Monday, 2 March 2009

The cry factor

I'm starting to wonder at what point you really need to be putting your foot down with your kid. I know Caleb has a terrible temper. When he doesn't get what he wants, he immediately starts to cry. Not just whimper cry, but a deafening-splitting-headache cry. I've seen him cry and yell and throw things and hit his head against things and kick and push. After a minute or two he doesn't even remember what he wanted in the beginning. This morning I had to take him off my lap for a minute, and then when I picked him back up he wanted down. So I put him down and he wanted up. So I picked him up and he wanted down. Etc. etc. etc - all the while crying. I couldn't give him what he wanted because he simply didn't want whatever he had.

There is a permanent ringing in my ears. You can imagine a typical 1-year-old and the amount of things he comes up during the day that he can't have or can't do. And he seems to have a knack for wanting to do things he's not allowed: playing with the stove, putting things in the toilet, hitting Colin with toys...

There are also things that aren't necessarily dangerous, but that I'm trying to wean him from - most notably the soother, being held by me all day, and wanting something IMMEDIATELY. But I'm starting to wonder if it's really worth trying to cure him of these things yet. These are the three things that cause the most screaming and crying during the day. The soother: well, I'd just rather he not be sucking it all day - I just think he's getting a bit old for it. Being held by me: makes getting things done around the house (like cooking and cleaning and going to the bathroom and showering) really difficult. Plus he's getting heavy. Plus being attached to another person all day is really wearing me out. Wanting things immediately: not always possible. I do have another child (his brother) I'm caring for also. Plus I'm worried about fostering the idea that if he screams he can have whatever he wants.

This age is so tough. There are valid arguments to both sides of the camp about whether or not a 16 month old can manipulate a parent. But ignoring the crying, as I've been doing up to now, doesn't seem to be teaching him anything. He just cries louder and longer, until he eventually gets distracted. I'm feeling now like giving up and giving in. I'm not sure I can take the incessant crying much longer! Can you feel the frustration???!!!

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