I know there are a lot of books on how to cope and engage with your child during the tough times. But sometimes you’ve just got to follow your gut. It’s comforting to hear homegrown solutions from friends and family when they’ve neared the end of their rope, it’s reassuring to know you’re not the first one to resort to screaming into a pillow.
The other day I called my sister and asked her what she was up to, she told me, quite casually, that she and her husband were in the bathroom hiding from their children. That they had a difficult morning and did not want to continue with the yelling or whining. They both needed a minute of peace and quiet; the bathroom was their only escape. I laughed at first and then thought “whatever works”, coping is coping. Lord knows there have been a few times where I have had to give myself a grown-up time-out, or as I like to call it ‘taking a breather’. For me this means walking away from the tantrum and and taking respite in my bedroom just long enough to take some deep breaths and count to 10 (100 would be lovely…I never get past 10). Simply that relief of walking away typically gives me the perspective I need to deal with the situation.
Recently a friend, who was feeling defeated by her disgruntled son, offered me her creative solution. She started singing their argument out loud, which stopped her son mid-holler and toy-toss. Mostly out of shock we both concluded. This, along with the ‘dancing method’ (where you start dancing wildly to distract your child and lightened the mood) are all worth a shot, it may not be scientific or in a best-selling book but in a pinch we’re willing to try anything.