At Charlotte's 2 year doctor visit we learned that we were "supposed" to take it away from 18mo - 24mo. Opps! She's gotten increasingly dependent on it and wanting it all day long even when I tried to keep it only for bedtime.
I received many great suggestions in an earlier post this week and appreciate all the advice! Here is our approach:
Day 1 - take it away after first bottle, Wednesday. Husband stayed home with her and she got increasingly aggressive throughout the day but he stayed steady and never gave in.
Day 2 & 3 - no paci
We are keeping her busy and distracted and for the most part she's fine until bedtime where it was really a comfort and consoling thing. I note that Lindsay from Suburban Turmoil still gives her son a paci around bedtime but for us it's not going to work because then she wants it all day and looks for it throughout the day so we've found it's best to just erase the memory of the paci.
Today is my first day with her post-paci and I'm not going to drive far; it was something that kept her calm in the car and is going to be challenging without.
If there are any art therapist out there I'd love to get feedback on the following artwork:
PRE-PACI ART - calm colors
POST-PACI ART - aggressive colors, pressing very hard with the crayons
note - husband helped add minor details to the last art to make the characters appear around Charlotte's art.
It makes sense that she's angry...you took something she loved. From her perspective, she had no agency and no choice in the matter. Which makes her mad.
If you've ever read/watched The Happiest Toddler (most of it is dreck, but he makes a few good points) the author talks a lot about how frustrating it is to be a kid. You don't get to make choices, you don't understand the reasoning (and in many cases are developmentally unable to understand the reasoning) behind the choices your parents make...it's just hard.
I say let her work out her anger (and be glad it's in an artistic way and not violence towards you guys like an upswing in biting or hitting). She'll get over it.
Good work on standing strong. I know firsthand the lure of the thing you just took away, especially when you're tired and they're being obnoxious. Just remember...if you give in, it will be TWICE as hard to take it away in the future because now your kid knows if they X long/hard enough they'll get it back. X--the most annoying thing in the world to you.
Good job or remaining steady! I came to the same conclusion with son. If I gave it to him sometimes, he was going to expect it always. He won't understand the why and the why nots. He remember noticing him looking around for it. Not saying a word (he was only 12 months) or crying even, but just searching. Kinda cute.
Thanks for the advice and most of all encouragement! There were days when I'd want to give in, even just for an evening but we are on Day 5 now and doing fine. We've even gotten through a dinner visit to friends she hadn't met before and she behaved very well with their 4 and 6 year old girls all the way up to her bedtime. Normally she'd have kept the paci in all evening but she was more talkative and this is what I really wanted to achieve by taking away the paci. I forgot to mention this in my blog but she's just starting to talk in short sentences and she was doing it with the paci in her mouth which drove me just about crazy. I'd take it out and ask her to repeat it but she'd put it right back in and babble again. So for me it was motivation from the doctor but also desire to understand her better as she's starting to communicate more!
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