Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Advice Needed

I've got a couple of parenting quandries that have me stymied. I'd appreciate some advice from my faithful little readership. If you've been lurking, this would be a good time to make a peep. (Lurking means reading without ever commenting, Grandma) =)

1. What do you do with a baby/toddler who screams and throws fits in public places like Wal-mart? Mim is about to drive me over the edge. Yesterday we just had to leave, after I paid for our things. Part of the problem was hunger, I think, but I don't know how to solve that problem, because she won't eat in the morning unless it's total junk like candy. If I offer her a good filling, healthy breakfast she just pushes it away. She'd probably eat a pickle and some gummy worms, but I refuse to feed her that. So she's hungry. I give her crackers and such, but she probably needs protein. That point aside, how do I discipline her in public places...or at home for that matter. When we have the screaming hissies here at home, I just put her in her bedroom and tell her she can come out when she's all done. That works...eventually. In the car, I just ignore it, because I can't do anything else without being a road hazard. In Wal-mart....I don't know. I don't give in to her, but I have no recourse for making her stop either.

2. My husband has one more business trip to Minnesota coming up in a couple of weeks. He wants to drive this last time instead of fly, and take me with him. That way we could spend some time together; I could sleep for a few nights without waking up for my toddlers, and we could purchase the things we've been wanting to get from Ikea there in St. Paul. We can't find those specific items at the only Ikea within easy driving distance of our home. The company would pay for the trip, since it'll still be cheaper than the airplane ticket they would've bought him, and the hotel room and food will also be paid for already since he'll be making the trip regardless. Those are all the pros. The con, of course, is leaving my children for what would be only half a day short of a full week. I've never left them for longer than two nights before, and I worry about putting to much stress on the patience and affection of my children, and especially that of their grandmothers. What do you think? Have you ever left your kids for a full week? Mine are 3 and almost 2, for those of you who don't know us well. Oh, and taking them with us is not an option. I don't even drive with them the hour and a half to Oklahoma City if I can help it, because of quandry number 1.



At that age...she needs instant consequences for her actions. Color me old fashioned, but about that age is when a swift little smack to the behind gets their attention. I realize this can be very difficult or impossible in a public setting. It would help to know why she is throwing the tantrums at the store...is she wanting candy or toys, is she bored and ready to leave? You may be able to tap into her motivation there by a small reward at the end every time she behaves well.

This probably goes without saying, but have you read any good books on this topic? They aren't cure-alls, but at the least can help to give you perspective and to help you understand why your child is acting how they are. I was just thinking...I need a parenting book on teens right about now. lol

As far as the trip...I say, go for it! Your hubby is priority #1 and deserves the time and frankly, sounds like you could use a refreshing break also. I know I had extreme difficulty being willing to leave my kids at that age, so I understand; but frankly, you are blessed with 2 very competent and willing grandmas, who will do little lasting damage during 1 week(grin), and your kids will be fine.

Bramblerose said...

I agree with Sunnybrook.
Have you tried time out. They say a minute for every year of age. We set Sean in front of the timer so he can see it counting down.
As far as the store, uk, I'm in the same boat, only mine are older. Sensory issues etc. Most of the time Peter does the shopping with one boy. It drives me crazy when it's all of us. The two oldest are constantly at each other. One is always running into people and isles, touching stuff, knocking down stuff. The other is yelling and hitting the younger because he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings, and drawing attention to us all. Sean does pretty good in the store,if I push the cart and hold his hand. Another good thing about having Peter do the shopping is there is less impulse buying,so we save some money. I plan the menu for the week and make a shopping list and he just gets the stuff on the list.
The reward for good behavior might work. I'll have to try that with my two. They like those cheap little toys at the checkout.

Erica J. said...

Okay, no more lurking! I feel your pain on #1. Our little Cialyn was prone to the screaming hissies at around 18-20 months.I found that once we got it under control at home it was a lot better in public. At home I just put her in her crib when she would throw a screaming hissie and we would have the following conversation:

"It is okay to cry if you are sad or hurt, but it is not okay to throw a fit. Are you sad? Are you hurt? When you're all done crying you can get out of the crib." And then I would encourage her by saying "You can stop crying, it's okay."

If she kept it up I would leave the room and keep coming back every couple of minutes and ask if she was all done yet. It should help her to see how calm you are too, that her fit doesn't faze you. Then hopefully you'll be able to reason with her a little in public- "Are you tired? Are you hungry? you don't need to throw a fit, I'm going to help you."

It worked for me, on top of making sure she wasn't overtired or already hungry when we left the house.

#2. You should definitely go! You need the break and time together with hubby is always refreshing.

Qtpies7 said...

come to Minnesota!!! I'd love to meet you! I'm only an hour from Ikea! We could hit the Mall of America, even!

