Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cold Showers

I knew it was coming and kept hoping it wouldn't.

Yup, you guessed it - Alyssa had a complete melt down last night!

It all started when I reminded Alyssa that she still owed me a chore and asked her to sweep the patio. She started off with the whining "It's too hard", then she proceeded to the crying. I went outside and told her to go to her room until she had herself under control because I was pretty sure the neighbors didn't want to hear her cry. Well that was all it took and all bloody hell broke loose. She started screaming at the top of her lungs! The neighbor actually peeked his head over the fence, thinking that Alyssa was hurt, to see her standing, untouched, screaming! He just shook his head in amazement and went in the house! We then proceeded to carry Alyssa in the house. By this time she was kicking, hitting, scratching, and lets not forget the screaming! Once in her room, she kept escalating so Jeff got her a cold, wet wash cloth and put it on her forehead. Well, she just screamed even louder! By this time, I was out of patience and just wanted her to calm down. So I threw her in an ice cold shower! I really can't believe I did that, but I have to say, it worked. Sure, she screamed bloody murder when I first threw her in, but the minute the water went off, she shut up! And, I was able to get her in her pajamas, tucked into bed and talked to with no further problems.

She was appropriately quiet this morning. Reflecting on the night before, she told me that she was going to finish the patio as soon as she got home tonight! She actually brought up her behavior before I did!

I have actually taken her hissy fit and used it for good! One year ago, these melt downs were a weekly occurrence. They were much more violent and they lasted much longer. The fall out lasted until the next fit occurred. I can compare that behavior to Alyssa's actions last night and I can SEE progress! Yes, she made a poor choice and erupted instead of talking about her feelings. But, she did it in the safety of her own home. She trusted Jeff and I to keep her safe, and she was sincerely sorry for her actions. She also was mad as a wet hen that I threw her in the shower. She understands why I did it, she still doesn't think its right! Well, right or wrong, it worked! I hope that Alyssa can move forward now. She got all the post vacation behaviors out of her system, and should be able to make forward progress again.

On a side note: We really do have awesome neighbors. The look on his face when he saw Alyssa standing in the middle of the patio screaming at nothing...PRICELESS!

This picture was taken last Saturday(my birthday) up north.


Heather said...

I like that solution! I will have to remember that the next time one of my kids loses it. My daughter (also named Alyssa) likes to tell me after she gets consequences that she doesn't like them. I continue to tell her that is the point - if she liked them, they woudldn't be consequences!

It's interesting to me, too, that your husband is named Jeff (mine, too), and that your daughter went to camp in WI (our kids went to one in Wautoma). It's a small world, isn't it!