My daughter just turned 2 on the 3rd of June. She has been slooowly working her way up to these tantrums. I have been doing my best to try and handle them accordingly. I bought the book Happiest Toddler on the Block(HTOTB), and of course I've already googled the crap out of any thing having to do with tantrums, including attachment parenting and tantrums. I understand everything I'm reading. I agree with, and wholeheartedly believe in everything I've read that pertains to taking care of tantrums in a very calm and loving way. It's just when it comes down to actually following through during the tantrum I have a VERY hard time doing it. I am good for about 1-2 minutes of it, then my blood starts to boil. I get extremely upset with her. I know that I shouldn't, because she is unable to handle herself, and she needs me to be her happy medium to help her cool down and regroup, but a lot of the time I find it SO hard to do. I don't have a journal that I keep, I'm no good at that, but I have been noticing that I usually start to get mad when she won't say anything but "NO!" or (even worse, because I KNOW for a fact, and trust me on this, that she doesn't have to go) "POOOTTTTYYYY!". I understand that she doesn't want to do whatever it is we are doing, whether it be getting in the car, going to bed, or, occasionally, going for a walk. I also get really ticked off when I seem to start getting a handle on the situation (she's not screaming and I'm able to talk to her in a normal voice), and she kicks me in my stomach or arms. Like in the book HTOTB (which I mentioned above) he says to acknowledge the underlying problem. For example, she doesn't need to use the potty, she just doesn't want to get in the car seat. So, I say to her, "Jasmine, I know you want down. You don't want to be in your car seat. You want to go play!" and so on. This gets her attention. She stops crying. I run those lines past her a few more times. Then I tell her, "But, Jasmine, right now it's not time to play. It's time to go to the store/park/see the kitties(petco)"...and it starts all over! I feel like I must be doing something wrong
Last night it came to a head. She woke up screaming in the middle of the night, so I rushed to her side and told her that I was there, and everything would be ok. I tried to console her. I asked if she wanted up, to which she responded with a very angry, "NO!!!". She was throwing a huge fit in her bed so I felt like I should pick her up. At that point she blew her lid...And so did I. I went from trying to console her nicely, to being very, VERY angry with her, and back again. I tried everything I knew of, but nothing was working. Finally I swatted her (cloth diapered) butt a few times (which I now completely regret, because it obviously didn't do anymore than hurt her feelings) and put her in our bed, with dh and left the room. Se threw a fit, because I left. I calmed down I went in and picked her up and she calmed down. Well, she'd calmed down enough that we walked back to her room. I sit with her for a few moments while I tell her calmly that it's night time, the stars are out, everyone is sleeping, and she should be too. I lay her in bed and sit by her in hopes she will calm down. She was not having it and refused to calm down at all. She was screeching and her voice was cutting in and out she was screaming so hard, all because I laid her down, after she'd calmed down and we'd talked about it. I was furious. We were supposed to be getting up in 3 hours to go to Disneyland (which is not something we stressed on her, so I know that she wasn't anxious about it. We've been lots of times, it's not big deal)...I grabbed her and took her back to our bed and started all over again. This time she wasn't having any of it. I tried sitting her on my lap and talking to her, but she was uncontrollable. I had to restrain her from hitting me and kicking me. I try so hard to do the right thing, but in a moment of complete anger I swatted her again. I am still feeling horrible about it. I didn't know what to do. I tried laying down with her, I tried rocking her (she hates/hated that). I tried singing. Nothing. She was throwing the biggest tantrum ever right in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. (I also do not believe this was a night terror)
Eventually she fell asleep with us. About a half hour later she woke up kind of crying, so I asked her what was wrong. She said she needed to potty. I asked her if she needed to go, really, and if I could take her diaper off, and she let me. We went to the potty, and she went. She was happy she went, and so was I. We wiped, and she started playing with the side of the tub. I sat next to her and talked to her about how it's still night time, and we needed to go lay down. She, of course, resisted, so I picked her up and took her to the bedroom where I was going to put her diaper on. She would not let me put it on, and at this point I have only had 2 hours of sleep, and was supposed to be waking up in 1 more. I know she didn't know that, but my emotions were getting the best of me. I am not going to do a play by play, because it literally took me 5 minutes (should have taken 5 seconds) to get her diaper back on. I, again, out of desperation, swatted her thigh a couple of times. Looking back, I see that these did either nothing at all, or hurt her feelings. At the time, I was hoping there might be something to it, no matter how against it I was/am. After trying every other way to calm her down and coax her into letting me get her diaper on, I had to restrain her while I fumbled all the snaps on. I finally got them on but she had made me so mad at that point I couldn't be around her so I left the room and told dh that he needed to handle the situation because I was afraid I would actually hurt her. He didn't handle it as well as I would have liked, but at least he wasn't yelling at her. I cried and regained composure and went in and she screamed and kicked and yelled then finally fell asleep.
I am sorry that was so long, but I don't know what got into her last night. She was awake, because when I could finally get her to calm down for a few seconds she would be calm and talk about the wall, the light, the window, or ask what something was. I would respond to her, then get right back to what was important, which was her going to sleep, and she'd throw a fit, just like the ones she throws during the day.
I don't know how much of this I can handle. She has tantrums from time to time, but with the right approach they are avoided usually. Yesterday was a perfect day. Only 1 minor set back, and she was ok. She took a great nap, and woke up happy. Had a good dinner and a nice calm down time before bed. I sat by her bed as she fell asleep. She didn't throw a fit, but she did protest a bit. She fell asleep great, and slept great until about 2 something when she woke up like she did.
I know what I did was wrong. Yelling at her, hitting her, and being mean is not the right thing to do. It's not what I want to teach her either. But, in my useless defense (because I do KNOW that I was wrong), nothing was working. She screamed and cried for, not 5-10 minutes, but a half hour!
I don't know what I am doing here. I have all the information. I just don't know what to do. I feel like I am quite possibly the worst mother ever. I do know that there is people out there who do worse things to their kids, but thinking back, how she felt seeing me so angry was probably really scary, and that is why I feel so bad. I should never make her feel scared of me. I am the one who is supposed to make her NOT scared anymore. Has anyone been through anything like this? I just want to curl up in a ball and cry all day. How can I raise my daughter right if I can't help her through these tantrums. I would say that 2-3 out of 5 times we handle the tantrums pretty well,the other part of the time I just can't handle it anymore.
What do I do? I try to AP in so many ways, but I know I have failed at some. I didn't breastfeed, because I didn't know how important it was until it was too late to even consider re-lactation. Is it possible that I can try as hard as I possibly can to never let that kind of thing happen, and hopefully grow out of my own tantrums without going to someone outside the home? Is it possible that she will not be affected by my bad behavior as long as I can make sure to never let it happen again? I want to fix it so bad, but I'm so scared that there is nothing I can do to take back or at least cancel out what I did.
Again, I'm so sorry about the length of this. I really needed an outlet. My daughter is acting like nothing ever happened now, but how am I to know that it didn't affect her? I can only recall 1-3 times I was ever spanked or had a tantrum, but obviously something my parents did made me who I am today, and that is someone who is NOT attached to my parents, and also someone who has a hard time doing what she believes in. My parents where never abusive, so that's why I am afraid that even though I am nowhere NEAR abusive, since a swat is, although not desirable, pretty far, in my opinion, from actual abuse, that she will be forever scarred from this incident and all the times I have yelled at her.
Thank you in advance, even if all I get is a place on the internet to write down my thoughts. And also for the posts and articles I have read this morning that I will take with me to help get through this phase.