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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Preschool Pointers - 13: Do Not Give Up

Problem: It's been three months since you've seen your child. You don't know who this monster is who has replaced him, but he sucks. He won't listen, he won't talk, he won't reason. All he does is demand things, then tantrum, then demand more things. It's like he's looking for any excuse to cry. Including you not letting him wash his hands again for the third time in a row, him touching his own feet, you opening the door wrong, or him eating all his cereal. Hell, even the thought that someday he might eat all his cereal puts him into tears. What do?

Solution: Well, I can't say it's teeth any more, can I? It's just...I don't know. Growing pains? It's not you. At the very least it's not all you. Try finding the root of the problem, and this won't be easy, since your kid has decided not to talk to you, instead only wailing away.

And sometimes you think you've gotten to the root of it, and you were wrong. Or there was more. Or something else is bothering them too. But you won't know what it is because they won't tell you.

The solution? Hang in there. Do not give up hope. If you continue to show your child that you are listening to him and that you understand some of what he is going through, he will come around. He will eventually break down and talk to you, if each tantrum you gently direct him to do so. Just keep at it. In some way, it's like an undercover battle of wills. He's doing his darndest to get you to react negatively to him (or at least it seems like that), and you've got to try your hardest to keep it positive, keep it happy and show him how much a better attitude improves life.

What I've been saying to my crying, wailing girls is, "I know you're upset, but this isn't helping anything. How can we fix the problem?"

By skipping over what's the problem, I've gotten some success, but mostly, it's just time. They've decided to come back around to the side of human again, and I survived the monstrous time.


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