For me, the hardest part about being a parent is accepting the fact that I can’t control Alex, even if he is my child, especially when he’s on a crying jag that I can’t do anything to stop. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, so I’m sharing a few things that help me handle my frustration:
- Keep things in perspective – Not only does this kind of thing happen every day to parents around the world, it is, in the long run, a tiny moment of Alex’s life.
- Remember that I am not a failure – I remind myself that Alex’s crying does not mean I am failing as a parent.
- Try not to take it personally – Alex’s crying doesn’t mean he doesn’t love or like me, this is just how he expresses himself.
- Call someone – Usually I call Marc, sometimes I call a friend. This accomplishes three things: first, it keeps me from focusing on the sound of the crying, at least a little bit; second, the person I call can help me remember the first three tips; third, the person I call can suggest a few things I can try to stop Alex’s crying.
- Read a parenting book – Right now I’m reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp, and I’ve picked up a few tips on how to handle the Terrible Two’s (which, ironically, start at 11 months and end at around 18 months).