We’ve gone over High Maintenance Baby, The Busy Bug, and The Worry Bug. However, how would it be to have all three or two of the three?
Not all that long ago, I had all three types. Today I have two of the three. Beanie is my worry bug. Belly and Do Bugs are my busy bugs. So, how do you handle two of the buggies zipping through the house while the other one is crying or anxious about one thing or another, as well as the two tearing through the house like mad buggies.
As Beanie has gotten older, she has finally gotten her own room. Which puts both of the busy buggies in one room. For me, because they are generally of a sunny nature and get along fairly well, it has been working out great. The problem we were running into, is that Beanie Bug is going into the phase where she is learning anger and how to let it out…on her sisters that is. Although she has yet to stand up for herself with anyone else outside of her house, she is now getting to the point that, when she has had enough, she snaps on her sisters.
To teach her how to deal with her anxiety blow ups, we teach her to use her words and not her hands, feet, fingers, nails, or teeth. (Yes, I said teeth.) And to use her words. Then when words do not work, she should come and tell mommy or daddy. On the other end, when she gets upset and turns anger onto her siblings, I use the cool down technique. Similar to a time out, however, she often puts herself there (now) when she feels she is getting to that point.
Allowing her to have her own room has given her an outlet that she hadn’t had prior. When things are too loud, too fast, or there are just too many people, she can retreat to her own room and not allow the anxious items in. Then she turns to her writing and coloring. She stays in there anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes of her own accord. When she comes out, she is bright and sunny once again.
At younger ages, putting the two types together builds a bond, so that when things are too much, they cling to each other. Both, the busy bug and the worry bug are actually very much alike, in my experience. The worry bug just takes a bit longer to warm up to things, and instead of being loud and crazy, she is internalizing a lot.
Introducing structure, schedule, and consistency into all these types of buggies is highly recommended. By doing these things, it gives them things to focus on, and a limit of time to focus them so that they can be constructive during the day. Any time their schedules get out of tune, you will notice the change in your buggies, because they will act out more often than what they do with a schedule.
It is difficult to get these types of buggies into a schedule. It is hard work to instill these into the younger buggies as well. However, persistence is the key, and once that schedule is made, you will notice life functions oh so much easier than prior to it.
Same thing for discipline. The best advice I have ever gotten was from a friend of mine. If you aren’t going to follow through with something, then don’t say it. So, for myself, Belly Bug LOVES school. And threatening to take that away from her so she will behave, if you were not going to follow through is not a good thing. It may work for a while, but once they realize that you won’t follow through, they will call and test your bluff at every corner.
Remember, each child is different, but many stages are very similar and do repeat often through their lives. If we stay consistent and follow through, we are more likely to be successful with the discipline.
But, what if they are doing it just to get attention?
Sometimes with a busy bug, they will do things just to get attention. Any kind of attention is what they are looking for, so it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. It doesn’t matter if you have dedicated time solely to them, there are just times that they go through this.
Just like a worry bug, this is a great time for a cool down period. I’ve noticed with my busy buggies, they do this more often if their schedule is messed up in the slightest way. It can often turn into a tantrum, and what happens is we give in. “Fine, mommy will rock you to sleep,” or, “Fine, you can sleep in my bed just tonight.” These aren’t the only times they do it, but it is a great example.
So, allowing them cool off time in a safe place, gives them the time to let out that tantrum, and get back to being able to tell you what is bothering them, instead of acting out.
When Belly Bug gets this way, she will often start screaming and crying the first or second time you tell her not to do something. If she has not fallen into the full-out atomic melt down, I give her a choice. She can either follow the rules, or she will have to go to bed. Or sit in her bedroom, or get a naughty pebble….whatever the case is. (I’ll explain the naughty pebble at a different time.)
If she has reached the atomic melt down, we simply pick her up as safely as is possible. (Most of the time that is safety for the parent that picked her up so you don’t fall prey to a flailing limb or even the occasional accidental head but.) We then take her to her room and set her in her bed. Now, as parents, we often get frustrated. Praying for patience is something I do often. Because when they hit that point of the tantrum or melt down, we do NOT want to do the same. Sometimes it makes it easier to narrate everything you are going to do in the most calm voice you can, not just for them, but mostly for yourself. That way you are verbally reminding yourself to try to keep calm and have as much patience that you can muster up.
What about those days when all of them are on the fritz?
There are days, for all of us, that are just bad days. Maybe we didn’t sleep well. Maybe we don’t feel well, or maybe we just got up on the wrong side of the bed. Which must hurt for my buggies since their beds are against the wall. So there are just those days.
Here at the buggy house, it happens a lot, when we all get cabin fever. Stuck in the house, can’t leave, can’t send them outside. Whatever it is, it almost seems like World War III has rampaged through my house, and I’m at my wit’s end, because the buggies have stopped listening and I can’t keep up with the tornado they have run through the house, let alone the basic chores.
On these days I use two things. I let my buggies know that mommy cannot take much more, and we all need some quiet time. I try to explain (calmly), how I feel so they can learn to express their feelings the same way. Our children learn to do the things that we do, say the things we say. So trying to explain to them calmly that you have reached your limit, also teaches them to do the same, when they feel the same.
Quiet time for us, is like, “Back to your corners, fellas.” However, we use quiet time for nap time as well. The difference is, they can play and watch T.V. in their room for the quiet time, when mommy needs a breather. Nap time, quiet time, is no T.V. and for the bugs that aren’t doing naps, books or coloring.
It gives everyone time to settle, so that we can come together again, with a calmer attitude.
The other thing is to hand off duties to another parent. So, if we’ve had a rough day at home, when daddy gets home I may ask him to take over. I then retreat to my room, with the door closed, and take my break. I may write, read, take a bath, or craft something. I work through, then rejoin my pack.
Sometimes, taking a step away, to regain your composure, is the best thing you can do. Also, the necessity to take a step away does not make you any lesser of a parent.
I am not a professional. I can only offer what I’ve experienced myself. If ever there is a question, seek professional help. Asking for help does not make you any lesser of a parent. It does not make you weak in any way. Sometimes, an outside look in, is the best approach. Speaking to your doctor or another professional, or even asking your parents and grandparents, can give you a refreshing view of what you may be missing.
Leave me a comment to share your thoughts and experiences below. I’d love to hear some new tips for combining the busy bugs, worry bugs, and high maintenance babies.