It’s no secret that Gus can throw pretty wicked temper tantrums. It’s no surprise we’ve had our fair share of power struggles surrounding them. But today we had a breakthrough! And it’s a pretty significant one!
For those of you who don’t know me, I talk with my hands. A lot. When I get excited, it’s even worse. If someone were to tie my hands up when I was upset, I would probably be rendered speechless.
Back to the breakthrough.
I can’t count the number of times when Gus is having a meltdown that he screams or cries at me, “Stop it. Stop doing that. I don’t like that.”
Prior to today, I’ve always thought that he was telling me to stop it because he knew he was in trouble and didn’t want to be disciplined. Or he was expressing dislike because I was telling him no about something he wanted to do or that he had to stop doing something he was already doing. I’ve gotten so used to him wailing for me to stop that I just ignore it and instruct him to listen to me. I don’t know why today was any different.
I can’t remember what started the tantrum. It doesn’t matter. All I know is that I was eye to eye with him while he was crying, “Stop it. Stop it. I don’t like it.” For some reason, I stopped in my tracks. It dawned on me that I’ve never asked him what he was talking about. I’ve simply assumed I knew.
“What do you mean, Gus?” I asked. “What don’t you like?”
“That. I don’t like that.” He whined pointing at my finger. Pointing right at the finger that was pointing in his face.
“You don’t like mommy’s finger here?” I asked like an idiot. Who likes a finger in their face?
He nodded. “I don’t like it.”
I put my hands down at my sides and continued talking. Gus was instantly calm and pleasant. He became completely agreeable. I can’t believe it. I feel like such an idiot. I always make sure I am at eye level when I’m correcting Gus’s behavior or having a serious conversation with him. Turns out when I’m excited and angry with him, this is what I look like.
(Photo Credit: Examiner.Com)
Who could possibly respond positively to this? Certainly not me. And apparently, not Gus either. I’m a bit disappointed in myself. I wish I had known I was doing this. I wish I would have listened to my son earlier. Even though I’m feeling like a shitty parent tonight, I’m also hopeful.
If I stop pointing my finger at Gus’s face, does this mean he’s going to stop throwing tantrums?