The highs… and the lows.
Today I had a moment of total shame… and then a breakthrough.
There is no middle ground… is there?
Big Dude has been testing me lately. There’s been a lot of yelling. There’s been a lot of behaviour that, though I dislike the word, I can only describe as saucy. There’s been a lot of ‘no’… actually it’s been ‘NOOOO!’
This morning it all came to a climax. The defiance began at the local play place and escalated to the point where we had to leave. I had already taken away all screen time for the day and threatened to take all the toys out of his room. Big Dude was screaming as I dragged him out to the van. My reserve of patience evaporated when he refused to get into his seat.
The low point came when, attempting to forcibly strap him into his seat, the words slipped out of my mouth before I could stop them. I told him to ‘shut up.’ Not my finest moment.
However, it did stop me short and made me change my tactics.
From that point on I explained that I would not listen to screaming. If he had something to say to me, he could speak to me politely and respectfully. He continued to scream so I turned up the volume on the music and drove home (with him screaming the entire way).
He continued to scream as I removed every toy from his room (my room now looks like a complete disaster area). I held my ground and I kept calm. As he continued to scream I chose to explain to Little Dude, within hearing of the Big Dude of course, that I would be able to hear what his brother had to say to me when he stopped screaming. It took a while and a few regressions but Big Dude eventually calmed down.
I expected another meltdown when I explained that he would not be getting the toys in his room back until the next day, but he handled it fairly well. He almost had a fit when he was denied his favorite TV show and had to be reminded that he lost all screen time as well. Instead, I explained why it was taken away and that should he start yelling or speaking to me disrespectfully again he would go back to his room (the one with no toys).
He’s been very pleasant ever since.
It feels a bit strange… surreal almost.
I’ll take it though.
I’ve been chiding myself for not standing my ground with his behaviours lately. Today was a good lesson.
I’m a true Taurus. I’ve got a stubborn streak these boys have rarely seen. It’s time for them to brace themselves. If this is the results I get from standing my ground… mamma the bull is about to move in.