Treatment For Gun Shot Wounds (GSW’s)

We have entered a new phase in parenting and to be honest, we seem a little lost. Unsure of what to do or how to curb this behaviour. I really hadn’t anticipated it starting so soon and I don’t believe Ava is a spoiled child or that she has ever been exposed to this behaviour, so it’s quite surprising that she just knew how to do this!

So what am I talking about? Tantrums! Full-blown-throw-yourself-to-the-ground-tantrums. She started with the mild baby form of these at around 9 months old, when not getting her own way, she’d scream and make herself stiff and arch herself backwards, but in the last two weeks, we’ve entered a whole new era, the gunshot wound era or the GSW as its commonly known around these parts.

The smallest thing can trigger a GSW. One moment, she’s playing happily, the next, she gets shot by a gun, arms flay into the air and as if in slow motion, she falls to the ground, face first and starts screaming/crying! If the sounds that accompanied a GSW attack weren’t so annoying, it would probably be hilariously funny.

But to be honest, we’re sort of at a loss as to how to deal with it. We’ve tried a number of approaches, most of which have been completely unsuccessful! First we just laughed at her, but all that did was to incense her further and intensify the GSW. Then we tried just flat-out ignoring her, but that just resulted in very long recoveries from the GSW. Then we tried a swift swot to the padded backside and once again, all that did was intensify the GSW attack.

Ava is still a bit to young for reasoning, so it’s not like we can try to talk her out of it. She’s also still to young for the naughty chair/step. But yesterday, twice, I tried a time out, in her bedroom and it seemed to work a treat. The first time, as soon as she hit the ground from the GSW, I picked her up off the floor, marched into her bedroom, and closed the door, me inside with her. Within 10 seconds, she had recovered from the GSW.

The second time, again, as soon as she hit the ground from the GSW, I picked her up off the floor, took her to her room, closed the door and left her in there for one minute. The GSW attack continued for the full minute, but as soon as I entered the room, I got down to her level, held her firmly by the arm and told her to stop it and wouldn’t you know it? She did!

So now I’m wondering if this is perhaps the best way to manage these GSW attacks for now? Of course, I’m not sure how we’ll manage if she gets a GSW in public, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

Toddler Mamma’s – how do you handle your toddlers GSW’s?

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  • Reply TJ

    Sharon, I think you’re handling it well.

    Each child is different and each one responds to things differently. We just ignore our lb’s tantrums – he thankfully doesn’t go on for long or with much screaming – but you will also find they have about a 2 week stint where everything seems to be sooo difficult as if your child is not your own. Maybe she’s going through that now? Unless she has gone through that already.
    Patience, gentleness and calmness from your side will keep you sane.

    Good Luck and hopefully it’s only for a short while. She will soon realise it doesn’t help to throw a tantrum.

    April 27, 2011 at 10:18 am
  • Reply darylfaure

    Yup – the going to the room works well for me, and with Dylan, just the threat of going to his room works really well to get him to behave.

    April 27, 2011 at 1:29 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    Oh boy, we are there too! So far, looking her in the eye and talking very sternly seems to be helping, and then ignoring if it carries on. It’s very much trial end error at the moment. Craig has threatened her with “dudu” a couple of times which has worked, but I don’t like to do that because she is very good at going to sleep when we tell her it’s dudu time, and I don’t want her now to associate it with punishment. Good luck!

    April 28, 2011 at 7:20 am
  • Reply natasjap

    With us, different things work on different days! The best advice I can give you, is to distract her. You have to say ” Look there is a bird”, or “who is that outside the door”, but make it sound like Father Christmas just arrived!!!
    This usually works well for my boy. It is not what you say, but HOW you say it. (Mostly we tell him that his lip just fell to the ground, and he will stop! Lol!)
    Good luck!

    April 28, 2011 at 9:24 am
  • Reply marina1605

    Hey Sharon, sorry to hear you’ve all been sick. Hope you’re all on the mend now. Claudio has also been sick so my Easter weekend was crap too. He has an ear infection in both ears which resulted in high fever and just plain being miserable, poor little sausage. He’s better now that I’ve taken him to the doctor and he’s on the antibiotics and cortisone. The tantrums have also started and have been a lot worse while he’s been sick as I suppose he’s not feeling well so gets frustrated. While he’s sick I try and just ignore the tantrums and just reassure him and distract him till he calms down, but when he’s not sick, it’s time out, in his room, in his cot for 1-2 minutes and then a talking to after. Seems to help.

    April 28, 2011 at 9:56 am
  • Reply Scared & Imperfect Mother

    GSW it is the first time that i hear the term and i love it. it describes a tantrum so completly.

    Lorelai also does this (shocker they at that age) you mentioned that she is to small for a naugthy step, but she is not, i have tried putting lorelai in her cot or even in her room, it works wonder she gets quiet immediatly, but only becuase she is in her space and can see her toys, not really a punishment.

    My new thing is to put her in the bathroom infront of the shower on the mat – this way she can see everyone and everything – she has to sit for 1 minute, the first couple of attempts she got up and i just walked over and put her back down, not saying anything except you have to sit here for a minute because you did not behave when the timer goes off you can get up and apologise. My mother looked at me like i was crazy, but if super nanny can do it so can i.

    It works wonderfully, now as soon as the timer goes off and she goes and kisses who ever she wronged and moves on.

    April 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    Love that term GSW! I think you are doing well. I usually do the same with my Toddler. I pick him up and take him to his room. I put him into bed and I tell him that when he feels better he can come and join us. Then I walk out and close the door behind me. He usually cries for a minute or so and then comes back to join us – usually very affectionate. The problem that I currently have is when we go out in public. I am not a Mommy who makes a scene in public and he is so clever and knows this. We have just been leaving whichever place we are at and going home but I don’t always want to do this. I feel like I’m giving him power if I do this. Does Ava have GSW displays in public? How do you handle that?

    April 30, 2011 at 11:59 am
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