It would be great to work on internal motivation to correct X’s constant tantrums and meltdowns. However, with 2 kids, a new job and a crazy social calendar, I procrastinated. Of course, there was part of me in denial and wishing that X’s behavior would magically transform for the better.
At the back of my mind, I always thought he acted up from the lack of dedicated attention as well as the quick fixes (kiddy bribes) when Mr H wanted immediate cooperation. It did not necessarily meant that second-time parenting got any easier despite experience.
However, we were lucky to have prompt help when my friend knew of our predicament. She had built up a library of books addressing various children’s behavioral issues.
She selected these books for us.
I read X one of these books where we learned about the frustration triangle. I had thought the book was too complex for a preschooler but X understood. Shortly after reading this book, X went into one of those moods. I gestured by putting two hands together to form a triangle and reminded him, “Frustration triangle, baby.. you got to name it!”
X actually calmed down and checked himself. It happened over two incidents. I was sufficiently impressed.
We went on to the angry octopus and learned about breathing techniques. It was so repetitive that X went “ahhh” after a while. I got him to lie down and pretend that he was the angry octopus, so he liked the breathing activities. Hope we would not need to try this too soon.
I was glad to have some ideas on how to handle and took my hats off to those parents who looked after more children.