Anna is in a bit of a bratty stage. I’m happy to see this typical behavior and I understand it, even though it’s a few years later than average. But when she acts out, these behaviors are more intense because of her age and size. And she doesn’t understand consequences the same way my other children do.
We ran a few errands today, one of which was a trip to Target to order Dominic’s birthday cake (one week from today! we’re getting a Pokeman sheet cake with buttercream frosting, mmmm) and to get a few dorm supplies for Jenny’s upcoming move. Anna wanted to look at toys which I was very clear wasn’t an option on this trip. She was doing pretty good and I even let her pick out a new backpack, but then on the way to area rugs, she got angry that we weren’t stopping in the toy section. I won’t get into every nitty gritty thing that happened but I did end up putting her in a timeout in the middle of the store. I made her sit down and take some deep breaths… I just wanted three minutes from her in the hopes that she could turn it around on her own. She threw her shoes at me. Threw her shoes.
Then it escalated.
We went to the car. Actually, I had to physically move her out of the store while she was hitting me and calling me names. She was also knocking items off the shelves as we walked past. I stayed so calm on the outside.
Once we got home, I talked with Curtis first… she had a similar incident with me a couple weeks ago… I felt like we needed to do something different than just timeouts, grounding, and taking away privileges. So after discussing it, we decided to take away her baby dolls. All of them. She has to earn them back one at a time. I feel like there is some trigger in there… not getting what she wants and feeling powerless. She was worse when the Risperdal was failing but those behaviors felt different to me, like her lack of impulse control was truly out of her control.
I had her help me box up her precious dolls. I think she understood what we were doing but I felt so mean. This is one of the hardest part of parenting… disciplining with love. I cannot allow her to behave like she did today and I have to find a way to teach her to stop. This is so hard. Because of her attention span and play skills, we’re letting her earn one doll back at lunchtime and another at dinner based on good behavior. I hope it works.