Tuesday tribe talk: Temper, temper

Posted on: 24/05/2011

the school run is when my stress levels are at their highest.

I am still seething from the school run this morning.  Middle child, who has in the last few months become a kind, helpful, adorable five-year-old, had a monster tantrum getting out of the car because I wouldn’t let her take her doll into school.  Hitting, slapping, screeching, the works.

I slapped her thigh, the only part of her I could reach with all the flailing arms.

Now, in my mind, this is equivalent to a smack.  Generally I don’t approve of smacking.  Yet I find myself in this position.  I suppose I wanted the slap to shock her out of her silly tantrum.

I have never let her take dolls in before.  There’s no reason for her to think it would be OK now.   Reasoning with her didn’t make a blind bit of difference.  It was like we’d gone back six months in her behaviour development.

Have you ever been lucky enough to watch the TV programme ‘Little Angels’?  Or perhaps you’ve heard of Tanya Byron from her book (promotional clip below). We watched a few episodes pre-children, and it was amazing how a child’s behaviour was ALWAYS rooted in the parent’s behaviour – she even mentions this in the clip.  So perhaps this is an opportunity for me to take a look at myself.

Middle child’s behaviour did get me very worked up, I have to admit.  I’m feeling more  on edge at the moment, though I can’t put my finger on why – my inner serenity has vanished.   Until this month, I have actually managed  four consecutive months of not raising my voice around the children.  In the past week or so, however, I have had much less patience.  What has changed?

Maybe I’m just feeling stressed.  I know I’m feeling tired.   Perhaps it is all rooted in this.  Perhaps I should just go back to basics. Get some exercise, get to bed on time, try not to let the housework get on top of me and not attempt anything more than that.

I reckon that would be a good idea anyway.  However, I have realised whilst typing that I know what’s changed.

Smallest one is going through separation anxiety.  Big time.  I cannot do a single thing without her.   Loud screaming if I ignore her or go out of sight for just one second.  Being quite an introvert at heart, I find this very draining.

That’s something I can’t really do anything about.  I need to embrace it, which is all the more reason for going back to basics with the sleep well, eat well, exercise well thing.  Duck and cover for the next six months or so till the phase is over?  Well, not quite, but I will be treading choppy water.

Hopefully, though, now I see how anything that affects me indirectly affects the family, I can somehow get in touch with my serene alter ego and everyone will calm down.  Short-fused five-year-olds included.

Thank heavens for blogging.  I doubt I would have worked it out otherwise.


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