Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Run Like the Wind

Well, last night brought on another tantrum from Ruthie at bedtime. I maintained my cool for significantly longer than my husband, and he got all pissed off when I told him to just leave her and go downstairs. At that point, he was mad, she was maniacal. Let them both cool off and see what happens. So I got Helen ready for bed while Ruthie is screaming at maximum volume again. She kept busting in wailing while I was trying to read poor little Helen her bedtime story. I finally locked her out and she beat on the door and screamed until I was done with her sister. I emerged from Helen's room and told Ruthie I would help her when she stopped. I then deposited her in her room and the screaming escalated (and just when I thought it couldn't get any louder). Helen, who always goes to sleep without a problem, began crying. I saw red and realized that letting Ruthie scream it out on her own wasn't going to work if Helen was going to sleep. So we ran. That's right. I brought her downstairs, jammed her boots on her feet, got her coat and hat on, brought her outside and let her run. She's only three, so I couldn't let her run, in the dark, unsupervised. so I ran with her. i held her hand and informed her that we we'd stop running when her screaming stopped. We got less than a quarter mile form the house when she stopped. We turned aorund, I let go of her hand and let her follow me as I walked at a pretty brisk pace back to the house. She went in, got off her coat, her hat and her boots without a word, and went to bed. No story. She began to cry again when I left her room and I told her that we'd get all of her stuff back on and go run again if she wasn't quiet. She stopped. I didn't hear from her again until morning. DH told me that bordered on child abuse. I reminded him that he is a runner and runs for his mental health just as much as for his physical health, and perhaps that running cleared her little brain of whatever was making her so hysterical. And I ran right there with her. So think of it as quality time with mom instead.

9 comments:

Chaotic Joy said...

Absolutely not child abuse...just forcing her to let off steam. I actually think it's quite creative.

However...
+1 point for earning a child abuse comment from your spouse, and I can't imagine what comments you must have earned from the neighbors watching you running down the road dragging your screaming child. Heh. Heh.

emmay said...

I cannot take credit for the idea...I got it from someone on a message board.

Epiphany Alone said...

You totally would've gotten another point if a neighbor poked a head out to see the screaming banshee child in her pajamas and boots...

Moxie of Ask Moxie fame would say that some kids cry and build steam, some kids cry to release it...you did, after all, just give that release valve a little tug by running-it-out.

Kids Special Needs said...

I think running is a good idea. We've had our boys run when they can't control themselves. It helps.

On Ruthie's screaming.....
When I've dealt with these sorts of things, and the kids don't listen to my first instruction to be quiet, I pull a "Here's what I'm going to do". We literally can't make the kids shut up. However, we can do some pretty good stuff to "inspire" them to avoid that behavior. Some kids are harder to get thru to than others. Like my special needs kids. It takes them quite a while to learn, and I have to seriously up the antee often.

Special K said...

I think that is sheer genius.

ladypuppy said...

That is the best tantrum-killing idea I've ever heard. I'm definitely filing that one away.

Round the Bend said...

I've done this! Good call! I make CleverMonkey do laps up and down the driveway when he can't calm down. Usually he ends up giggling.

I'd agree on a point for making your own partner accuse you of abuse - that's a proud moment.

Belle said...

I love the idea. As a parent of an ADHD child, I think running is a fabulous idea.

Spice Girl said...

I think you're brilliant. Really. And I give you a point for it.