Turns out children are individuals. They are TOTALLY different. Even twins are completely different.
We've had a long last couple of days. Saturday night we went to a friends house and the kids didn't go to bed until almost 10:30 which is way past bed time. Then yesterday we went to my parents house and they played with a bunch of their cousins. We got home about 7 which is pretty much bed time. Needless to say the kids were EXHAUSTED.
All of them needed showers before they went to bed so we were preparing for that. I told Ellie to pick out jammies and get ready to take a shower. She didn't want to pick out jammies. Then she wanted someone to be with her. This turned into a full blown tantrum. Ellie tantrums are exhausting and frustrating (as most of them are.) But this little girl is determined, smart, stubborn, and persistent. She will continue to cry/ask for the same thing over and over during a tantrum. You can ask her a question and she refuses to answer it. She will continue to repeat the same statement over and over. I know this sounds like a regular tantrum, but and Ellie tantrum is worse than a Ben tantrum or a Will tantrum. An Ellie tantrum is a battle of wills. And hers is STRONG. Which is something that I love about her. I want her to always have that determination and strong will. We have had to learn how to deal with it. She needs to know there are boundaries. She needs to know that she is being heard and is allowed to be angry but she has to learn to control it. She needs consistency. She's like a wild mare. She has so much strength and power in her she just needs to know how to reign it in when needed. She needs to know who is in control and how far she is allowed to push things. If you give into her tantrums she is ten times worse the next time. When she learns to control her determination, strong will, persistence and stubbornness she will go far in life. Jim is amazing dealing with her. He is patient and strong. He knows how to calm her down and he's able to help her to control her anger. I learn so much from watching him with her.
Will is totally different than her. He gets overwhelmed easily. He is super sensitive and super smart. He is surprisingly smart. When he gets upset he freaks out. His isn't because he wants to control the situation like his sister. He does want things to go his way but not because he wants to control things. In dealing with Will you have to remove him from the situation. When he gets upset its like his senses have gone on overload. Even if you gave him what he wanted he'd still have a hard time calming down. He needs to completely leave the room. Sometimes you have to sit with him and have him take big deep breaths. We have to help him refocus his frustration.
Ben is very emotional. He is very caring and loving. Trust is very big with him. If you tell him something is going to happen it NEEDS to happen. He has a hard time understanding when you tell him "no" its for a reason it's not just because you don't love him. He takes every "no" personally. With Ben you have to explain to him the reason you are telling him no and let him know that you still love him he just can't do x, y or z. He wants to please everyone. He is very concerned about people liking him - whether its us, his friends, his teachers, etc. With him we need to help him gain more self confidence.
Our kids are so unique. They are all so much fun and we love them each so much. Its quite a learning experience in handling each one of them. What works with one doesn't work with another. In fact sometimes what is the right thing to do with one of them is complete wrong thing to do for the other. I'm so grateful that I have such a wonderful husband who is so patient with them (and me).