Yesterday we invited some friends over for lunch after church.
They have four children and the youngest two are our children's ages.
Dominic really enjoyed himself and was so upset to see them leave.
But I think he's paying for it today. He had a bit too much stimulation yesterday and can't seem to focus or pay attention this morning. After repeatedly getting in trouble I had a talk with him and held him for quite some time. This seemed to help until right after lunch.
I had asked him to pick out which videos and books he wanted for his quiet time.
For some reason this was a very hard job and he started crying and mouthing off. I sent him to his room until he could calm down. Unfortunately this had the opposite effect and he started screaming and kicking his door.
Caitlin was already asleep and I was afraid that he was going to wake her up.
So I bundled him up and put him outside on the back steps, hoping that he would get cold and would calm down quickly. I stayed outside with him for a few seconds and then went inside to get my coat. I had failed to put on shoes or a coat in my hurry to get him outdoors.
As I returned I saw a man in our back yard coming towards the patio. I went outside to hear him say
"Are you all right little boy?"
Dominic was horrified that somebody had heard him crying.
Turns out the man was my neighbors son and could hear Dominic screaming from inside the house so had come over to make sure that he was okay.
I thanked him for coming, but told him that Dominic was fine.
Dominic, by this time, had completely quit crying and was hiding his head in embarrassment.
Poor little guy!
When he's upset there just isn't anything that I can do to calm him down. Normally I wouldn't have sent him outside, but he just wouldn't stop screaming. I was at my wits end to come up with something.
It will be a long time before I have to use that method again.
Dominic was so embarrassed that the mere mention of going outside to calm down will probably work wonders. When I asked him if he felt better after he screamed he said no. After talking to him, he said it didn't help to scream, in fact his stomach hurt. It didn't get him what he wanted or make him think better. So WHY would you put yourself through that just because you are frustrated? I guess I'll never know why. I'm just thankful that this doesn't happen very often.
I had a discussion with my friend yesterday about how before we had children we used to be so judgmental of parents. "Oh, I'll NEVER do that when I'm a parent."
And how many times have we had to eat our words.
My friend mentioned once before her children came she had watched a parent get frustrated and knew she'd never react that way.
And now? Now we'd probably go up and offer to help the poor mom. At the very least we say a prayer for her and smile at her in total understanding.
We've been there and done that - probably yesterday!
I never thought about this part of parenting. If I did, it was certainly with the rose colored glasses of the innocent and naive.
Now I pray every morning that I can be a better mom and have more patience and wisdom.
And at nights I thank God that I've made it through another day. Sometimes it's thanking Him that my children have not been strangled when my last nerve was jumped on and sometimes it's thanking Him for my precious smart, amazing children. =)