08 March 2011

When Mommy needs a tantrum

I've read and been told that tantrums can be important developmentally as they give a child the chance to express very strong emotions that they don't otherwise know how to.  It is up to parents to teach appropriate emotional release.  Instead of hitting or kicking and screaming when angry teach a child to say "I'm angry!" and then ask for help with resolving what made them angry, maybe find a pillow to hit or kick.  When sad about something instead of laying on the floor flailing and crying go to someone or something comforting and cry.  Then take a moment to talk about what made them sad.  When frustrated with a task instead of throwing it and screaming, ask someone for help.  But sometimes, even in all of the tools and outlets you give a child they still need the release of a tantrum.  Think about it.  Even when you're being an adult and handling your strong emotions in a mature way there comes a point where you just need to have a good scream, find something safe to hit or throw and go off to pout.

I'm there now.  I have lost count of the number of shoes that have dropped for us.  I can no longer remember what a stress and drama free month is like.  The concept of not being on pins & needles because I don't know what is coming next is foreign to me now.  Today we added the excitement of someone using random number generators to use my account to buy iTunes and World of Warcraft stuff.  Thankfully it was caught quickly and we should be able to recover the money in a few weeks.  But it just added to the stress we already have.  It just made me stop and wonder if I really did do something to piss of the Universe.  I told Adam that I am just barely keeping it together.  I have often felt the edge, that tip, of my breakdown and have managed to push it away and set it aside until later.  I would love to be able to just let go and get the emotion out.  But the question is always "When?".  I could have tonight while cooking dinner, but Kara skipped her nap today and we had to eat so we could avoid her tired meltdown.  Besides, then dinner would have burned. Ok, not a good time.  I could have while curled up in bed with Adam.  But Rowan was starting to fuss and sound like she was waking up.  I don't want to be alone when I finally let all this pent up emotion out. Since one of us would have had to get up with her that was out too.  Not a day goes by where I don't feel the emotions getting ready to explode.  But not a single day offers me any time or space for it.   

I know it's not healthy to keep the emotions in.  But as I must teach my daughters appropriate emotional displays, so I must show them as well.  Somehow me falling to the floor in a full out tantrum and breakdown in the middle of making dinner or playing with them doesn't seem right.  I have no problems with them seeing the release and explaining what's going on.  But I at least want to show that there are appropriate times and places to do so.  Maybe then I will set a good example of how to handle those strong emotions.

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