I learned a new word today: kerfuffle. It’s a British term for a noisy disturbance or commotion. It fits well for what happens at our house these days. Last night when we got home from our walk, we let the kids out of the stroller so they could run around and burn off the last of their energy before baths and bedtime. Maria and Grant were going in opposite directions and in my effort to stop this I asked Maria to turn around and come back toward the house. This caused quite a kerfuffle. She bent herself in half and started to scream. She did not want to go the other way. She wanted to go where she wanted to go. I got to her and tried to turn her toward the house….a louder kerfuffle ensued. I picked her up…more kerfuffle. If we don’t listen to Mom, playtime ends…time to go inside.
The screaming fits are very frustrating and I wish they would stop. Dr. Sears’ Discipline book says this is a normal part of development for a toddler striving for more independence and that children throw tantrums for two reasons: they are frustrated but can’t verbally communicate it, or they are trying to manipulate with tantrums. We’re working hard to make sure that the latter doesn’t occur. Dr. Sears also states that high need, strong-willed, and sensitive children are more prone to tantrums….so, check, check and check for Maria. High need, strong willed, and sensitive about sums her up. Love her dearly; she’s funny, sweet and quirky, but my ears are still ringing from last night’s fit.
As Fall ushers in cooler temperatures and the windows are open, I hope the neighbors don’t think we’re abusing our children. We’re working diligently to get through this phase and to learn to communicate without shrieking. If you go by our house and hear a kerfuffle, chances are that someone isn’t getting what they want, is tired, or a combination of both. This too shall pass…I just hope I don’t need hearing aids when we’re done.