Throughout all the transitions and changes our family has been going through these past few weeks, I have worried and worried and worried over little Bean Bean.Â I worried because he didn’t seem to notice anything was going on (is he mentally able to process change?!?!).Â I worried when he cried before I put him to bed at night (was he scared in his new bedroom?!?!).Â I worried when we momentarily lost Mr. Bear during the move (will he ever forgive me?!?!).
Turns out, I worried for no good reason.
Apparently, Bean got his father’s stress aversion gene and there doesn’t seem to be much that stresses this kid out.
Bean has spent his first days in our new house pretty much like he spent the two weeks at my parents house and the five months before that at our rental house.
In fact, Bean has walked around our new house like he owns the joint.
The only difference in his personality (and I’m not even sure this is related to moving) is his reaction to understanding that some things don’t belong to him – like the medicine drawer or the closet where we keep the cleaning supplies or the grill tongs or (…sigh…) the dog bowls.Â When Chris or I take something away from him lately, Bean has the most shocking response I’ve ever seen.
It is so shocking, actually, that I have taken pictures to document the response in case medical science needs to look further into it.
When reprimanded and/or restrained, the subject seems to cry out in physical pain and then fling itself onto the hard floor where said subject then wallows, stopping only to look up and see if the parental figures have noticed and then continuing the wallow in spectacular fashion.
Bean is in the process of perfecting the art of temper tantrums.
Naturally, I blame his grandparents.
When we were staying at my parent’s house, it was like Christmas morning every day.Â Bean never had to lift a finger.Â Life was all Tonka trucks and golf carts.Â In fact, I saw Bean several times walk up to my mother, open his mouth, and wait for her to place a morsel of food in his mouth.
Bean was livin’ the life.
But then we move into our new house and my parents stayed at their house and Bean seems to have connected those two things and come to the conclusion that he must now do menial tasks such as feeding himself by himself. Like a commoner.Â So, to protest he gives out a war cry of fake anguish and then flings himself on the floor next to whomever is closest to him and he begins to roll around and fake cry.
I know he is fake crying because he stops occasionally to look up and see if Chris and I are looking (we never do) and then he scoots closer to us and goes back to the wailing/fake crying thing.
Drama, drama, drama.
We are responding by using a method we learned in (…wait for it…wait for it…) our dog training classes.
Awful, I know.Â But I actually have read the same method, though phrased differently, in parenting books, too.Â We are just ignoring him.Â We don’t make eye contact.Â We don’t react.Â We don’t interact.Â We just ignore him.Â Sometimes this is hard to do.Â Like when I’m cooking dinner and he has decided to throw himself down in the middle of the kitchen.Â But, I just step over him and continue on my way.
When the tantrum ends (and it always does) and he stops the fake crying, we go over to him and ask him what he wants.Â He either says the word (ball, outside, juice, etc.) or he points to what he wants and then we tell him what a good boy he is and we give him what he has calmly asked for and then we all move on with our day.
I have no idea if that’s the right way to handle the situation, but I’m guessing that if there is more than one way to perform an exorcism, then there must be more than one way to deal with a toddler meltdown because they have a lot of similarities, I would imagine.
What about YOU?Â How do you deal with temper tantrums?