For the past month I've been attending a weekly Effective Parenting classes.
Ken assures me that I don't need to go since, "only losers need parenting classes." I'll be sure to tell all his coworkers what "losers" they are next week when we're talking about temperament in small group discussion.
On the contrary, working towards effective parenting is akin to seeking super hero status. Most of us parent in autopilot. Some of us have a better autopilot than others. It's hard as heck, when faced head on with a parenting issue, to switch off that autopilot and say, "and now I'm going to Parent Effectively." One almost needs to dive into that phone booth and come out wearing a costume with a big EP emblazoned on the chest.
Effective Parenting class has given me the opportunity to evaluate temper tantrums, jot down notes about them and brainstorm how they could have been avoided. Here are a few from last week.
situation: H threw a tantrum at preschool because he didn't want to leave.
solution: Mommy should wait in the mini van until preschool teachers escort H out.
situation: H threw a tantrum when I wouldn't let him eat the three M&Ms from his Valentine booty that fell on the dining room floor.
solution: Keep floor clean.
situation: H threw a tantrum when he didn't get to the kitchen door fast enough to watch Nana's car leave.
solution: Send H with Nana.
situation: H threw a tantrum when sorting buttons because he perceived C as having more buttons than him.
solution: Buttons? Why do we have buttons in the house? Aren't they a choking hazard?
situation: H&C both threw tantrums over their inability to share toys.
solution: Toys? We have toys in the house? Well they have to go. Everyone knows they cause problems.
Good thing there's another 10 weeks to go in the class.
song: Angry Young Man • artist: Billy Joel