My daughter has developed a brilliant coping mechanism for her tantrums. She takes a magazine (astonishingly politely, she asks if we have finished with it first), and begins to shred it up into tiny pieces.
I think of this and, compared to some less constructive “adult coping mechanisms,” I am proud of her. Eventually she becomes so engrossed in the task that she calms down and is able to cope again. Later, we can even talk about what it is that made her so mad.
She first created and demonstrated this skill on the floor of the back seat of the car a couple of weeks ago, where I still keep the huge pile of shredded magazine.
She did it again yesterday when she was mad about going to school. We gave her an extra copy of our latest Advocate.
I’m thinking that I should bring home a copy of the latest Rolling Stone, JUST so she can rip it up. Or maybe I should think about my own ability to cope.
Archie tears up my mags, as well, but it’s less coping than craft. A busy dog needs projects. I am going to follow Lucy’s lead, though. It sounds like the perfect way to get through these days. My mom’s got a stack of country crafty mags just ripe for the ripping…
Whenever Lucy does this it reminds me and Moya of our cat Spike who died when Moya was about 8-10 days pregnant – we always thought her heart started beating when his heart stopped – and whenever he was frustrated or mad he would shred paper towels. Seems like Lucy “inherited” it from the cat she never knew! (though she talks about him)
Lucy strikes me as a very mature child. This stress mechanism will serve her well later in life; she’s unlikely to break dishes she likes (and regret it later). I especially love the part about asking first.
Have you tried phone books?