I’m not ignoring my son. I know it seems like I am. Here I am standing in the grocery store looking at pasta while my toddler is screaming at the top of his lungs. You see, he reached for something we aren’t going to be buying and I said no.
That magical two letter word that sends my son into fits of hysterical crying, hitting, and sometimes trying to bang his head on the nearest object. Luckily my hand is right there stopping him from injuring himself.
I see you whispering to your husband something along the lines of “Why doesn’t she just control her kid?”
I learned to read lips a long time ago, boo-boo. Would you like to try to control my kid?
While I am staring straight ahead and shopping as though my child doesn’t sound like he is summoning the beasts of hell, I still see the judgemental looks of fellow shoppers.
I hear that one brave person make a snide comment about my parenting skills. I almost reply but decide to keep my mouth shut. If I were to open my mouth, I might question them why a father with a screaming child wouldn’t be treated like this but because I’m a mother I should somehow know better. They just pop out with instructions, right?
I even hear you, yes you ma’am. The one who asked, “How can she just ignore her child like that?”
Lucky for you this is directed towards you.
My son is 2 and a half years old. He has speech delay. Which has caused my already egotistical toddler to not know how to properly communicate his desires. We attend speech therapy weekly to help with this, and it is helping.
All he knows right now, in this moment in time, is the word “No” means he doesn’t get his way. He has no concept that life doesn’t always let you have your way. However, I’m sure as hell trying to teach him this.
You see a while back I used to think that controlling your children should be easy. I also thought that a child who throws a fit about not getting something was most likely spoiled. Well, I don’t believe that anymore. I don’t believe the opposite either.
I believe most parents do everything they can to raise decent tiny humans. Part of that for me, is ignoring my child’s behavior and acting like I don’t hear the screams of his tantrum.
Let’s face it, even if I did try to console him, he would consider that attention for behaving badly. I don’t want to encourage that.
Related Post: Diary of a Mom – I’m Afraid Of My Spirited Child
If I did give in and give him what he wants he’d also realize that bad behavior would give him his desires. Do you want me to teach him that? Would that make him a productive human being in the future? Or would that turn my son into something you would bitch about in your recliner while watching the news?
Even though my child has delayed speech I still speak to him like he doesn’t. At least whenever we aren’t working on words like More, Done, Up, Down, Food, Drink, and Juice.
He still understands things. If I say, “get your shoes,” he runs off to get them. If I say “Stop throwing a tantrum,” He cries harder. He is getting better about instructions though, so I guess there is hope.
I work with my son daily and believe me the tantrums are getting better and last a lot shorter than they used to. I ignore the bad behavior and treat the good behavior with something special like play time or cuddle time.
We play with the toys in my post The Best Silent Toys for Toddlers to help encourage imagination and speech
I’m hoping with enough time he would understand that behaving well will give him more of what he desires. While bad behavior would give him absolutely nothing. Not even bad attention.
Tell me? Would you consider continuing to do something if you got nothing in return? Donating time, money, or even items does not count, it makes you feel good to help less fortunate. If there were no good feelings, thank-you’s, or rewards of any kind, would you still do it?
So instead of judging me, mocking me, making snide remarks about me, I have a suggestion. Walk over to me, pretend like I look familiar even if I don’t. Strike up a conversation to figure out how we could possibly know each other.
What will happen here is my son will be so confused by this stranger talking to his mommy and the crying and screaming will stop. He will be curious about who you are. It will distract him long enough that he just might forget that mommy said that horrible two letter word or any other variation of “No.”
I have more on how I distract my toddler in the post The Art of Distraction.
Whatever you do, please don’t give my son something to try to make him happy. You will just end up making my job so much harder.
I am sorry that my son has disturbed your shopping experience. If I could have left him at home with his father I would have. Please accept my deepest condolences for intruding on your peaceful grocery shopping experience with my unexpected need to teach my son valuable life lessons.
I also forgive those of you who decided to make comments, snide remarks, or who gave me that look of complete judgement. I’m so happy I’m the only person in the world who ever had a two year old with an ego and a need to put food on the table. I’m so happy that none of you have experienced this moment in your life. My hope is that you don’t.
That’s a lie, your day will come.
If you agree, disagree, or have additional two year old tantrum stories share them below in the comments. Follow me on Pinterest. Share this with your friends and I look forward to the next installment of Diary of a Mom.