I turned myself in to AMA today, Anger Management Anonymous. I have never raised my voice to my wife in the 11 years that we have been married, but that doesn't stop me from yelling at my kids. I have a 5 year old girl and a 2 year old boy and they are really good kids. Our daughter never gave us an ounce of trouble until our son turned 2 in June. It really started before he was 1 when he started getting most of the attention you could see her doing whatever she could to be recognized too. Now that they are old enough to interact it seems that the past 2 months there have been more negatives than positives. First off our son started getting "bullying" reports from church. Then when he started his daycare late July he was receiving bad reports too.
My daughter has mastered negotiating and she is extremely jealous and possessive while my son is mischevious and onery. One night this week while driving home after dining at Arby's they both started bickering and when I looked back he had a hand full of her hair. He was suprised when some came out and stuck to his shake sticky hands. What was I to do, I was driving? It all came to a head this morning when during the 20 minutes that we have together before heading out to school the "MINE" followed with screaming and hitting started. Both received their consequence. Then my son insisted on having a sippy cup that was full of soured milk. When I gave him a new one he threw a tantrum and reached for the sink where I had just sprayed for ants.
"STOP IT!" I yelled. Then I realized that I just yelled at a 2 year old. All of my Love and Logic training for dealing with behavioral children just went out the window. I thought about it all day and still struggle with how to get control of my kids and their bickering. It has gotten to the point where it is easier to split them up between mommy and daddy and go out seperately. Or take long drives and hope he doesn't yank out her hair.
While driving they can fight over the horses they see out their windows. "MINE" they both claim as it turned into a tennis match of MINES.
What to do?
At least tonight after they played in the sprinkler they both went down without a fight. Praise God!