No word of a lie, as I write this right now my son and daughter are having some kind of weird screaming match where they are both staring each other down and seeing who can scream louder. It's annoying and slightly terrifying at the same time.
I noticed that I had 2 screaming children about a week ago. My son usually kicks it off and then his sister imitates him. They think it's absolutely funny, and I hate it! I can hear the neurons in my brain literally fire at 1000* per second due to it. That's not all they do together too. Nope, that's not the worst of it. With screaming at least after a few minutes, one gives up, gets up and goes to find something else to do, (usually Ano- my son; who is older) and then we don't have to endure the screams for a while after that.
The next awful thing they started doing is the spitting/blowing raspberries (is that what you call it?) The thing when kids put their lips together and make them vibrate while making a sound and saliva goes flying around everywhere? That's what they do a lot now. I am pretty sure Nai Nai (my daughter) learnt it from Ano but the student became the teacher because she does it a lot more now. If she is doing something you as the parent do not agree with, and you inform her to stop doing said behavior, she scrunches up her little face, flicks her bottom lip down and blows hard! If you are unlucky enough to be directly in her line of fire, you will get hit! Maybe it's the germophobe in me that absolutely despises that spitting thing. I know they are my kids and their fluids are technically made by me, but doesn't change how disgusting it is. Some of you may relate, some may disagree, but it's just like how we adore our babies, but when they make that stink and we have to change it, sometimes we feel really sorry for ourselves for having to endure baby poop.
Oh and then do not get me started on the tantrums that go on in this house! The screaming match they do, that's fun for them, it's a game with a worthy opponent and one walks away the winner, but the tantrums, once one begins everyone in the family knows it will end in tears! Ano's tantrums are usually triggered by YouTube showing a commercial halfway through his fire truck shows. This means war to Ano! It's like for those 2 to 5 minutes, the world is literally coming to an end for him. He either chucks his iPad on the floor and rolls around while wailing obnoxiously, or he kicks the nearest person which is usually me as he falls into his theatrics. Then comes miss diva Nai Nai. I am not ashamed to say this, I am a little terrified of my 1 year old daughter. Yea I said it! It had to be said, so that the real healing can happen.. haha! She reminds me a lot of myself! She is so headstrong and such a big personality and you can see it all in her tantrums. At this stage as I am writing this part of my blog where by now some of you must think I dislike being a mom (not at all FYI) Ano is back on his iPad and Nai Nai is having a full blown throw herself to the floor and roll around screaming tantrum because Ano won't play with her anymore. I am choosing to ignore it, but I know this may not be the best way to deal with this kind of behavior. So you get the full picture let me paint it a little clearer. Nai Nai's tantrums involve everyone in the room. You have to be part of her 5 minutes of fame, whether you want to be or not. She lures you into it with her shrills and testing God mania, where she can give zero Fs about how hard the floor is and go crashing into it as she begins her lengthy and exhausting, even for me who is just watching this, tirade.
So I come to you today because I am at an impasse. I want to nip all these behaviors in the but as soon as possible. I did psychology as my undergraduate degree and so I have a few different perspectives I learnt about how to get certain behaviors to change. Ivan Pavlov proposed classical conditioning as a way to get desired behaviors from a subject, granted his subjects were dogs, however I believe the minds of toddlers are quite similar to that of a dog, you know reward good behavior with a treat works just as well with kids. Parents do it all the time when potty training, which is another thing I am currently failing at but that is a story for another time..
I am keen to know how other parents deal with screaming, tantrums and just plain old stubbornness in their kids? What do you do because a sister needs help! For now I am trying to just ignore the behaviors I do not like hoping that discourages them.