This year has brought a new experience for John and I …temper tantrums.
That moment when Hailey clenches her fists, shakes uncontrollably, and squeals like a pig…randomly throughout our day. Tantrums could be triggered over a number of different things in her “high-stress” day. As adults, we talk about temper tantrums like they are a phase and disregard any logical explanation for why they happen. Personally, if someone twice my size deprived me of another serving of ice cream or tore me away from my favorite show to go grocery shopping…I’d get pretty upset too. I might even shake uncontrollably.
We often say, “Oh well, whatcha gonna do? It’s the terrible twos.”
We recently took a Love and Logic parenting class (highly recommend this) and it has helped immensely. Temper Tantrums for adults and kids are mainly caused by our lack of control. Give a child or an adult a choice and they feel more in control. Hailey now gets several choices a day regarding everything she does…”do you want to wear pink shoes or red shoes…pants on first or shirt on first…dinner in this chair or that chair…” It has added a lot of humor to our day and keeps things in perspective. She also has “a calm place” where she is instructed to go if she “loses it.” It’s an area in her room with pillows and stuffed animals. Now that she knows how to use it, she will frequently go there on her own after “losing it.” Wouldn’t it be nice to have a “calm place” at work after a bad meeting? How about a “calm place” at the airport?
©2009 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents
As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.