Saturday, April 07, 2007

Anger Mismanagement

Kristy and I are at the end of our rope. And at the other end of that rope is a 200-lb. tiger referred to here as S. At four-years-old, this little girl has become the axis of evil in our home. She torments her older brothers and her younger sister and cannot be persuaded not to. We’ve tried everything. Everything legal, that is.

As I’ve stated here before, it’s not always fun and games over here at Urf!. Occasionally reality creeps in and the cast gets, well, angry with each other. And right now, this past week, our house has been one giant ball of angry. JP is angry at S. S is angry with C. C is angry at S. S is also angry with JP and me. I’m angry with every kid in my house and Big Mama is angry with all of us, except GK. So, stay away from our house as we might be contagious. Everyone at Urf! needs a time-out, the problem being almost everyone shares a bedroom in our 1200 sq. ft. castle. Most of the time we share one room. We could sentence everyone to a separate room of the house but anger, and its subsequent yelling, penetrates walls.

There are things that exacerbate the tension and the anger in the house as well: C has wheels in his shoes and is dressed like a king, JP throws things when upset, S is immune to punishment, GK requires being held all day and night long, no one can get away from anyone else, there is still no doorknob on S’s door, and there is a near-constant hum of noise emanating from these kids to lend a sort of soundtrack to their perpetual movement. They do all of this on minimal sleep and food, which really defies scientific reasoning. You’d think being this angry would require rest and sustenance, but I fear they feed off of something else. Television, most likely.

I hate to point fingers, but it’s just so easy in this case. S is the nuclear reactor in the family and she’s melting down, and I’m not sure we know how to contain her. So I’m putting this question out there to parents with more experience: How do you discipline a child who is impervious to discipline, who laughs at your threats, who is not overly-sentimental to any particular toy, which we could threaten to do away with? And we’re still looking at legal options, let’s remember that. Tazering, caging, gaff-taping, that’s all in the back of my mind, but let’s just keep it civil for now (or at least E-mail me directly with any of your ideas … let’s keep it out of the public comments, and possible courts).

Perhaps this is a good place to remind you that Urf! is not, nor does it claim to be, an expert in child rearing. You should always consult your doctor or a book or a daytime talk show host before making any serious parenting decisions. Urf! does, however, seem to know a bit about shouting, door slamming, throwing things, threats and revenge, so if you have any questions on those topics, please direct them to us here, in our asylum.

3 comments:

Secret Agent Mom said...

The Admiral claims to have gotten his best parenting advice from a minor sub-plot character on the hit Fox television drama House, wherein the stereotypical mafioso brings an out-of-control child under rein with a single glance and then explains, "You have to make them believe you're going to hurt them."

It works really, really well, as demonstrated by our perfectly behaved daughter.

Stephanie said...

You could threaten to send her to our house if she doesn't behave- once she hears it's in East Memphis, she'll probably do anything to avoid it.

Jim said...

It's those shoes with the wheels in them. They should be outlawed. If I'm in a store and a kid is foolish enough to swoosh past me with those things on, I grab them by the neck and tell them, "Walk!!" I have actually had their parents thank me. And I say, "You're welcome. Now throw away those rotten, stinking shoes with the wheels in them."