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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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She’s Being Annoying!

by Sierra on September 13, 2010 · 11 comments

in Uncategorized

A few weeks ago, during my period of silence, Rio had the biggest tantrum she has had in years. She screamed. She cried. She kicked our dinner guests in the shins. She was carried bodily off to bed and tucked in with as much gentleness and love as I could manage, but no stories.

An hour later, she woke up. Screaming.

I went upstairs to find her sitting on her baby sister, hitting her and screaming at the top of her lungs.

“Rio!” I said. “Stop! What are you doing?!”

She turned her tearful face to me and sobbed, “She’s being ANNOYING.”

Serena was, for the record, fast asleep. And remained fast asleep while I tucked Rio into bed.

Also for the record: oh, honey, I know. I have a little sister too. She’s cute as a button, with a halo of blonde curls just like Serena has. She’s three years younger than me, just like Serena. And she was annoying, even in her sleep. I know.

But you still can’t get up at midnight and beat on her while she dreams cute dreams.

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  • Anonymous

    I would be really seriously concerned if one of my children did this to the other — I might even be making a therapy appointment. :/


  • Hale

    Your kid kicked your guests and got tucked into bed with gentleness and love but – gasp! – no stories??? Wow, lady, no wonder she throws tantrums. What are the consequences, really?

    The kid may need therapy, but the mother certainly needs parenting classes. Holy crap.


    JeninCanada Reply:

    If gentleness and love are not your watchwords with everything your child does, YOU need parenting classes.


    Ebeth Reply:

    What do you think the consequences should *be*, really?

    For my kid, bedtime with no stories is a Big Effin’ Deal. He’s used to a certain ritual, one that involves some things he likes, and when we cut down to bare bones, pajamas/potty/bed/leave, we can pretty safely assume that, within half an hour, there will be remorseful sobbing broadcast on the baby monitor.

    Bedtime sans stories doesn’t seem like a big deal to me, either, but I know it got to me when I was six, and it clearly makes an impression on my three year-old.


    Quinn Reply:

    If not getting stories before bedtime isn’t a huge punishment, you’re not telling stories very well. You might want to consider storytelling classes. What else do you suggest (since your comment isn’t in the least but constructive): yelling at her? Yeah, that’ll teach her not to yell. Spanking? Yeah, that’ll teach her not to hit.

    Sierra, I think you did just fine. This isn’t a chronic problem, so it doesn’t need an “elephant gun” solution. She was removed from the situation, and I think Andrea is right about the causes. If it happens again, it might be worth talking to her about it, in more detail.

    For now, that was a proportional response.


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  • Larissa

    My 7 yo son recently threw a “I hate this family! I hate you! AAAARRRGGGGHHH!!” screaming tantrum b/c I wouldn’t let him have a yogurt after putting his PJs on. Even in the midst of his very fierce and I’m sure overwhelming anger, I tried to be gentle and loving as well. I don’t think your kids (or you) need therapy. I get it.


  • Uccellina

    Just to provide a counterpoint to the other commenters, I will say I get it. A kid having a tantrum doesn’t need to be screamed at, especially in front of guests. That just prolongs the tantrum and makes the guests uncomfortable. And my 2.5 year old twins hit each other frequently, even when the one being hit is asleep or otherwise guiltless – we sure don’t condone it or allow it, but nothing’s going to change if you just yell at them and don’t address the reasons behind the behavior. An angry toddler wants to find an outlet for her anger, and there’s this lovely target right there . . .


  • http://childwild.com Sierra

    I guess this post is missing a lot of context. Oops. Rio’s “baby” sister is 3, and weighs only three pounds less than Rio. They share a trundle bed, and Rio has the upper bed. I wasn’t in the room when the fit started, but I am 100% confident that Rio fell out of bed, landed on her sister, and started flailing. She didn’t wake up fully, so she blamed her sister for it in her half-awake terror.

    She often rolls onto the bottom bed. 9 times out of 10, they snuggle up and sleep peacefully together. Once in a great while, Serena wakes up and starts kicking Rio till she gets up and moves back to her own bed (or wakes up a parent who moves her). This is the only time Rio has ever reacted by hitting Serena.


  • Lucia

    Sounds like you handled it well. Best thing in the world to do when the kid goes of the deep end is help them calm down the best way for them (maybe that’s time alone, maybe it’s a snuggle, maybe it’s a time out, it depends) and then talk about it. That is what you did. We all have bad days, and kids do too. It’s our job as parents to model how to deal with that stress so they can grow up to be normal well adjusted people. For the record, I think she’s fine and doesn’t need therapy. If you were pulling your hair out at all the kicking and acting out because it’s a daily or even an hourly thing, then yeah therapy. For one bad night (even if it’s a really bad night) there’s probably a good reason for it (sick? Sleepy? Bad day at school?)


  • http://thejshelf.wordpress.com/ Valerie L.

    So classic! And yes, applies to adults as well. When I’m irritable, my husband can TICK ME OFF just by sitting there. Alas.


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