Monday, March 3, 2014

Parenting: Handling the Manic Stages of an Almost Three-Year-Old

Oh. My. Goodness. 

While I don't work on a psychiatric ward in a hospital, I work with patients who have psychiatric illnesses (in combination with other health issues). I **don't** take the use of psychiatric terms lightly. I dislike despise the casual/inappropriate use of words like "retard" and "schizo" and often do a double-take because a lot of people use those words...people who would never ever think about using other derogatory terms (but for some reason, these terms are considered acceptable?)

Let me step off of that soap box. 

I'm making this statement in all sincerity. I've worked with patients with bipolar disorder, and I cannot shake how much the moods of an almost 3-year-old resemble manic episodes. I made that realization recently and a friend of mine made that same comparison about her kiddo who is around the same age.

Miss S just stopped crying/screaming/tantruming.

It was at least a 10 minute affair.

It's been happening almost daily at nap time. 

I've read great plans about instituting a rest time, and maybe I'm doing it all wrong. (I believe it works for some people, and folks, I'm jealous!) 

Rest time doesn't work for her. She doesn't stay in her room. We've tried the "putting her back into her bed" routine for every time she comes out of her room. It worked for us at bedtime. For naps, it ends up being an hour-long affair, and I'm still carrying her into her room and putting her into her bed. Then both of us are frazzled, and we've made no progress.

Nap time is what she needs. NEEDS. But, boy is that girl stubborn.

The "screaming with giant tears rolling down her flushed cheeks & becoming as limp as possible so she can't be picked up" (aka tantrum) lasts probably about 15-20 minutes (on average), although it can feel like it lasts forever.

Yesterday I just held her until she tired herself out. 

Remember the missing chapters of the parenting manual? These pages must have been torn out, too.
Rewind back to this morning. 

Miss S spent a few hours with her grandma and grandpa and was, "an angel." I believe it. She has her times (probably 65-70% of the time) when I just get lost in the moments: watching her play make-believe or deep belly laughing or learning new words or running around outside or coloring or making "art work" or singing.

I love that girl with all my heart and soul. It's probably why it hurts so much when she's so angry & frustrated & exhausted & stubborn all rolled into one. And because I don't know how to right that wrong. 

Some people have told me the terrible-2s can last into the 3s? I'm really praying that's not the case. 

It doesn't help that she got stubborn x2. That just might be a quality that her mama and daddy share...(Mom, I'm sure you're laughing/shaking your head in agreement. I remember fighting nap time more than once.) 

My goal for the next post? No venting...

Instead, maybe a post about the other 65-70% of the time.

Like this picture:

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