Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Guest Blogger...Gina Conroy

Anger Management for Six Year Olds

I remember the first time Timmy threw his first fit.

He was two or three and we were outside jumping in the fall leaves. I don't remember what sparked it, probably that he didn't want to come inside, but my little "Angel boy" morphed into a demon.

Blazing hateful eyes, clenched fists, spitting ugly words from his mouth. I really didn't know what to do. He was my third born, but none of the others ever had a tantrum like this. Plus, he was my mild mannered, easy going kid.

We made it through the incident with tears on both our parts and managed to escape in one piece, but the first glimpse of my little Jekyl and Hyde scared me.

As he got older I began to realize what set him off. Embarrassment, when he perceived I was correcting him when he was wrong or disciplining him for something he didn't do.

Take this morning for instance. He was all excited that I asked him to butter toast. So I set him up next to the toaster and after a few minutes I checked on him. He had one glob of butter spread into a small area of each toast.
I said something like "Oh, that's not how you do it. You need to get the butter all over the bread." Then I took his hand and was guiding him. I guess I squeezed his hand too hard because Mr. Hyde came out.

His sweet smiled turned upside down and his angry eyebrows took control. I don't remember what he said, but he was in meltdown mode. Saying things like "I hate you", "I'm going to butter the toast my way," and "I wish you weren't in the family."

I wouldn't let him hold the knife when he was angry, and I could see him fighting for control.

Finally after threatening to break the toaster, he grabbed the knife to start buttering the toast. I very calmly picked him up and was surprised he didn't put up a fight. I carried him to his room and said "I love you." He, in his angered state said, "I hate you."

I managed to get him in his room with a slight struggle and waited for the sound of destruction. A couple of small bangs and that was it.

Later when he was back to the loveable Dr. Jekyll, I asked him if he hated me. He smiled, and said, “No, I love you.”

That’s what I call a happy ending!

Gina Conroy

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