Head Scratcher

I think I need parenting advice because I’m obviously either doing something wrong, or I just need to learn to cope with annoyances better.  The problem at hand…

The Littles have lots of requests throughout the day that I’m happy to accommodate (milk, food, help with a toy, etc.)  When they come to me and ask for help or to prepare something for them, if I don’t react immediately they start to fuss and whine, as if I’ve completely ignored their request.   I can even confirm that I am doing what they want by verbalizing “You want this and I’m doing this for you.” and they act like they don’t even hear me and continue to fuss.  Am I missing something?  Is there some other cue I need to give them?  It’s starting to annoy me greatly and I feel like I’m starting to argue with them.  My idea of hell on earth is to get into a debate with a 4 or 2 year old.  I don’t want to have “discussions” with them, but I find myself trying to have some rational communication and it’s just not happening.

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6 thoughts on “Head Scratcher

  1. Bri seems to be in the same boat. At dinner time I have her wait on her stool. That’s where she eats dinner. So she can sit there patiently while I’m finishing up the food. It also cuts back on the underfoot whining.

  2. I completely feel your pain, now just let me giggle for a bit longer on the ‘trying to have some rational communications with a 4 and 2yo’.

    Okay, I think I’m better. As I said, I can completely relate. I can tell you what I do and maybe it will help…maybe. You’d think as they get older they would have more rational moments, but I think irrational and kids go hand in hand so while mine are 11 and 8, I still get plenty of tantrums. In the midst of a tantrum I love saying ‘stop acting like a 2yo’ and then walk away. It might have an effect because temper tantrums do peter out soon after. Or maybe it is because I walked away. I send them to their rooms for a time out (and I have had to drag Carus to her room, can’t pick her up anymore) and let them wail for a bit then I’ll attempt another rational convo. Sometimes it works, sometimes they need longer to wail. Almost always its a fight over having to do a chore or not getting something they want so there are many rational points to make. My other option usually gets faster results, but sometimes I don’t have the patience to put it into effect – basically turn it around on them, throwing a tantrum yourself. Or doing a na huh, uh huh fight and bugs bunny-ing them. Completely catches them off guard and they stop. Then you can talk to them – doesn’t mean they’ll understand and the tantrum might pop back up. But if you can find just the right words – TADA!

    Ugh, reading what I wrote makes me feel like I’m a mean mom or a total nut job.

    Anyways, keep saying patience in your head and maybe one day they will hear you more. Good luck!

  3. It helps to know that I’m not alone. I do notice that when they are on chairs helping me cook and do other tasks, it does lessen the whining. Thanks 🙂

  4. I know what you mean about the crazy. I feel like I’m a little coo coo over here! It’s nice to hear examples of the same thing I’m dealing with. I don’t remember Clarabelle ever being so irrational. She was a nagger but would stop when she realized I was helping her.

  5. Probably because there are two of them, it seems worse than it is! Also, they’re probably picking it up from one another.

    I actually DO have one of the most reasonable kids in existence, because she is the child of two ultra-logical people. I actually could reason with Annalie when she was 2 and 4, though there were definitely times when there was no reasoning. When Annalie starts whining I sometimes say something like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t understand whining,” and then I play dumb till she speaks to me in a normal tone. If, for example, she asked me to get her a snack and I started getting it, but then while I was in the process she started whining, I might say, “I’m sorry, with all that whining I just can’t remember what I was supposed to be doing. I’ll sit back down and when you can ask me in a normal voice then maybe I’ll remember.” Something like that.

    I don’t know how well that would work with a 2-year-old…or your particular 4-year-old, for that matter, but it’s worth a shot. And it teaches them that the way to get something is by asking nicely, not whining. 🙂 Mind you, it’s probably one of those must-be-repeated-500-times-before-it-sinks-in things, no matter what tactic you use!

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