Mama’s In Charge – Managing Conflict With Your Kids

toddler managing conflictYou’re in the bathroom. All by yourself. When did going to the bathroom alone become such a luxury? You wonder if your husband realizes how lucky he is to go to the bathroom without an audience.

Suddenly, you hear screams from the play room. It was too good to be true. What were you thinking going to the bathroom all alone? The screams intensify. You run down the hall, pausing for a quick pep talk. Whatever happens in there, you’ve got this. You are the adult. You are in control. You are in control.

“I WANTED THAT TOY!!!!” Junior is pissed. He grabs a stuffed monkey from his sister. She is crying. He is yelling. You still have to pee. How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen already told you lecturing, yelling, and blaming is out. So what options does a Mom have now?

State your Feelings:

In your best mom voice – “HEY!!! I don’t like you grabbing toys from your sister!” Ok, good. That sounded legit. Even you believed it.

Make Amends:

“You need to give that toy back to your sister. You can have a turn when she is finished. Can you find something else?” Full disclosure here – you gave it back to his sister for him. But let’s just say this is progress. At least she isn’t crying anymore.

Offer Choices:

“BUT I WANTED THAT ONE!!! I LOVE THAT TOY!” Love seems like a strong word here, he has literally never played with that toy once in his life. Regardless, you attempt to tame this tantrum.

“I know buddy you REALLY love that monkey. I wish we had another one just like it. Do you want to play with the hippo or dragon until she is done?”

Umm… That didn’t work. He is still freaking out. You’d heard of love at first sight. Maybe this is it. The screams grow louder. You are in over your head now. Your palms begin to sweat. You do not feel in control.

“Screaming hurts my ears. You can play with the monkey when your sister is finished. You can find a new toy, or continue to scream in your room.” He screams louder.

Take Action Without Insult:

“It looks like you are too upset right now. You can scream in your room and come out when you’re ready to calm down.”  You pick him up, tucked under one arm like a football, and carry him to his room. You’re thankful you live in a one story house.

He chases you out of his room screaming and pulling on your shirt. “You can come out when you are done screaming.” You calmly put him back in his room and shut the door. You hold the door shut. You have flashbacks of doing this before.

He stops screaming. He asks to come out,  he wants to watch the iPad. It’s not ideal, but you will take it! Who’s in control now beeeeyotch? Mommy Ninja strikes again. You karate kick the air. I hope he didn’t see that…

In all the drama, you almost forgot you still need to pee. You tell him you will get the iPad right after you go to the bathroom. He asks to come with you. Of course….

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