Handling Temper Tantrums

Lately I’ve been studying the issues around young children’s temper tantrums: Why do they happen? What do they mean? What are the best practices for handling them? What are the pitfalls?
My adult daughter shared with me her memory of a temper tantrum from her childhood: She remembers wanting a stuffed animal in a department store, and me saying “no.” She remembers crying really hard; she remembers thinking how much she wants this bear, how she cannot be without it, and not understanding how I do not understand her.

She also said she remembers how I said “no,” and just stood there, calmly, waiting for her to be done.

And then she said the most remarkable thing. She said: “I think this was an important experience for me. I learned how to be strong. I think if you would have just bought me the bear, I would have felt that every wish of mine needs to be met just because I cry.”

What a lesson!

One thought on “Handling Temper Tantrums

  1. I totally agree with you. Temper tantrums are normal an natural.
    It is how we as parents and adults respond to them that confuses everyone involved. If parents scold a child for having a tantrum the child doesn’t understand, my 6 years old sometimes tells her dad “you don’t care about me”. If you stay present, let your child go through the emotions you both can learn and grow from this experience.

    We had the eaxact same situation that happened with your daughter Dalia. We where in a store, in December and our 6 year old wanted a big teddy bear. Since she already has few of them my husband said “no”. She insisted and threw a temper tantrum, cried and screamed. He didn’t want to let her vent. He wanted her to be quiet. He kept criticizing her telling her she is ungreatful, that she has teddy bears, he went on to list all that he has done for her that day and when all this didn’t help he ordered her to be quiet and told her she has nothing to be sad about.
    What you did with your daugher Dalia several years ago shows how present and confident you where as a parent. It also shows how much you know you child and developmental stages.

    I wish they would teach different things at school, college and labor classes.
    Nobody needs all these breastfeeding labor preparation classes. All we need is classes that teach us to connect with our intuition and natural instincts.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog.
    Rina

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