We've been having difficulty with Maezie (now age 5) crying, sulking, and throwing fits when something doesn't go as she wants it to. This particular episode happened when it was getting near bedtime and I told Maezie to clean up her room to get ready for bed. She and Kaela had been playing together so I told her they could continue playing after she had gotten all ready for bed. Unfortunately, Kaela started cleaning up their game, which sent Maezie into a tizzy fit. This then resulted in no further game playing.....which escalated the fit.....which turned into no books before bed.....further escalation.....you get the idea.
Since the usual tactics of time-outs or being sent to her room didn't seem to be working, I decided to have a little heart-to-heart. So we cuddled on the couch and talked about not crying all the time. I said we cry when we're hurt or we cry when we're sad, but we don't cry when we don't get our way. She thought for a minute, then said "But I was sad that I couldn't play with Kaela!" Hmmm....ok then.
Maezie: one point. Mommy: zero.
There are other times when crying is not what we do--when it's Kaela's or Graeson's day to choose what we have with our lunch, we don't cry if they choose something you don't like. More pondering...."But if it's my turn to choose and I pick bananas, Graeson doesn't have to eat bananas?!" Hmmm.....true.
Maezie: two points. Mommy: zero
And on the weekends when it's Kaela and Graeson's turn to choose what we fix for lunch, if they choose something different we don't cry about that. "But when do "I" get to choose? They always choose!" You get to choose every day when you come home from kindergarten and you're with Daddy. Just like they get to choose what they pack in their lunch for school. "So they choose on school days and I choose on school days, and Saturdays are Kaela's day to cook and Sundays are Mommy's day to choose so I nevvvvver get to choose!" Hmmm.....good point.
Maezie: three points. Mommy: zero.
When it's family night and we choose a movie to watch, we don't cry if we don't choose the movie that you wanted. Sometimes we choose what Kaela or Graeson wants to watch. "But you SAID we're all supposed to choose a movie together, but they alllllways get to choose!" Hmmm....yep, that does in fact happen. (Usually because Maezie picks babyish movies that the rest of us don't want to watch!)
Maezie: four points. Mommy: zero.
So tonight when Mommy said you could still play after pajamas, but Kaela started putting the game away, we don't just start crying right away. You need to talk about it instead of cry. Thinking....thinking. "BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY!!"
Maezie: five points. Mommy: forfeit.