit.  We have had fits when I won't hold him while I'm cooking, fits when his food isn't presented as quickly as he wants it, fits when a bite of food is too warm for his liking, fits about being in the stroller or getting out of the tub or dropping a favorite toy or being woken up too early from his nap. And, of course, the ever-popular fit for unknown reasons.  These fits come on quickly and often involve screaming and crying and kicking and throwing his head back.  If I pick him up or snuggle him, he can generally calm down quickly.  However, when this isn't an option (for example, when I'm making dinner or pushing him in the stroller to get Staley from school or in the midst of getting something done or attending to someone else), he can keep it going for a healthy 15-20 minutes at least.  I'm sure at some point he forgets why he's mad or throwing a fit and just keeps it going for the sake of appearances.  It's quite unpleasant.

I don't know the best way to help Briggs.  He has the vocabulary to verbalize his wants/needs/and feelings, as well as the ability to understand things like "wait" and "in a minute."  I don't know the best way to teach him to wait, to have patience, to deal with life's adversities, to calm himself down when he gets upset.  I don't cave to his demands.  He has to stop crying and throwing a fit before he gets what he has requested.  He can sing the "have patience" song with the best of them.  I'm not quick to his rescue when he's throwing a fit.  I have no doubt that Briggs will learn these life skills with time and maturity...

...but if we can speed it up, I'm all for that too.

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