Let's talk about (baby) frustration

My son comes by his temper honestly. Both his dad and I have struggled with managing ours and have each ended up with a different strategy. My husband’s flares and blusters, them blows over. Mine disconnects me, leaves me quiet and withdrawn (so as to keep from igniting). I’m not sure either way is good or right or worth passing on.

My son gets frustrated, then pissed. He can’t get his arms to move correctly so he can crawl, causing him to move backward or thump his head, and he fusses, then cries, then blows up and looks to us for help.

Admittedly, we too often rescue him. We cheat by pushing the toy a bit closer, giving his feet something to push against, or lifting him out of the frustrating situation for a snuggle. This is where day care’s periodic ignoring of him balances us.

But I want to start teaching him that frustration is totally okay but giving up isn’t. I suspect I do this by ignoring him a bit more when he’s learning something new, a strategy that is anathema but probably necessary.

Any other ideas? How do you teach your kids (or pets!) to deal with frustration?

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7 thoughts on “Let's talk about (baby) frustration

  1. I don’t have any suggestions, sounds like you’re on the right track. I was just cracking up at your cat in the photo!! :) Looks like ours when he’s two seconds away from an attack. Thanks for the chuckle!

  2. I’m like you and just balance it out. At 18 months WT is definitely old enough to understand when I say ‘you can do it’. Sometimes I help him, sometimes I don’t – but always with encouraging words. If he’s in his playroom by himself he has the determination to keep trying til he accomplishes his goal. Even when we are there sometimes we can watch him try and try and try. Other times he’ll make a lame half-ass attempt and then turn to me for help :) I just try to not ALWAYS make life too easy on him and don’t worry too much past that.

    Speaking of the animals. We are trying to teach WT ‘not’ to hit the dogs. But I also believe they have 4 legs and a brain and can remove themselves from the situation if they really wanted to :)

  3. My son is literally just a few days older t han your sweet little boy and yes yes yes! The frustration! The whining! The desperate cries for Mama to help him. He too does the backwards scoot. He’ll get on his hands and knees, rock a little bit, and next thing we know he’s ten feet further away from his toy than when he started. Everyone says its a stage. Let them experience a little frustration but be ready to help when the whines turn to cries? Babies! It’s always something knew isn’t it?

    • @Ashley, Really well, actually! The butthead cat is always willing to risk getting smooched in exchange for attention. The others stay far away, but LOVE to hang out in his room if we forget to kick them out.

      One dog loves him, will lick every bit of errant anything off the kid if we allow it. The other just keeps a very close eye on him, but won’t allow for hugs and such.

      • @Marisa, Glad to hear they’re all adjusting well. We have two dogs and it’s definitely what I’m worried about the most when we (someday) bring a baby home!

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