Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday Moments: The Public Temper Tantrum

If it happens, it happens only in a public place.

The first time it happened with my kid, I was pregnant with surprise baby #2, in the middle of midterms at school and completely exhausted. These days Bryson still takes naps. Against my better judgement, I took him to church in the middle of the afternoon. I want him there and I want to be there. Just church from one to four o'clock doesn't exactly coincide with our nap schedule.

On this particular occasion, I had yet to make it through even half of sacrament meeting and Bryson was done. I vented a mental, crap!, and quickly took him out into the foyer. Not wanting to let him into the habit of playing all through church, I tried to keep him either on my lap or in my arms. Being pregnant makes this uncomfortable and my patience wears thin at the slightest annoyance. Before long, Bryson was playing in the curtains in the foyer. Great.

Long story short, we made it through the entire sacrament meeting without incident and then it came to hour number two. Attempting to hand him off to dad so I could go participate in my duties is when the whining commenced. Bryson screamed, took off running and literally flung himself on the floor a few aisles down.

So here is my dilemma: What do you do? All the great parenting books say to remove them from the area and give them a time-out in the car. Yeah. Right. Toddlers consistently have tantrums at the most inopportune moments, usually when everyone is tired and has a handful of things to do. I was not about to abandon my responsibilities on account of my screaming kid. You can give in to what the kid wants. Again, yeah right. Bryson may have been tired, but that was one fight from which I was not about to back down. I didn’t want Bryson to learn that to get what he wants, all he needs to do is throw an incredible fit.

So please, share all your mothering wisdom and tell everyone what works for you!


Troy and Jen said...

I have been to the car for time out during church many times. Now, Cache is 4 and when we even mention time out in the car, he shapes right up :) It is hard when they are younger. You can't always take them to the car (the mother's room works too.. haha), for us, we tried to be as consistent as we could. It will happen again, but I tried not to let my emotions run when he got out of hand. It is all normal and it will happen many times. I know we are headed that direction again with our 1 year old... sigh... GOOD LUCK!

Brecca said...

Brooklynn is such a good girl (I'm scared for how Bryce will turn out). I remember once while in church Brooklynn acted up and I took her out and let her know how important it was for the two of us to be here. Kids are all different but with age comes more understanding of rules and how to act in different places.

y3aland said...

I don't know how old Bryson is, but it takes time to teach your kids how to act at church. Mine are 7 and 4 and we finally feel like we can get something out of church, just in time for me to have #3!
Depending on the type of child he is, finding a quite spot for him to express his frustration may help him deal with it better. The trick is to make sure it's not a "fun" place to go, i.e. don't let him go play with toys in the nursery or in your car, or where there's other friends to socialize with.
I've always told my kids that when they are in control of their emotions we will join our friends in church. 11-2 isn't the greatest schedule either! I prefer 9-12 for that reason! Good luck!

Simply Lulu Boutique said...

Sundays are such torture sometimes!

With Lu, from the very beginning, we never let her down when we were sitting in the pews or in the folding chairs during class. No blankets on the floor with toys, no wandering between mom and dad in the pew. Laps only. We knew that the minute her little feet touched the floor she would be off like a bolt of lightning and would likely throw a fit if we tried to pick her back up. Now that she is trained, for the most part we do pretty well. Just a thought for the next one.

Church is NEVER at a good time, its either disrupting a meal or a nap, neither of which can be adjusted/missed with a 15 month old! I pray almost daily that the brethren will somehow switch to a 2 hour block and give us mommies a break!!!

Bobbi Lee said...

Thanks for all your suggestions! Nice to know I'm not the only one out there who's had a fit thrown at church.