Lately, I've been quite reluctant to take KayTar out in public. We actually skipped out on a fun barbecue this weekend with friends from out of town that we rarely get to see, because we just didn't really want to run the risk of it being disastrous.
She's become quite the loose cannon and I'm never sure when she is going to roll down hill and explode. That coupled with the underlying language barrier and the way she screams, "HELP ME! DON'T TAKE ME! IT'S AN EMERGENCY!" any time I suggest something not to her liking, we might never leave the house again.
Of course I've been through difficult behavioral stages before with BubTar, but this is quite a different experience. I know to some, it sounds like run of the mill three-year-olditis, but it isn't quite that. That I can handle. That I have handled. This is not that. The biggest issue is that, honestly, I have very little control over KayTar when we are out, because I simply cannot reason with her. At home, we have routines that facilitate redirection, in public we don't have those same options. My only recourse is a dash to the door, hopefully before things descend in such a way that everyone in the general area is wondering whether or not I'm kidnapping my own child.
At home, if she gets worked up, we simply redirect her from whatever it is that has gotten her to that point. Even BubTar knows how to do it. If we can't simply redirect her, if she's really worked up, usually we have to remove her from the situation altogether. We move her to her bedroom, which is predictable and comfortable for her, and she calms herself down. We really don't have many issues at home or at other places she is very comfortable. Some of that is because she is less likely to be upset in comfortable settings and some of it is because we have different expectations. For example, we don't care if she happily shrieks repetitively at home or at my mom's house...but in the library, we can't really allow it. We also can't prevent it, which means we are making early exists (which is likely to elicit the "HELP ME! DON'T TAKE ME! IT'S AN EMERGENCY!" response system) or avoiding the situation entirely.
Here are a list of things that do not work:
If/then statements, positive or negative varieties. "If you do _______, then _______ will happen." or "If you are very quiet, then you can get a special treat!"
Any sort of delayed consequence. "When we get home, ______."
Most ACTUAL consequences. They typically require some sort of explanation which flies right over her wee head, OR they just make her scream louder and become more out of control.
Anyone have any brilliant ideas? Anyone with a special sort of kiddo been through this particular stage and found an effective way to navigate it? Help me, wise parenting gurus of the Internet!