Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Super Nanny

What the heck is wrong with parents today? I watched a show last evening called "Super Nanny." I only lasted the first 5 minutes. It was the stupidest show I have ever seen. The featured family had 2 brats, maybe more? It was hard to tell with all the screaming. Mom and Dad are apparently at wits end. Well, DUH. They've done it to themselves. All being a good parent takes is a major dose of common sense, a bit of intelligence and a sense of humor. These parents (and so many parents today) try to be their children's "friend." Forget that. My kids have enough friends. They need guidance from PARENTS. Besides, it's not like I'd actually choose these people to be my friends on purpose. My friends don't pick their noses, wear diapers, drool all over themselves and babble incoherently. Well, OK some of them do, but that's only after a night at the Pub and hey I didn't actually give birth to any of those people.

The parents on the show were trying to deal with tantrums. Hey, here's some rocket science for you – You CANNOT reason with a toddler. It is impossible. About the best you can do is ride it out until it is over and THEN deal with the problem. The more you give in, the worse the tantrums get – louder, longer, until you want to hide from them in the garage.

As a service, I figured I'd give you some of my tips for getting through the early years. Perhaps in the interest of space (and the fact that I am up to my neck in THREE research projects for school – one of which is my Master's Thesis) I'll make it a 2 part series this week. Today I give you "Dealing With Tantrums" or as I like to call it "How Catt Made it This Far Without Hiding in the Pantry Drinking All the Cooking Wine." Enjoy.

Tantrums at Home – Ignore them. Seriously. I can count on one hand the number of knock down drag out tantrums my son threw as a toddler. He'd throw himself on the floor screaming, and I'd just step over him and go on about my business. Every single time he'd eventually stop, look around, regain his composure and come find me saying, "Mommy?" I’d answer him with, "Are you ready to talk like a big kid now?" It really throws off their plan. My daughter was a bit more of a challenge, because she's a drama queen. I admit there were a couple of times I did the dishes with her climbing my leg screaming, but eventually even she got the message.

Tantrums in Public – Leave. Seriously. Yes, this is inconvenient the first couple of times, but it works. If my kids started throwing a fit over some toy or candy in a store I’d say "No." Once. If it turned into a tantrum we'd leave. Period. I don't know about you, but I cannot shop for anything with a screaming kid. If you give in and buy that toy or candy, just once, to shut the kid up you've bought yourself WAY more than a few minutes of peace. You've bought yourself a bigger and nastier tantrum down the road, probably in the next aisle.

Use your head and plan accordingly. If it's dinnertime, or close to bedtime and you drag the kid out, you're asking for it. I remember one holiday shopping season when #1 Son had just turned two. It was hot in the mall and about a half an hour past his bedtime. When the tantrum started I knew it was because he was overtired, "overmommy" and just plain hot. As I was wrestling with him on the floor near the exit trying to force him into his snowsuit, I looked up into the horrified faces of a young man and his pregnant wife. I could tell from their look that they were thinking "MY child will never act like that!" I did what any desperate overtired Mom would do. I yelled, "OH YEAH?! Well I thought that, TOO! Just you WAIT!" They quickly walked away.

I wonder what that Super Nanny chick gets paid. I might apply for the job.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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