Logan's solution for everything is saying he is "NOT" going to do what ever it is that he actually wants to do. For instance, he said that he wanted to go outside and eat pop-cycles after nap time today. As the clouds rolled in and it started to thunder, I heard a loud knock on his door for me to come check on him in his room. He let me know, with much attitude, "I am NOT going outside after may nap!" He calmly laid back down. Likewise, at meal time when I have put something on his plate that he insists he doesn't like, he runs from the table yelling, "I am NOT going to eat my cheese sandwich!" The cheese sandwich is, or course, what he wanted and the carrots are not.
I searched for an answer to why he insisted on torturing himself when he is unhappy and then it hit me, he is saying these things because he thinks it is getting to me. He is so dependent on my feelings, actions, attitude and approval that he isn't separating his feelings with mine. If it is something that would "hurt" him, then certainly it must "hurt" his mommy too, right? I realized that this is the reason that it makes him furious when I act nonchalant about his tirades. I am not validating his feelings.
So then, how should I handle these outbursts and the adorable, big grinned 3 (almost 4!) year old who causes them? I don't really know. But, I do have a start. I recently went to the local Homeschool Expo and gathered so much information that I haven't totally wrapped my brain around all that I have learned. I came across a wonderful disciplinary tool while I was there that has already made a difference in his attitude and mine! "Wise Words for Moms" by Ginger Plowman is a handy chart "designed for the purpose of aiding you in using the Scriptures to drive out the foolishness 'bound up in the heart of [your] child' (Proverbs 22:15)." This chart lists many common behavior issues, some questions to get even your youngest child to think about their behavior, and the scriptures to get rid of the sinful and bring in the righteousness! I love this chart because it makes me stop and think about the scripture as well. I personally make my children recite the scripture with me or back to me as I am reading it. I am hoping this will help them to memorize it with me.
No more flipping through the scriptures (angrily) as I try and find that right verse to chastise my child with! No more 20 leading questions to try to get my little ones to "think" about their actions. And, hopefully soon, no more "I am NOT's!"