So, my eight year old daughter (DD2) is in a particularly whiny phase of life right now. And when I say that, please imagine the most irritating, whiny child you can imagine and multiply by two. It's bad.
We've been wondering how to handle this - we haven't quite found her "currency" yet... sending her to her room and other simple punishments aren't working so well. We've threatened to video tape her, she hates that idea. We've also told her we're more than willing to take her to school in her pj's - but she pretty much knows we're bluffing on that. However, our voices are starting to sound like we've been at too many very exciting sporting events from all the yelling we've been doing around here, and we hate the thought of starting off the day with a swat on the bum to try and stop the behavior.
This morning? She had a total tantrum. ROLLING on the floor of the landing, screaming at her sister every time she saw her face, yelling at the dog for walking by... much like the last five years of her life had never happened at all.
What set her off?
She wanted me to pick out her clothes for her. Again. Another habit I'm trying to break - as at 8 years old she's old enough to pick out her own clothes - especially since she hates what I pick out! Trying to head off a whiny start to the day I ended up picking out some jeans and a t-shirt which she HATED, and thus the drama began.
So, what does a good, caring, loving, supportive mom do at that point?
She grabs her iTouch and FILMS HER having a tantrum.
You thought she was mad before that point? It was like a volcano went off. She tried the "paparazzi hand over the camera" move, then she flew to her room and slammed her door. At which point all I had to say was, "Now, if you don't pull yourself together and either wear the outfit I picked out or find one you like better, I'm going to email this video to your teacher."
10 minutes later she was dressed. She hated me, but she was dressed.
Trust me, iTouch is at the ready from now until this phase ends. Turns out that was her currency all along. (I almost can't wait for the next time I have the chance to say, "Oh hold that pose so I can get the video camera ready!")
I know, I know... it's not exactly Love and Logic, and Dr. Phil's audience would probably boo me. But I think I just found a new "perk" of parenting.