I think I mentioned that I'm reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block. Well, one of the techniques of dealing with a toddler who's having a tantrum is to reflect his/her feelings back to them. This is supposed to let the child know that you appreciate and understand their feelings.
It goes something like this:
(Child is crying because you've taken something away from her...say, a steak knife:)
Parent: Mad! Mad! Mad! You're mad because I took away the steak knife. But noooo, you can't have it. It's dangerous. But we can play with your kitchen."
It sounds weird, and it feels even stranger to actually do it. Usually, if I'm alone with Audrey, it works, though. She'll stare at me in wonder that I know why she's upset. With David around, however, it doesn't work as well. I'm not sure why.
But here's what happened after we got back from my doctor today. Audrey melted down because she wanted to go outside and admire our Halloween flag. I needed her to get inside and take a nap.
Me: Mad! Mad! Mad! You're mad because I won't let you play outside! But nooo, you need a nap! Let's go find Bear-Bear!
Audrey: (Even more screaming)
Then later, when she was perfectly composed, she said, "Mad. Mad because.....(unintelligible words)." Over and over and over again. So it turned into a tug-of-war.
Audrey: Mad because....blah blah blah
Me: I'm mad because you won't nap.
Audrey: (more of the same)
Me: I'm mad because I can't understand what you're saying.
All the while, we are definitely not mad and are just having a conversation. Strange? I think so.
However, she was an angel at my two doctor's appointments today. The doctors and nurses were chatting about it while I was waiting for a blood test.
But when we get home? The little devil comes out. She's now been up for almost 6 hours without a nap. I can hear her in there trying to turn the doorknob and get out.
Thank God for the weekend. I need some reinforcements.