If it isn't illegal to spank in your state, spank. I know its hard, though. We use to go to the bathroom to spank, so a threat of going to the bathroom scared them but others didn't know what we were saying. "Do you need to go to the bathroom???" (we spanked in the bathroom at home)
If you really want to retrain, which is what will help the most, you need to stop taking her with you when you NEED to get stuff done. Plan trips when you can ditch stuff. Let her know you are going for blah blah and blah, and then when you are done you'll read a book with her, or whatever she likes. Maybe keep some candy, but not a whole package everything you go somewhere. Go for 5 mins, then 10, then 15, until you can trust her again. Leave when she is naughty.
Does she hate being left when you go somewhere? Tell her that next time she can't come with you.

Or, you could have a package of M&M's in your pocket and as you are walking along say "Oh, Mim, you are being quiet and good, here's a treat!" and pop her one candy, and keep doing that, longer and longer between treats. "Oh, I don't like that noise, that noise keeps the treats in my pocket."
One of our kids was a real pill, and my dh would give him a pinch when he needed a spanking, it still hurt a bit, but wasn't noticable to others. I'm not sure I would recommend it or not, it came out of desperation, and it was effective after a few times. But the bathroom threat worked the best for us.

Wow, total rambling! Sorry! But really, come to Minnesota!
We have left our kids for a week a couple of times. It was good for us. Once we went with no kids, and once we went with a small baby. The kids had a great time, not sure the sitters did, but it was worth it!

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

With Little King, I TRY to avoid spanking in public (just because you know stupid people that turn everyone in to DHS) and I firmly tell him he does NOT throw tantrums, and that he needs to obey his mommy. If that fails to work I find an empty isle, or an empty stall and I spank his bottom. If you don't tackle it now they'll push the limits even more when you are in public as they grow. Also if you read "Dare to Discipline" by Dr James Dobson he gives great examples. When they're a little older he suggests using that part of the neck that hurts when you squeeze it! Tre actually will pinch Little King right beneath where the diaper meets his leg instead of spank sometimes in public while telling him NO.

As far as the eating goes Little King is going through that now. I fix a breakfast (healthy) and if he does not eat it, then he does not eat breakfast. For his morning snack, if he does NOT eat breakfast he does not get a junk snack either. He has to eat fruit (cantalope, strawberries, banannas, applesauce) and if he doesn't want that, then he doesn't eat. Then for lunch, I fix a fairly healthy lunch, if he does the same thing as breakfast the same routine is followed. I either offer him his lunch yet again at snack time, or at snack he is only allowed fruit. He only gets animal crackers, and fruit loops or whatever when he eats a good hearty meal prior to that snack time. After a few days of eating nothing but dinner (evening) t his week he has decided to start eating what mom gives him.

Go on the trip with your husband and leave your kids. They'll be fine! :)

Julie said...

This might sound crazy, but one thing we did when my Bigs were little, was to make trips out for no reason at all, just so that we could train them when we were out, without the pressure of having to get the shopping done, etc.

Then, if they behaved badly, we could just leave. We would tell them in the van before we went in, that we would leave and they would get consequences if they threw fits. Then when they did, we walked flat out, went straight home and gave them whichever punishment we had told them we would.

HTH! Hang in there...this too shall pass. Umm...eventually. :)

Lady G~ said...

I would have to agree with all the above. We did everything all these ladies shared with you.

Still Waters was the one that would at times, just lose it. She had a temper like I've never ever seen anyone have.

I remember many a times, leaving the mall and heading straight to the car to deal with it. She new she wasn't going to get away with it. I dealt with it at the moment.
I made sure that "my" attitude was in check too, cause I didn't want to be disciplining out of anger.

I'm sorry to hear that you daughter has my eating habits. LOL! I know it isn't easy. I quite the junk food junky. :o) "My" breakfast consist of a glass of coke and a cookie, muffin, or something sweet to go along with it. Most of the time, it's nothing at all. Does she like granola bars or cereal bars?

I tried not to go out if they were hungry. I made sure I had a "snack" just in case. But I didn't want to encourage overeating either.

I did take "training" trips. That's when we would go our and test the waters. If Still Waters acted up, we would go to the car and "recover". Then we would go back to the store.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but hard work pays off. Consistency is the key. Also, it makes a big difference if both parents agree and back each other up.

My girls are very close in age. Soaring Amongst The Clouds is 19, Still Waters is 18 and Daughter of the King is 17. There is 10 months difference between our first two and my second one is 18 months older than my third one. SOOOO, when the oldest was three, I had three under the age of three. My boys are two years apart. But there is four years between my third daughter and my fourth. So do understand what you are going through. I can still remember those days...