If Rhett left me thinking I was a good mom, Larsen went ahead and DASHED all those ideas in one fail swoop. Straight from the womb Larsen was a screamer. He was the worst sleeper ever, the worst eater ever, and he couldn't decide what he wanted. If I picked him up, he screamed. If I laid him down, he screamed. If I sang him a song, he screamed... although, to be fair, most do. All of a sudden I realized that I had ZERO idea what I was doing. Rhett had bamboozled me in to thinking I was a pro. I feel like the Lord does that on purpose. Like... if he sends the good one first, it will convince us to have more. Then WHAM! you get a Larsen.
A little while ago I was at my wits end with Larsen. He and I went the rounds, and we both ended up having a break down. I threw my hands up in the air, abandoned any hope that I would ever be good at being a mom, and sought advice from the interwebs. I posted an insta-story asking all of you if you have a child like Larsen, and what works for you. As the ideas came pouring in, I saw three very distinct categories: 1. beat him (and other variations that were obviously jokes so don't get your panties in a wad) 2. people begging for me to share what I learn because they were in the same boat as I was, and 3. WONDERFUL advice. Because so many of you wanted to know my findings, I decided to lay it all out here, so the following is what people had to say:
1. Praise the good behavior he demonstrates. Like over the top praise it. A lot of people suggested some form of positive reinforcement as a method of deterring him from the negative. I feel like this is something we already try to do, but the negative behaviors are still happening.
3. Get down on his level and talk calmly. This sounds good in theory, but when mama loses her mind someone needs to be getting down on my level and talking calmly. I need to have some kind of alert in place for this. Like, Amber... you've gone from level 2 to level 6 on the crazy scale. Now would be an excellent time to kneel down and calmly talk to Larsen eye to eye before you get to 10. Can I hire someone to do that? Gauge the crazy bulging from my eyeballs and swoop in? Any takers?
4. BOOKS! I had several of you suggest different books for me to read. These included The Child Whisperer, How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen, Outliers, Love Languages for Children, and Sibling Rivalry. I'm obviously going to be getting all of those, so stay tuned.