Before you think I am about to talk about the acronym ROFL – Rolling on the Floor with Laughter, let me assure you, I am not.
Pari has recently (say since two weeks) acquired a new way of throwing a tantrum. She lets out blood curdling screams on my every attempt to
take replace the item she has laboriously sneaked from anywhere in the house, that I consider at a risk of breaking or hurting her.
Usually I give up being shaken by her angry shrilling cries and if by any chance I act stubborn and refuse to let go (in case the item is a serious threat, including my parent’s reading glasses) Pari tries all her strength to pull the object from my grip and then suddenly releases it. Yeah, she is that clever at this tender age to know implications of Newton’s third law.
But, being her mum I too have mastered the art of acting as if I am imbalanced and let her be happy momentarily while I act in that moment to get hold of the object in question and put it where Pari can’t reach it.
Not ready to see her tricks fail and lose the almost won battle along with the object she’d been fancying for a while, she immediately dives on the floor. Pari has hurt herself on innumerable occasions doing so, but that hasn’t deterred her from trying it again the very next second if need be. She’ll roll on the floor crying in rage, till someone comes to her rescue.
Initially, her grandparents used to give into her demands but that was only adding fuel to the existing stubbornness. I have been playing pretty strong so far (*touch wood*) not giving into her tricks, but many times it gets very difficult to ignore your wailing child especially when you have company of outsiders at your home.
I have no clue what has gifted me the strength to think beyond ‘log kya sochenge’ for I have successfully been able to find a solution to this ‘threatening- to-become-chronic’ problem. I have seen my mother often getting agitated by the worry of people questioning our parenting skills seeing Pari misbehave. Though I think otherwise.
I agree, every child needs to be taught to behave well but that doesn’t mean that instead of trying to understand what’s actually going on in a child’s mind we try to be overly harsh just to get in control of the situation and appear to be parents / grand parents of a very well-disciplined child.
On more than one occasion, I have overheard our domestic help asking Pari if she was crying because her mother had beaten her. Yeah, it actually appears so for the inconsolable way she cries when she is throwing a tantrum. It can be a painful situation to be in, but being a single parent wasn’t going to be easy right from the start, so let the trials make me stronger.
Pari can’t be reasoned at the time she’s rolling on the floor for she is very angry and in no mood to accept any form of explanation or cajoling of any sort. Given the fact that she is barely two years old, I actually understand that it’ll be a while when I can talk her through such tantrums. But, this understanding doesn’t help resolve the issue anyway.
Like every parent, I too took a while before I cracked the puzzle by noting, that my child loves audience for everything she does. Be it good or bad. So if I let her enjoy the exercise of rolling on the floor without worrying about her ruining her brand new dress or as to what people will think or say, she stops crying in matter of 20 seconds at maximum and gets up, dusts her dress and gets back to her mischief or to check where I am.
In a nutshell, ‘Ignoring’ is doing the trick when ‘Distraction’ has stopped being effective. But, ‘distraction’ is the ultimate winner, for once Pari gets up and wipes her tears, begins thinking like she normally does I jump on the distraction wagon to prevent any relapses.
It’s fun reflecting back, for I am amazed at the number of tricks I play to keep my baby safe and happy on one single day, juggling everything else on the side. It is a perfect balance of being patient and observant that can actually help a parent seek answers to the countless challenges life poses every single moment. I too am learning the ropes, albeit slowly.
The song on my mind: Rona kabhi nahin rona ~ Apna Desh