Cade is a rambunctious little man, and since I remember all to well what it was like feeling like my emotions were entirely outside of my control, we work hard to come up with ways to express what he is feeling and find appropriate outlets. No hitting, pushing, elbowing, headbutting, squashing, tackling, kicking, or poking other people (usually Zane) is the rule we struggle with the most.
If it’s an action out of anger it’s a definite Time Out and I remind him to call ME when he needs help with Zane and I’ll try to fix it. It get’s exhausting, but he is doing a much better job of calling for help when Zane sits on his Duplo tower instead of clonking Zane in the head with a brick. Though if I don’t respond quick enough all bets are off. Buh.
Often he just gets so stinking excited during play so he’ll chase a madly giggling Zane down the hallway and shove him. Then he gets time out. Ten minutes later repeat the scenario except he remembers not to shove him at the last minute and instead elbows him. Time out. Repeat the scenario with any of the above “no no” verbs and that is pretty much our day.
I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out an acceptable way of channeling his energy, but it struck me about a week ago that I kept telling him things in the negative, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, if he’s crying you need to STOP.” without giving him an acceptable positive alternative like I do with everything else.
He’s gotten better at “I calm down! *deep breath* 1,2,3,4,5” but only if I threaten him with a Time Out, the stinker.
When he’s feeling really excited he has the option of clapping or giving him self a big hug (instead of screaming, shrieking, and/or hitting things).
When he wants to play chase with Zane he is allowed to “tickle”. I took the time to remind him to be gentle and if Zane cries he needs to stop, but he was thrilled to finally be allowed to DO something at the end of the chase. And this is where it gets cute. Cade says, “Tickle, tickle, tickle!” repeatedly and wiggles his fingers in that pseudo pinching tickle toddlers do as he chases Zane down the hall. Yesterday I realized that the nonsense syllables Zane was spewing in between giggles wasn’t nonsense.
My 1 year old says, “Uh oh”, “duh-duh” (bye bye)….. and “tickle, tickle, tickle.”