Temper Tantrum Advice

Temper tantrums are “teachable moments”

It is hard to imagine, in the midst of the chaos created by temper tantrums, that there is something good about them, but temper tantrums are importent steps in your child’s development. They represent the opportunity for the child to experience his or her strong feelings, although not positive ones, and if we do not jump to pacify them, s/he can experience his or her power to control those feelings and his  or her body. So, give your child the time s/he needs to have this experience!

2 thoughts on “Temper Tantrum Advice

  1. Wow! I work with parents who have oppositionally defiant kids. It has become unfashionable to be a actual “learn your lesson” parent! Over 90% of a child’s personality is formed within the first five years. Some children are genetically predisposed to have a short fuse. However, this is no excuse not to be the parent.

    Parenting is hard work. It can be rewarding. But those critical years must be dealt with responsibly. We can keep our children from real, physical harm while letting them learn the consequences of their actions.

    Be the Parent!

    • “The Abandonment of Parenting” is one way of looking at the problem. Nevertheless, blaming the parents for abandoning their responsibility is not going to help them. Parents are stressed. They need support, help, and information. Young families need support and help because of the isolation of raising children in a small nuclear family, with no experienced elders to offer guidance and support, and share the responsibility. They need information about child development and how it is relevant to their child and to their practice.

      I agree with you that all this should start at a very young age, and that the first 5 years are critical. Most parents of young children will consult their pediatrician about tamper tantrums, for example, and will not perceive the tantrum as a “teachable moment.”

      A pediatrician is not trained to help with tantrums, so whatever advice he or she gives is probably based on his or her personal intuition. What gives the doctor authority in the public eye is the medical degree. The parents, who are consumers of information at that point, are not aware of that.

      The child’s preschool teacher is also not qualified to educate the parents. She will give information, but will leave it up to the parents to digest it and figure out how to apply it to their situation.

      Parents will contact a therapist or a counselor when they are desperate and experience their child as having a “real problem.” But I believe that a parenting coach, or a parenting educator, is most suitable to help any parent, with no stigma, no negative reason for the interaction, with learning and teaching in the center.

      Let’s make parenting coaching a better-known discipline to help parents!

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