The Dad is home and has already taken one of Hope’s three tantrums. The girls are out walking with MK and I am contemplating my week. So far, this is what I have:
- There is no such thing as instant love. I empathize with Hope, I am committed to Hope, I am careful to give her affection. However, in the 2 1/2 months she has been legally ours and living with us, I have not fallen in love with her. I am careful to be honest and sensitive with her, and for now, that is good enough.
- I find her rages easier to handle than her tantrums. She has so many tantrums, for so many reasons, each one needs to be thought about individually as I monitor myself to try and ensure she is not penalized if I run out of patience. It is almost a relief when a tantrum morphs into a rage, as rages I can handle on auto-pilot. I also tend end up with more bruises during tantrums.
- Hope is not ready to handle being out and about. It always results in more tantrums. Not having the time out chair and the big red timer with us is part of the reason she tantrums more. She is still a concrete thinker and is better able to not tantrum with those reminders right in front of her. I think more of it is because, while she is experiencing some security at home, it is much too new to hold on to in overstimulating situations. And since before we got her she never went anywhere, all situations away from the house are new and overstimulating.
- Two parents allow one to deal with the child who is raging or tantruming, while the other can keep the house routine as normal as possible.
- The Dad and I are not 100% in sync. When Hope crosses the line, which at least is pretty much the same for both of us, I count slowly to three, which is currently as high as Hope can always count to, and when I hit three, the consequence is activated. The Dad is prone to give her more chances to comply, after three and try to reason her into compliance. The down side to this, is that Hope never expects a consequence when I hit three. The advantage of the Dad’s method is he can sometimes sidestep a tantrum altogether.
The walk is over, and the girls are back. Any feedback is welcome.