Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fit throwing kids

I was really planning on writing about other things tonight but I am hoping that my readers can share with me what they would have done in my situation tonight.

Being a mom to 4 kids I have had my share of my kids throwing a fit. These fits can happen any where for a multitude of reasons. I have been doing this parenting thing for almost 18 years and I still wonder if I am doing it right. ;)

So tonight I decided that the kids and I needed to get out of the house for a little bit. After Little Mans basketball game this morning we came home and just relaxed. I could sense that they were getting restless. They all have gift cards to Wal-Mart that they had gotten for Christmas. They also had cash.

Everything seems to be going smooth. I had called my mom to vent about some financial and Ex issues and got off the phone about 10 minutes into the store. My kids were happy looking at the toys while I chatted. Little Bird (who is 5) has a huge thing for Legos these days. We head over to the Lego aisle and I patiently talk to him about what would be good sets for him to get. I show him sets that are made for his age group and explain that it will be easier for him to put them together alone or with little help. He of course can only focus on the harder bigger sets. We must have spent 20 minutes looking and trying to decide. I gave a 5 minute warning and said that we would move on to let Turtle and Little Man find what they wanted. When they found what they wanted we would come back to the Legos. By the way Little Bird started screaming you would have thought I was abusing him. :(

I started to walk away and as I was I kept repeating that we would come back to the aisle. He proceeds to throw himself on the floor and scream. I keep walking so he gets up and grabs me by my legs so I can not go anywhere. I calmly pick him up ... not an easy thing to do when he goes totally limp ... I put him in the shopping cart. He continues to cry and sob. :( I again repeat to him that we will come back to the Legos before we leave but if he throws another fit or does not calm down I will not do it. We will just leave.

He calms down and we get through the rest of our shopping. Turtle and Little Bird surprised me and picked out what they wanted and acted very grown up about it all. Now that I am writing this I realized I did not thank them :( or give positive reinforcment. Little Bird asked if he could get out of the cart and I let him because he had calmed down. We head back to the Legos and he keeps telling me he needs to think about it. I decide that there is just to much on the shelves in front of him and it is overwhelming him. I pull down 8 boxes of Legos that I feel he will like and that he can work with by himself or with little help. He seems pleased with this at first but keeps going back and forth. I explain to him that we have been here a long time and that he needs to make up his mind. I give a 5 minute warning which just sets him off.

He starts getting upset and throws himself on the floor. I tell him that he needs to pick something or I am leaving and he will have to come back another day. More crying and fit throwing. At this point I know other people in the store can hear him. He will not listen to me or pick out what he wants so I tell him that I am going to put the boxes back up on the shelves. He is freaking out big time.

I put the boxes up and tell him that we are leaving and that we can come back on a day where he is calm and not throwing a fit. I let him know that he is NOT getting the Legos because he kept throwing a fit. I walk out of the Lego aisle onto the main one and he starts screaming as loud as he possibly can. He is running after me and grabs my legs again. I pull him off and he grabs the under part of the cart. He is crazy strong when he is that pissed lol I could not for the life of me get him to let go of that cart. So I kneeled down in front of him and told that I will just leave the cart with all of the stuff I was buying and come back another time for it. I got up and started walking away. This set of Little Man ... he knew that I needed the stuff. So I looked back and realized I didn't need the cart. I grabbed the stuff and handed it to Turtle and Little man to carry. I think at this point we made it 5 feet away from the Lego aisle. :(

Little Bird continued to grab my ankles, legs, arms and hands to hold me back from leaving. I kept right on walking. I repeated several times that we would talk when he calmed down and that he was not getting the Legos.

Checking out of the store and getting to the car was just as rough. Once outside I sent the other kids to the car and I finally got a good grip on Little Bird and picked him up and carried him. He of course threw a fit getting in the car. I actually had to do the child safety locks on the door because he was trying to get out.

He eventually stopped the fit throwing and just cried until about 5 minutes after we got home. He asked me for a hug which I of course gave to him. I asked if he was ready to talk about it and he started crying again and said no.

I should state that I am not a big fan of spanking. Even if I was I would not have spanked Little Bird in the middle of the store.

I wonder though what the other people in the store thought. As I was standing there pulling the stuff out of my cart to walk it to the registers I could feel the glares/stares of the people around me. I am thinking that a few of them thought I was being to nice to my son. I never lost my temper. I used the same calm voice the entire time. I laughed at one point but more out of embarassment of the situation.

So what would you have done in my situation??
Should I have gotten the Legos?
Are my kids the only ones that throw fits like this?
Hmm really my girls have not thrown fits like this in public. They do it at home by slamming the door to their room. The boys are my public fit throwers.

I am drained ... this is when I find parenting to be especially hard. :(


T said...

I think you handled it just fine. I do spank but generally not in public (maybe a public restroom) because people do judge you whether you react or not. Here's the thing, his fit could have very well gotten worse if you would have raised your voice or lost your temper. I think staying calm is actually what eventually diffused it.

My 4 year old daughter is doing this right now. She's testing me and I'm in complete agreement... never give in to what they want when they're throwing a fit.

You did great. I know that exhausted feeling... but you did exactly what I would've done.

MindyMom said...

I agree with T however I probably would have had a glass of wine after getting home! ;)