As part of my thinking about distraction as a means of dealing with anger, I’ve been watching my kids today and evaluating my responses to their fussiness.
Bethel incident #1: wanted to be held as I was putting her down in order to get myself dressed. As she started to cry, I just said “Mommy is going to get dressed. I will hold you when I come back.” She cried, but I didn’t try to distract her. I just left. She got over it pretty quickly.
Bethel incident #2: Bethel is trying to get on footstool and can’t do it. She cries in frustration. I’m trying to get her to ask for help when she is frustrated (instead of just helping her automatically). So I said, “Do you need help? Say ‘help me.'” And then after a short time of silence I help her up. I’ve never heard her say anything close to help, but when she demonstrates she can, I’ll probably make her say it in order to help.
David incident #1: David wants junk food for snack, and I offered him applesauce or orange instead. He’s pretty weepy. I hold him, and ask him if he would like to go lie down (it’s pretty early for a morning nap, but he’s acting tired and he was up at 6:30am). I forgot his blanket was being laundered and not yet dry, and he started wailing. I didn’t really try to distract him, but I did hold him for awhile. I told him to stop crying, and he did. We talked a little bit (about the coming baby), which I would consider a form of distracting. I figured I’d hold him until his blanket was dry. But grandpa came into the room and started playing with the kids, and they’ve been okay for the last half hour. I’ll probably put them both down for a nap shortly.