The Dad Is Home and What I Learned

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.

4 thoughts on “The Dad Is Home and What I Learned

  1. Hello there, I found your blog through another adoption blog and took a little time to read back through your story. Looks like you are a great mamma to some wonderful kids! Anyways, I thought I'd stop by and leave a comment so you know I'm reading. :)Bailee

  2. The only thought I have is that you and Dad have to sync up. We have had this here at our house and it was not deliberate on anyone's part just different caregivers do things a bit differently but with our concrete thinkers … you end up spinning your wheels instead of getting results. All of which I know you know cause you are an awesome Mommy and the Dad is awesome too! You are doing an amazing job and it sounds like there is progress despite the exhaustion along the journey! Hugs!

  3. My husband always leaves it to me to count to 3. And I always take action if I get to 3. Then he has to deal with the tantrum. He is too soft to stick with "3", and I read too many things saying basically, "don't waffle at 3". It makes his brain work better at solving the problem-at-hand, though, as he tries to find a solution before I get to 3. It also, of course, makes me the total bad guy and our family dynamics are BAD. My suggestion? Your husband shouldn't start counting until after he's tried the other things.

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