When Avalon is freaking out in her terribly 2 almost 3 kind of way (not too often, but still worth mentioning), we find that leaving her alone is the best way to get her to calm down. Rick and I have tried talking to her, hugging her, getting down to her level and trying to communicate, but it only seems to make her scream and kick more. So, we say, Alright, I'll give you a few minutes to think about this and we walk away. Her "return to calm" response time is usually 3-5 minutes, instead of the dreaded 20 minute tantrum.
Like for example, on Tuesday (Rick's birthday) when we got home and pulled into the driveway, she wanted the cupcakes we bought for him right then...and right there...in my car. Bright blue, obnoxious cupcakes. Um, I don't think so kid. So, when I told her no, the screaming, crying and kicking of the driver seat in front of her began. I tried to reason with her. She screamed more. I tried to undo her seatbelt. It was a struggle, but I finally managed. So, I told her to think about what just happened, and I would be inside the house when she was ready to discuss it.
She came in 4 minutes later.
Another example. Last night at 10:30, more than 2 hours past her bedtime, she was still awake, and came and asked if she could put on her bathing suit. When I told her the obvious answer, that it was way past her bedtime, she jumped up, stood at the end of her bed, and began to scream and cry. There was no reasoning with her, so I told her she needed to lay down, I would be in the other room if she needed me, and it was her bedtime.
She was asleep within 5 minutes.
So, we found what works with her. BUT, here's where it is driving me crazy. Is it wrong that we are leaving her alone in her time of despair??? When she is feeling the most frustrated and angry, we are leaving her to her own thoughts. She can't stand it when we stay! Do we force her to deal with our presence? Are we invading her space too much if we stay, or are we abandoning her if we leave?
Which, I think I just asked the lifelong question we will be faced with as she grows up...how much do we do it for her, and how much do we let her do herself? She is so independent already, I'm going to have to figure out these boundaries soon. And probably more so for ME than HER.
Got any thoughts?