Now more than ever, patience is a virtue

My daughter has discovered tantrums. We’re doing our best to help her discover that they don’t work. It’s a long, loud process, but we’re slowly getting through it.

There’s a precedent for this. For the first three months, she had colic. She was screaming day and night, and there was nothing we could do to stop it. Stress mounted, tempers flared, and our home became a small and difficult place.

This new phase isn’t as bad. She’s been a great kid since the colic, and that hasn’t changed; she just happens to be acting out a little at the moment. And now that we’re able to communicate with each other, we’re at least in a position to give her what she wants.

The irony, of course, is that we don’t. If we did, we’d be teaching her that tantrums work. And since we can’t just tell her to stop crying, the only alternative we have at the moment is to let her cry it out until she realizes it’s not going to happen.

So yeah, there’s been a lot of crying at my house. It’s been a stressful week for my wife and I, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t let it get to me now and then. When your nerves are that raw, the little things that undermine your confidence bubble to the surface. That’s no excuse for a short temper, but it’s a reality you have to deal with in these situations.

I haven’t been the most patient man lately. I’ve been pretty good, but not as good as I could be. And that’s a real shame, because it means I’m not doing my job properly.

When you’re trying to teach a kid that tantrums don’t work, patience is the one quality you need to embody. I know it sounds cheesy, but you need to show her that calm communication is the way to express your needs and get what you want. You can’t expect a kid to learn that when she doesn’t see you living it.

My kid’s emotions are new to her, and she’s still learning how to handle them. I’m a grown man, and I’ve got a pretty great handle on my emotions. If I show her that I do, it will help her get to where she needs to be. And then we can get back to having some fun, damn it.

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