We were walking in the shopping complex. Drove my car that evening since it was going to rain (my car gets to be parked in the porch since it is newer!). As usual we forgot to transfer the stroller to my car.
Christopher started acting up pulling my hand and dragging his feet and jumping each step. I could see the crowd behind us was gathering and hissing (if only they could horn, they would have BLASTED!) So, I pulled him one side and spoke sternly to him.
In an instance, he yanked my hand too hard. He was balancing on the balls of his own feet. His hand was a little oily. And he fell.....the 3-4 inches on his back and knocked the back of his head.
He had a total look of surprise.
I had let go. Mummy let him go!!!
(Not on purpose, or course. His hand was too oily for me to grasp.)
What trust a child has in us. And how we reduce it overtime.
Christopher is at a crying-to-show-temper stage. If we do not give in to what he wants or if he gets angry or upset, he will throw a crying fit. Of which will stop magically once his needs are met.
Of course I don't condone to his crying to get his needs met. And many a time he has sat in a corner crying for the duration it takes him to stop. And many a time I have stood at a lonely aisle in the shopping centre standing with him until he stops crying.
It is not a pleasant job. People do stare when we are outdoors. They must wonder why I am not doing anything. But I do really stand my ground. The lesson must be learnt consistently no matter where we are.
Of course, if it happens at home, he still has to complete whatever task he didn't complete before he started crying. And he still will not get that junk food he wanted to eat. But yes, sometimes after his crying when he has hugged me and followed after my "sorry mummy", he gets to watch the show of his choice.
(I am really gald I followed through on this lesson earlier. It is paying off.)
If outdoors, he just gets a drink of water and a 'change-the-subject-distract-him' talk after that.
Everytime when he cries, reasoning doesn't help. He will not or cannot listen. Giving in will be worse. Asking him to stop right there and then is impossible.
But yesterday I found a new way.
He was crying as usual becuase he wanted to watch Barney. It was night time. When at home, night time means no more DVD/VCD shows for him.
It wasn't a hysterical or loud cry. More a frustrating demanding whine. I was asking him why he was crying. He should know the rule by now that night time means no more TV for him.
When he stopped, I asked him to repeat after me.
He looked at me. We continued our business.
The next time it happened, some 1 hour later, I looked at him and told him why he could not eat an orange at 10 pm. And that I will give it to him tommorrow.
Then I said...
"Christopher, repeat after me"
He stopped crying. And I could repeat my reasoning to him. I gave him some raisins instead.
We repeated the sentence some 3-4 times that night. He stopped everytime he completed the sentence.
I am hoping this method will run its course till he learns to verbalise his feelings (that is still very much work in progress).