Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Out-of-body, off-the-hook tantrum

William had an outofbody kind of tantrum tonight.  I have no idea what started it but it was off the hook.  Actually, I do know what started it.  He was standing in the car after we'd pulled in from karate and I asked him to get out so I could shut the door.  He looked at me and said, "No."  Ummmm, what was that?  Then he said, "I don't always have to do what you say."  Ummmmmm, ok.  Then I grabbed his arm and hauled his ass out of the car.  I shut the door calmly and the girls and I walked up the driveway.  He stood in the driveway and howled.  He came in the house and threw himself onto the couch and when I walked by he actually threw a pillow at me.  I'm telling you, it was off the hook.  I have to say, I think one of my greatest qualities is being able to remain calm in ridiculously crazy situations like this.  I calmly took him and put him in his room without saying anything to him.  He slammed his door behind me and when I turned around and went right back in to deal with that, he huddled on his bed and just sobbed.  He's a good boy who knows right from wrong and his outbursts are few and far between which is why this was kind of unsettling to me.  He was taken over by something else and snapped out of it after quite a few bad choices.  Anyway, after about 30 minutes he was back to normal and he apologized and was able to come back downstairs and that was that.  No dwelling on it, it was over.  I said my piece while upstairs, he had to say his before he was allowed back down and that was it.  We went on and had a nice dinner.

Fast forward to bedtime tonight.  William wanted to take my iPhone to bed with him so he could play games.  I said, "If you were the parent and you had a child who totally freaked out, said hurtful words, and slammed their bedroom door earlier in the day, would you allow them to take an iPhone to bed and play games?"  He thought about it for a minute and then he said, "I wouldn't allow my kid to, but I think you should allow me to."  I said, "I'm going to leave it up to you.  You do what you think you deserve."  He took the phone upstairs with him but this is what I found when I went to go check on him a little later.

See the phone there on the ladder to his bunk bed?  And it was still on the the last thing I'd looked at as opposed to one of his games when I turned it on.  He's only 4 but he made a good decision for himself tonight, I think.  He's a good boy.  That craziness this afternoon is something I hope to not see again for a long time.  I think he feels the same way.  It must be hard to be 4 sometimes.


  1. I think you went a long way today in lessening that sort of behavior in the future. He was testing the boundaries as boys do and your firm and rational approach demonstrated plainly to him who's the boss...and it ain't Tony Danza...it's you! 3 cheers for you!!!

  2. Ashley, I think it partly has something to do with them being 4. Joelle is like William...a good girl who is such a rule follower...but not too long ago, she did something like this. Totally out of the blue and out of nature. You handled it so well, and I always learn from you. That's a paycheck right there :).

  3. This is all normal. Sometimes their little brains are working and growing and synapsing and they feel so independant and in control and then WHAM having to get out of the car when he's feeling on top of his world just makes him snap. I'm so glad that he has a Mom who has taught him the skills to be able to calm himself down (eventually) and learn from his behavior.



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